Morning for Sokroshera Chapter Nine
By Timothy Smith, 2020
Morning for Sokroshera Chapter 9
Tim’s novel of Russian America (Kodiak Island area)
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Wednesday, October 30, 1963: Sokroshera Cove. At the mess hall “school room” on a rainy day, and an indoor recess is interrupted by a tragedy.
So now, as the rain beat down outside, the students of the little school in the mess hall were anything but bored. Judson looked around and listened, as the students in the mess hall entertained themselves. Nope, I’m not bored after all, he thought. The lights dimmed for a couple of seconds, and then came back up, the side effect of the various projects going on, no doubt. If the power actually goes out, I think I’m gonna be depressed, thought Judson. It’s easy enough to feel down after days and days of rain. More rain, plus the gloom that would descend if the lights went out... well that would be just too much. Marla was playing checkers with Herman, and next to her, Jake was playing checkers with Barbara, who had proven rather tough to beat lately. Concentration versus total distractibility equals no contest, thought Judson. Jake could occasionally bluff, bluster, and distract just enough to win, and that kept him in the game. The contests between little Jake and Barbara, polar opposites, were quietly entertaining for Judson to watch.
Although absorbed at some level by their board games, the students were still thinking about the upcoming movie, Darby O’Gill and the Little People. “I wonder if leprechauns are anything like our Hairy Olocks, remarked Marla, and Jake turned to her with his full attention. “What’s a leper... uh... leper con?” asked Jake in all seriousness. Marla was surprisingly patient after weeks of helping to tutor the younger students. “A leprechaun is a tiny man who lives in Ireland and grants wishes to anyone who catches him,” she stated with reasonable accuracy. “Ok, so what is a hurryolek or whatever you said?” asked Judson, equally perplexed. Marla related the old stories of a hairy, manlike creature who “was seen” from time to time in the woods.
Every village, even ones without forests, seemed to have legends of such a creature, and everyone knew someone who claimed the Olock “was seen” by somebody they knew. Other villages called him an Ohooluk, and Judson suspected their pronunciation was closer to the original. Judson said that he was fairly sure this was the same kind of story as Bigfoot, the Yeti, the Abominable Snowman, and other variations across the globe. Several kids were surprised that other places had similar legends. So many places with similar stories—that just makes it harder to doubt all of them, he thought.
Judson was in the process of explaining to Jake that he had said “abominable,” not “abdominal,” when the door burst open. Mr. Lindseth stood there, in distress and confusion. “There’s been an accident... (Edit)
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