Yuri stuck his wad of gum up on the south support of the iconostasis and grabbed his brush. The familiar smell of gold leaf paint struck his nostrils. He heaved a sigh for being shut in a cold church on a winter day in Moscow.
As he painted, Yuri wondered. Who was the man who had put these halos in the first time? What would he think of Yuri's way of touching them up? Yuri could follow his predecessor's tiniest brushstrokes.
He wondered why he had to do this touching up before the official announcement, and why there was a wait for the official announcement. These were mysteries. The government itself was a mystery.
He wondered how many people would know what to do, even if they came. Would they recognize a call in the sound of the bells – a rapid, repeated ching-ching-ching-ching? Did the word "Paskha", Easter, mean anything anymore?
A sudden, unexpected sob slipped half out of him. The memory escaped capture. His grandmother's gestures, which he mimicked in front of his friends. Her slap when she caught him. The long, stern explanation in that corner of her bedroom where she usually made them.
Yuri stopped, looked over his shoulder, set the brush down. He moved to a spot in front of the iconostasis, touched his forehead, his right shoulder, his left shoulder, made a sweep with his hand and a bow. Again he took up the brush and carefully followed the stroke of some other painter.
First published: May, 2011
© All rights Reserved
comments to the writer: email@example.com