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These are the Names

by Tommy Wieringa

Don't be discouraged by a grim story of refugees, trekking through the steppe in the bleak atmosphere of the post Soviet empire. It's an Exodus of sorts, without Moses but with a dash of deadly humour. Everyone is on a journey whether settled in town or an alien, and parallel lines collide when the migrants meet a police officer on his own spiritual quest. Can any of them, including the policeman, be saved? We can always hope.

Extract

'We lived with wonders all around us,' he said slowly, 'Once they started we never doubted that we were going to be saved. These things are impossible to talk about. They're only important to the ones who were there - those who passed through the thicket of horrors.'
'What is that, this thicket?'
'You keep on asking questions as though there's an answer to everything.'
'You're the one who started talking about the thicket of horrors. I'm asking you what it means.'
But the man across from him was sunk in thought. He seemed to be wandering amid his memories, a bit amazed at the things he saw there.
Translated by Sam Garrett

Parallels

  • The Book of Exodus - the Bible
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