Tuesday, October 16, 2012

EPOCHALIPS (Wreckage of the Epoch)

EPIGRAPH: “We are give birth for the inspiration, for sounds of sweet and prayers…” A. Pushkin EPOCHALIPS (Wreckage of the Epoch) SYNOPSIS Of 32 TV Series The beginning of the 20th century. England. There is a huge ship on the berth. The sea quay is overcrowded with scanning and shouting people. A string of people move up the ship’s ladder. A tall, elegant young man appears in the crowd with a grip-sack in his hand. Forcing his way through the crowd, he looks enthusiastically at the ship. Apologizing to people for nudges. He shows his ticket to the ticket collector. MICHAEL ATLANTOFF “Sir, I’m lucky to use this grand ship along with this handful of happy people, the greatest achievement of scientific and technical progress ever seen!” TICKET COLLECTOR “I am happy to tell you, sir, there’ll be more than two thousand people on board.” ATLANTOFF, standing high on the upper deck and looking into the distance of the ocean, thinks aloud: “Oh! If only my parents and all who know and love me can see how ‘high’ I am! It’s fabulous…” He sets his hat, touches his pedigree hooked nose, crosses his arms behind him and stares musingly into the horizon, recollecting the events of his past life. THE END OF THE 19TH CENTURY. KIEV PURLIEU. AN OLD HOUSE WITH SIGNS OF RICH MANSION ARCHITECTURE. MICHAEL’S father, JACOB ATLANTOFF, lives here. He is an unsociable and gloomy man. JACOB’S sisters introduce him to a commoner, BARBARA, a stout and unfailing woman who already has a teen-aged daughter. JACOB (sitting on a stool) “Your legs are a little too thick, aren’t they?” BARBARA tries to hide her legs under her stool but a crossbar won’t let her do it. Her knees tremble. JACOB “And look at your hands… Aren’t those mazhik’s…” He strokes and looks lovingly at his own beautiful fingers. JACOB (lustfully) “Who do you live with? Not alone, I believe. You are so bloody big.” BARBARA “I live with my daughter KATHERINE and my mother, on the Baize Hill.” JACOB (angrily) “So, you’ve got a wench. God damn it! This old wound in my leg won’t quit aching… Can’t stand it.” JACOB married BARBARA soon after that. She was about fifty when she became pregnant. JACOB was more than fifty. They were in deep poverty when their son MICHAEL was born. The relationships in the family were tragic and comedic. MICHAEL spent his childhood under’s his father’s scandalous surveillance. He started working as a dishwasher at a factory canteen when he was fourteen. He blossomed because he was well fed and made a man by women early in his life. KATHERINE, Barbara’s daughter from her first husband, grows up to be “pin-up girl” beautiful, and many worthy admirers appear. But she chose a local drunkard, PETER, who is not much to look at. They arranged a sumptuous Ukrainian wedding party with all the tragic-comic consequences. KATHERINE never gets upset about her life with her husband always being drunk. She gave birth to a son but it wasn’t PETER’S child. Her stepson, CONSTANTINE, who was PETER and his dead wife’s son, moved in with them. When he grew up KATHERINE made him her lover and two more children were born. PETER’S existence and behavior were tragic-comic. Beautiful OLGA fell in love with MICHAEL. The ATLANTOFF’S left their wrecked house and moved into a common apartment of a factory house. Smart and beautiful EUGENE OBLONSKA, a journalist, lived in the room next door. MICHAEL came to love this woman with all his heart, and she had great influence on his political and mental development. During this time, MICHAEL studied at the university. Their love was at it’s zenith when EUGENE left Kiev to be in the thik of the revolution. Before she left she had introduced MICHAEL to the Chief Editor of “Kievlyanin”, the newspaper. Editor DIMITRY PICHNO considered MICHAEL a promising young man and when EUGENE left he offered MICHAEL her position at the paper. Russia burned with the Tsar Manifesto, rebellions, massacres, pre-revolution euphoria, the chaos of murder, arrests and deportations without trial. The vivid role of the clergy standing up for peace and order remained unnoticed. Russia was falling to hell. Under the influence of his Editor, who was a sincere and kind protector, MICHAEL was still a devoted Monarchist. He kept to his work as an editor and remained in love with the departed EUGENE. Editor PICHNO was old and dreamed of passing his business on to MICHAEL. He even decided to make MICHAEL a deputyof the State Duma, presenting him with his provincial lands. One couldn’t become a deputy without that. So far MICHAEL still lived with his old parents and neighbors with unique lives and perspectives, which left a distinctive mark on his life. At one of the high society balls, where MICHAEL was with his friend and colleague, he was introduced to a homely woman, a poetess named NINA KISHKINA. No matter that ATLANTOFF was admired by lots of beauties, he found himself captivated by this poetess. Still whole-heartedly and deeply in love with EUGENE, who was away reporting on the revolution, MICHAEL was stunned when NINA announced her pregnancy. MICHAEL avoided provoking a countrywide scandal by agreeing to marry her, yielding to the pressure and hoping to get used to living with her. NINA’S parents made MICHAEL move in to their untidy house. He suffered through the presence of his worthless and ugly wife and his miserable routine, unbreakable because of in-laws. He stayed as long as he could on his business trips, fighting for his beliefs and making many enemies and foes. Soon, a daughter and a son were born. Editor PICHNO gave a birthday ball for MICHAEL, with plans for announcing that he was passing the business onto him. MICHAEL was enthusiastically reciting poems and the party was in full swing when the police appeared and arrested MICHAEL. He was taken to prison in his evening dress and polished lace-up shoes and, days later, deported to Siberia without any questioning or trial. On his way to Siberia MICHAEL became seriously ill but managed to recover. Together with the other prisoners he was delivered to a remote Siberian transit station where all of them were put into irons. The convicts were then transported by horse caravan. ATLANTOFF was in the last wagon. Under enigmatic natural circumstances a tragedy happened. The horses became frightened, ran off the road and drowned in a nearby swamp, along with all of the security guards. MICHAEL was able to escape their fate by climbing onto the back of the wagon and fell off before reaching the swamp. Because his wagon was the last, and the guard driving it was too drunk to notice, MICHAEL managed to escape. MICHAEL remained in the surrounding forest, surviving by finding a roughshod cabin nearby, irons still on his feet, hard and too painful to remove. He was found, dying, by Evenk hunters. They took MICHAEL with them and nursed him back to health. When he regained his health, he hunted with them, earning a few loads of furs. MICHAEL had taken the passport off a dead prisoner, VLADIMIR HOREFF, and kept it on his belt. In the same place he found a small bag of gold dust, which he also kept. He married a young local woman and soon a son was born, with an Evenk face but with blue eyes. A few years later a wagon train loaded with furs travelled across Siberia to Yekaterinburg. MICHAEL understood that he was an outlaw but couldn’t resist going along with the train. In Yekaterinburg the merchant KINDINOV tried to kill this strange Evenk, MICHAEL, after haggling for furs, but failed, so he gave him over to the police. The police cared very little about an Evenk hunter and didn’t question him very hard. He convinced an officer that he was a scientist exploring Siberia. The other Evenks, drunk and broke, were already gone when he was set free. MICHAEL was left with only the money from his furs, his bag of gold dust and his passport under the name of VLADIMIR HOREFF. He enjoyed himself at a local inn, looked through old newspapers, dressed himself in sable furs and decided to go to Moscow. During all of the past years he was dreaming of EUGENIA. He tried the furs on all of the beautiful women he knew in his past, and he dressed EUGENE in the very best blue and silver fox fur. He worried about his children. His parents died before his arrest. And he started hating his wife NINA even more. MICHAEL rented a little house in Moscow and hired a young housekeeper, who fell in love with him with all her heart. ATLANTOFF lived in solitude, under his borrowed name, and dreamed of EUGENE. Once he saw her get out of a carriage and enter a luxurious villa. He followed her in the theatre. It was a painful meeting for both of them. EUGENE turned out to be married to an English banker, RICHARD WALTER, who was a decent and handsome man. Nevertheless, EUGENIA and MICHAEL’S passion broke out again. EUGENE, knowing MICHAEL’S situation, persuaded her husband to give him a position of office manager at an English bank in Moscow. MICHAEL and RICHARD became friends. EUGENE and RICHARD had been married for five years but they had no children. Soon EUGENE discovered that she was pregnant and that MICHAEL was the father. She decided to convince her husband to leave for London, taking MICHAEL with him and making him responsible for bank correspondence from London. MICHAEL was about to be disposed. EUGENE hastened the departure, sending MICHAEL ahead with the luggage. EUGENE couldn’t live without Michael, although she couldn’t run the risk of losing everything she had. The Titanic was soon after launched and everybody was talking about it. EUGENE insisted on being on the maiden voyage, contrary to her husband’s wish. At last he conceded to it. She secretly arranged for MICHAEL to take the voyage as well, who didn’t like the idea. He worried about the baby but agreed with EUGENE at last. He told RICHARD he was going to Paris. Once aboard, EUGENE escaped from the ball on board at night and came to MICHAEL’S luxurious cabin. She barely had time to close the door and take her fur coat off before she was in her beloved’s arms. He kissed her on the satin bed coverlet, trying to take her turquoise silk dress off. Suddenly RICHARD and a number of security guards broke into the cabin. He ordered the guards to take his wife away, and MICHAEL fought the guards, falling on the floor in the corner behind the bed. At that moment an awful shaking and grinding sound occurred on the shot. RICHARD shot at MICHAEL and ran away, not looking back. The shot missed, hitting a pillow. Surrounded by feathers, MICHAEl rushed out of the room, looking about. Finally he put on EUGENE’S fur coat, covered his head with her scarf and decided to come out on deck. Chaos was all around. Boats were being launched. He jumped into a boat right after hearing the order “Women and children first!”, looking for EUGENE. He couldn’t see here anywhere. In the morning they were rescued by another ship, but she wasn’t there. Having searched everywhere he started praying, then got raving drunk. Later, MICHAEL came onto the ship’s deck once more and noticed a guard in uniform, a cap and a blue dress. It was EUGENE, racked by remorse and absolutely distressed. RICHARD had shot himself on board the Titanic, having seen his wife commit adultery. A security guard threw his uniform over her and forced her into the boat. They stayed in America and made a nice family. A daughter and a son were born. MICHAEL reclaimed his real name and became a famous writer. His daughter became a popular actress and the son, an aircraft engineer. All of them were rich and happy. But the couple missed one thing. Sitting by the ocean, they looked into the distance and dreamed of their Russia… of their ruined and good-for-nothing Motherland. Author: NADEZHDA IGNATOVA E-mail: alpila1@yahoo.com