Сергей Леонтьев

Страна : Россия

Сергей Леонтьев, доктор медицинских наук, профессор, родился в 1957 году в г.Екатеринбурге (ранее Свердловск), Российская Федерация. Известный ученый и организатор здравоохранения, занимается научными исследованиями в области биомедицины и старения, директор «Уральского института управления здравоохранением», заведующий «Клиникой антивозрастной медицины», автор более чем 150 научных работ. Финалист VI литературного фестиваля OEBF-2017 в номинации «Малая проза», лауреат литературного конкурса «Серая шейка» в номинации «Художественные произведения о детях и для детей». Автор книги для детей и родителей «Тимошина книга» и романа «Язва». В основе «Тимошиной книги» смешные и часто не по детски мудрые рассуждения маленького мальчика Тимоши. Действие исторического детектива-триллера «Язва» основано на реальных трагических событиях. В конце 70-х годов прошлого века в СССР, в городе С. вспыхивает эпидемия сибирской язвы. Молодой врач скорой помощи, первый поставивший страшный диагноз, начинает собственное расследование происшедшего, не подозревая, какой опасности он подвергает себя и своих близких и с чем ему придётся столкнуться.

Country : Russia

Professor Sergey Leontiev, Doctor of Medical Sciences, was born in 1957 in Ekaterinburg (formerly Sverdlovsk), the Russian Federation. He is a well-known scientist and health care organizer, engaged in scientific and research work in the field of biomedicine and the biology of aging processes, Director of the Ural Institute of Health Services Management, Head of the Anti-Aging Medical Clinic, author of more than 150 scientific papers. Finalist of the VI Open Eurasian Literature Festival and Book Forum 2017 (OEBF) in the category “Small Prose”, laureate of the “Little Gray Neck” Literary Contest in the category “Books about children and for children”. Author of the book for children and parents “Timosha’s Book” and the novel “Anthrax”. “Timosha’s book” is a collection of funny and often not childishly wise sayings of the little boy Timosha. The action of the historical detective-thriller “Anthrax” is based on real tragic events. At the end of the 70s of the previous century in the USSR, deadly anthrax spores contaminated the air in the city S. causing an epidemic outbreak. A young ambulance doctor, who is the first to make the terrible diagnosis, begins his own investigation of what happened, not suspecting what danger he and his loved ones are exposed to and what he will have to face.

Отрывок из фэнтези “Yeremél”

 

Yeremél

 

The man was lying by the dead campfire with his arms outstretched, his eyes fixed on the sky. The fire had long gone out, but he did not notice it. For many days, his wide-open eyes had been motionless. One night, a fox’s pointed snout popped out of the dense bushes. The black nose sniffed gently. The fox snorted, turned and ran away. A bear walked around the site during several nights, and also left without checking the food reserves in the tent. Crows, which feast on the dead, circled over the tops of the fir trees and flew away.

For many years while on vacation, the man came to Yeremél with a tent. Always alone. For a week, sometimes two, he wandered the slopes, choosing different routes. He went there three or four times a year for weekends. Unburdened, he climbed up to the mountain top and returned.

The stories about the mountain were dished up in a hundred different ways. Yeremél was said to be “a place that gives strength.” The Nikonov’s dictionary asserted that Yeremél means “a sacred mountain”. Legends said that there anyone can either regain their youth and get a new life or  lose one’s life there.

The mountain was haunted by UFOlogists. Yeremél was called the most anomalous place in Russia. Philologists asserted that, translated from the Turkic, Yeremél was “the saddle for a warrior- hero”. Perhaps they were right: Yeremél has two peaks, one large and one small, with a saddle between them.

The man knew that myths do not appear out of nowhere. Yeremél is a treacherous mountain. The weather there changes unexpectedly and quickly. On a sunny summer day, a whirlwind snow suddenly swoops down; a downpour may soak a traveller to the skin; or a heavy fog creeps up, God knows from where, and nothing can be seen beyond the outstretched hand. The vagaries of mountain weather are not uncommon. And they are quite understandable. Not understandable is the disappearance of people there. Novices and experienced hikers. Without any connection to weather anomalies. Sometimes, after many days, bodies were found with no visible injuries. But more often, people disappeared without any trace.

The man tried to plumb the depths of Yeremél’s mystery. At times it seemed to him that the solution was close at hand. With a bit more effort, he would understand everything. But each time the clue to the puzzle was slipping away, as it was at the very beginning of his way.

The last trip of 50 km and three nights was not the most difficult. The oddities began on the second day. First, the traveling navigator “died”, despite its new, fully charged battery. Then the cell phone screen turned off. It was certainly even worse to lose communication than to be left without a navigator, but also not fatal. He was not going to call anyone and did not expect any incoming calls. The man knew the area well and could easily find his way using a compass. 

Equipment failure was not the main problem. It seemed to him that someone was constantly watching him. It was not a hostile stare, but rather studying. It was not the first time he had felt this gaze during his hikes. But this time it was stronger than usual. Several times the man turned around abruptly, twice backtracking, but of course he didn’t see anyone.

When the needle of the old compass began helplessly spinning around the axis, the man was not surprised. He was guided by the sun and the map. He would not get lost even without the map – so many times he went here. At the end of the third day, the man came to the place of his night bivouac.

Only fifteen kilometers were left to the end of the route: three or four hours on the way. It started getting dark, and the man decided not to go off the course: to stay overnight and descend to the village in the morning.

Putting up the tent and making the fire distracted his attention for a while. But eating  dinner, he again felt someone else’s presence: closer than before. The man shouted: “Who is there !? Come out!”  Nobody responded. Only the wind became stronger. Tall spruces groaned. The flames of the fire were pressed to the ground. The darkness engulfed him. The man was peering into the night, trying to see or at least hear something.

Suddenly, the wind died down and the man heard… He got up, turned his back to the fire: shadows were floating out of the darkness one by one, thickening and, finally, took the forms of horsemen … 

… The body was found by accident. There was no search operation as his disappearance was not noted by anyone. The man was lying near the fire, his arms outstretched, his gaze fixed on the sky. The face was calm and serene, as if he lay down to rest at the end of a long journey. And the wild animals did not touch him.

His cause of death was not confirmed.

***    

– Where did it happen? – asked Olga.

– On the plateau, – answered Haydar.

– Was that how it happened?

– I don’t know, so they say … Anything can be … Yeremél took him …

– He did not fall into the abyss … Why should the mountain kill anybody? – Olga asked anxiously.

– Yeremél takes whom she wants, – said Haydar.

– Anton, do you believe that?

Anton was keeping silent.

***

The beginning of September is a good time for hiking. The autumn rains are still a long way off. It is still warm, the days are long, the mosquitoes are no longer evil blood-sucking devils, and the wild grasses, which are taller than human scale in July, fall by September. Visibility is significantly improved, which is important when traveling off-road.

At seven in the morning, a married couple, Olga and Anton, saddled a recently purchased four-wheeler and started their journey from the village of Tyulyuk towards Mount Yeremél, the second highest peak in the Southern Urals.

At the beginning of the 2000s, motorized travelling had not yet become widespread and Yeremél Natural Park with cordons and foresters did not exist. The places, though touristy, were completely wild. Romantic allure.

Olga and Anton wanted to climb up to the Yereméli plateau from the back side. The traditional “front” trail was inconvenient for their vehicle because of the kurumnik rock river – huge stone boulders. After spending the night on the plateau, they planned to go down to Nikolaevka; from there to move towards Beloretsk – to the tourist hostel, where a car with a trailer was waiting for them. Seventy kilometers “as the crow flies”. The actual route will be much longer. There are no straight roads in the mountains, even in their homeland Bashkiria.

In Tyulyuk, at the tourist hostel, Olga and Anton learned the local legends. Yeremél is a capricious mountain, bountiful one moment and terrifyingly deadly the next. It is like a woman, which allows only the ‘chosen’ to come closer, and on the contrary, does not permit some of the ‘chosen’ to leave. In the times of yore, old folks were afraid to go there. People have always disappeared in that place, even more often in recent years. However, there are no reliable statistics of disappearances: the information is only based on rumors. Not all tragedies are included in the incident reports. In addition to organized groups, there are many “wild” singles. No one is informed about their planned routes. Nobody claims them to be missing, but again the body of a man was recently found… 

What they heard did not frighten Anton and Olga. They were experienced tourists skeptical about “fairy tales”. Anton took a double-barreled shotgun for protection against wild animals. The couple thoroughly prepared for any weather surprises: raincoats, bog boots, warm clothes… There was plenty of food, and  enough cans of gasoline for two runs. 

They were lucky with the weather on the first day: warm, sunny, almost calm. Travelling was guided by the navigator. The four-wheeler behaved impeccably: it was joyfully snarling with its single cylinder, wounding kilometers on its spiked wheels. With the assent, the relict spruces and firs gave way to birches and aspens. Then sparse forest began, followed by a real mountain tundra. By six o’clock the plateau was reached without any incident. The couple decided to walk up to the top to admire the panorama, and then look for a place to spend the night. In September at half- past seven in the evening, it starts getting dark. 

The tent was put up near a grove of dwarf birches, on the bank of a mountain stream on a smooth glade with excellent visibility for many kilometers. They built a fire, and hung the pot over it. After supper, Anton took out his guitar. Looking at the last rays of the Sun, they sang their traditional duet: the Mityaev’s Tourist Hymn. When the fire extinguished itself, they crawled into their sleeping bags. They would have to arise early on the morrow: the road was unfamiliar and not at all short.

Anton slept lightly and woke up first. Through the tent fabric, he saw a fire burning in the glade. Was it an abandoned charred stick that reignited or what? Half-asleep, Anton did not immediately realize that the fire belonged to another, a short distance from their own pit. He looked at his watch: eleven fifty. He pricked up his ears: conversations, snorting of horses, someone commanding. Well, of course, the equestrian group approached. Olga was sleeping blissfully near him. Anton decided not to wake his wife and carefully got out of the tent.

Just as he thought: tourists, about twenty people. They were setting up a camp very close to Anton and Olga’s tent. Why couldn’t they have gone a little further? Adieu good night.

Anton sat down near the smoldering coals, put a piece of wood into the fire and blew: the flames rose. While fiddling with the fire, he did not notice how a man from the group came up. Middle-aged, strong, and stocky with a goatee a la Soviet geologist. In cowhide boots and a rough canvas windbreaker – a tarp, as it was called earlier.

He introduced himself:

– Sergey, head of a student group from Ufa.

They shook hands. Sergei apologized for the intrusion. He explained that they had reached the plateau in the dark. It was too difficult to look for another place to spend the night and the glade with the stream seemed very inviting… Anton did not object, he only asked not to make too much noise as his wife was sleeping. But Olga, frantically yawning and rubbing her eyes, was already crawling out of the tent. Sergey gallantly greeted her and apologized again. He invited both for potatoes with stew and tea. The couple agreed to tea:  in any case, sleep had already left them.

The students were working harmoniously. It was quite evident that they were not raw recruits in hiking. Half an hour later the glade looked quite habitable.

 

***

– What happened next? Anton, do you remember?

– No, Olga … It’s as if ‘movie-clips’… Do you remember?

– And I would like to forget, but can’t …

***

They are sitting by the fire with mugs in their hands answering the usual questions: where they came from, how long they have been on route, where they are headed. Having heard that Anton and Olga are from Ekaterinburg, the tourists look at each other in bewilderment. What surprised them? How can it be that the students from Ufa don’t know about Ekaterinburg? In any case, they are not from Moscow.

The group is unusual. First of all, there is almost army-like discipline.. During the past hour, no one argued with the leader. Sergei did not command… he asked. But the requests were perceived as orders and were unquestioningly fulfilled. The students addressed to him exclusively respectfully – Sergei Ivanovich.

Secondly, everyone is dressed alike in coarse windbreakers and tarpaulin pants both on the guys and gals with the old-fashioned UralObuv style hiking boots. They neither smoke nor drink. Nobody seems to have a cell phone. However, it’s true that in these places there is a problem with calling, but no one even makes an attempt to check the network or take pictures with their phones. The guy across from Anton has a camera dangling around his neck. In the  dim light of the fire, Anton can hardly see the model: Zenith – a roll-film camera. A rarity.

Olga bends down and picks up an empty can of stew with a twig. She nudges him with her shoulder. Anton looks down closely and smiles: stewed beef, top grade, three horned muzzles on a red background. In the Soviet times, such cans were in low supply. And nowadays, they are simply not produced.

Anton and Olga are talking with the leader. They ask to show the way to Nikolaevka. Anton takes out his navigator and tries to turn it on. In the evening, the device worked fine, now not a single button responds. Sergei gives a sign to a guy with glasses. He immediately rushes to the tent, and returns with a map. A detailed one, almost new, with kilometer readings. Except the year of issue is 1959. Anton asks if they have a newer one. Sergei looks at him strangely and replies that this is the last one. Olga takes out her cell phone and wants to take a picture of the card. The phone also does not turn on. All of these X-Files weirdness. 

Two tourists come up. They want to know what device Anton is holding and ask to explain how it works. Anton looks at the guys in amazement. Yes, it is quite evident that the group is strange. However, it sometimes happens: who else would be a rarity in the mountains? But how can it be that university students do not know about navigators? There are, of course, the bygone followers of tourist classics. Novelties of progress are categorically rejected. But why should young modern guys…? 

Anton explains how the navigation system works. Thank God, the students know about satellites. But also in a very peculiar way. They read a mini-lecture about Sputnik-1 launched in fifty-seven. With technical details: Fakel radar transponders, direction-finding radio beacons, Tral telemetry. For some reason, they call the launch site Tyuratam. Their knowledge of artificial satellite history abruptly ends in the mid-sixties. 

Anton shows the four-wheeler to the guy with glasses, who studies at the Faculty of Mechanics, and is interested in technology. He says that this is the first time he has seen such a vehicle. Anton is no longer surprised. He simply tries to satisfy the technical curiosity of this “Mechanical Expert”: power, speed, drive, suspension, number of cylinders, etc. Anton starts the engine. The “Mechanic” is delighted. He listens to the engine purr as if it is the finest music. Asks if it is possible to remove the casing and to have a look at the inside. Anton explains that the casing can certainly be unscrewed, only then it will take half a day to put it back. The “Mechanic” wants to know how, in this case, Anton services the engine. Having learned that Anton drives the four-wheeler into the service center, the “Mechanic” looks at him with regret: a miracle of technology and the hands of such a “nerd”.  He points at the manufacturer’s brand name and asks why the letters are not Russian. Who produces it: the Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant or the Moscow Compact Car Factory? Anton answers Bombardier Recreation Products Canada. The guy seems scared and moves aside looking at Anton as he is a spy.

One of the girls is sitting near Olga. They are quietly talking about something. The girl gives Olga a sheet of paper, the size of a small postcard. Olga takes and examines it. It looks like a photograph. In the dim light of the fire, Olga looks alarmed. 

Students sing along with the guitar. They sing well, amicably. Their repertoire is very old: “Your Honor”, “Let’s Join Our Hands”, “Sentimental March”… A guy and a gal come up to Anton and ask if he can play. Holding out a guitar, they ask to sing something. Anton calls Olga. For the second time that night, they sing the Mityaev’s anthem. Students listen attentively, with interest, but no one joins in singing. As if they don’t know the words. 

In early September, the nights are still short. short. Dawn arrives at half past four. As it approaches, the wind picks up and it gets colder. In the morning twilight, the figures sitting around the fire blur, losing their outlines.

Sergei gets up, pulls on his windbreaker. He looks closely at Anton and Olga.

As if waiting for something. Olga, pressed against her husband, is trembling.

Sergei smiles only with his lips.

– Are you coming with us?

A heavy, hypnotic look..

– Yes, of course, – Anton mutters.

Olga squeezed his hand painfully.

– We would love to. But today friends are waiting for us in Nikolaevka, – she says. – If we don’t show up, up, they will begin searching.

The glade plunged into silence. Something has subtly changed. Only a few minutes before, the group was sitting by the dying fire, and now everyone is standing in a tight circle. The guys are clearly waiting for Sergey’s order. Anton figures that he will have enough time to run to the tent, where the rifle is located.

He whispers to his wife:

– Run to the four-wheeler. I will blunt the attack. The key is in the ignition.

Olga does not answer. She is looking at the girl with whom she was talking earlier.

The girl is standing in front of Sergei. There is an intensive dialogue between them. Words are not heard, although both are not far. It is quite evident that their conversation is not easy. Sergei shakes his head. The girl insists, imploring and clasping her hands pleadingly. Sergei gives up. He shrugs, looks at Anton and Olga.

Then he turns to his people.

 – General quarters, hit the trail…

The glade in its original condition. No tents, no people, no horses. There are not even traces of their fire. What was it?

 

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