Я переехала из родного Алматы в Великобританию в начале 2005 года. Здесь ежедневно с 9 до 5 часов я работаю в качестве юриста по договорам, а в остальное время я читаю и пишу, с длинными перерывами на кино и музыку и тренировки в спортзале. Я также люблю бальные танцы, кристаллы, украшения и грозы. Сердцем и мировоззрением я принадлежу как Казахстану, так и Великобритании, Азии и Европе, и хотя мой роман об уникальных событиях в Казахстане, он говорит доступным и универсальным языком о людях и жизни, понятной детям и взрослым в любой стране. В то же время роман призван увлечь читателя, давая ему знания о Казахстане с привкусом экзотики и настоящей энергии. Я надеюсь, что мой роман выражает ободрение и поддержку читателю, говоря, что нужно быть сильным и никогда не сдаваться, потому что все возможно, и что ваша жизнь — это то, что мы сами строим, и по своему желанию каждый человек может достичь удивительных высот.
I left my native Almaty in early 2005 and have been living in the UK ever since. While I work 9 to 5 as a contracts adviser, for the rest of my time I read and write with long movie and music recesses and occasional workouts. I love ballroom dancing, crystals, jewellery, and thunderstorms. I belong to both Kazakhstan and UK, both Asia and Europe and although my novel is about unique experiences in Kazakhstan, it translates into a universal language well, making it relatable to children and adults in any country. At the same time, the novel allows its readers to be entertained and educated, providing a taste of an exotic and raw energy. I hope that my novel sends a message of encouragement and support, a message to be strong and never give up because anything is possible, life is what you make of it – against all odds, one can achieve astonishing heights if that is their motivation.
Отрывок из прозы “The Wind Will Change Tomorrow”
The next summer, when the golden sun medallion was shining in the middle of the bright cobalt skies, the air was warm and infused with wildflowers and grass, and the day was still there, happiness and freedom were palpable. During the harvest season as early as mid-July, there were so many apples on each branch that branches resembled grapevines leaning down to the warm black soil under the weight of their fruit.
The farm fields, vineyards, and orchards stretched on for kilometres and for this reason, were not fenced. Instead, each farm employed very effective horseback guards who were watching the orchards like the many-eyed Argus and were very apt at protecting the harvest by appearing out of nowhere at the most inopportune moment and lashing the unfortunate thieves out of the orchards and fields. And like stealing those golden apples from the Hesperides’ garden, stealing the harvest from the orchards and fields was a big, dangerous feat for the children and quite a few orphanage kids had to bear scars from the guards’ whips on their backs for the rest of their lives.
One day in July, a few adventurous members of Dana’s form decided that it would be the ripe time to pick the harvest of apples and pears at the neighbouring state-owned collective farm. Such foraging expeditions were, of course, not permitted and if the caretakers knew of it, they would punish the children heavily. Thus, secretive and careful planning was the indispensable skill to employ now. The short preparations went smoothly, and the seven 9-year-old foragers could leave unnoticed. Shortly after midnight, one by one, very carefully and in total silence, they made their way out of the building onto its entrance.
The empty entrance was lit by a single lamp encased in a round-shaped matte plastic set right above the entrance door, and its light attracted a whole cloud of mosquitoes and fat, grey night moths and some other small insects with golden transparent wings sparking in the light. A small cloud of those insects was flapping around the lamp case, dropping grey fuzzy dust. A night bird’s shrill, plaintive cries were heard in the distance; a heavy bug crashed into Dana’s cheek with a hard knock, without making a single buzz.
The kids passed the swirling insect armies and soon heard an incessant chirping of a whole choir of grasshoppers and crickets in the grass; generous deposits of chunky July stars were shining and blinking in the dark perse velvety sky. There, in the high sweet-scented grass, something bigger than an insect was rustling very quietly like a thief – it could have been either mice or their hedgehog adversaries or maybe even a grass snake Nemesis hunting those mice and hedgehogs.
When the night expedition stepped away from the entrance into the night, a warm and mild darkness enveloped them like a soft blanket – a light breeze saturated with the scents of hot soil and fragrant wildflowers and forest grass was whispering encouragingly. The water canal nearby was grumbling approvingly, and the much desired freshness was reaching from the babbling water.
They paused for a minute drinking those fresh scents, while one of the girls tried to sing, and Dana, although feeling that girl’s excitement and joy, whispered to her: ‘You know, all sounds in a silent night reach very far; we must be as quiet as possible, or else we’ll get caught’. She threw an apprehensive glance backwards, at the housemistress’ room, and everyone hushed immediately, exchanging terrified looks. The children walked silently leaving the camp behind them and soon crossed an asphalt road and stepped into a wide dusty pathway leading to the estates of the neighbouring state collective farm.
Right in front of them, as far as their eyes could see, there stretched a potato field with the black, starry dome above it. The silent, vast, constellation-laden night sky was stretching from the ground, from the dark horizon line – not from the roofs of adjacent buildings like it was in Almaty. Warm air was quietly rising from the soil to the sky, and in that air some white stars were emitting an evenly bright cold radiance, while other stars were sparkling and blinking with red, blue, yellow lights. A single green meteor crossed the sky, and the ivory full moon was looking down benevolently at the children, lighting their way with wide brushstrokes of silver light. Somewhere close, but not too close, a small animal rustled quickly through the thick potato shoots – it must have been a hedgehog or a stray cat on its night hunt.
Next to the field, like storm clouds, thick crowns of the apple and pear trees of the collective farm were whispering and rustling under the warm night breeze. One tree squeaked gently, and the children heard a retreating hasty flipping of heavy wings – the bird either caught its prey or got scared off by their approach or by another hunter.
The foraging company paced forward quickly but without making a single sound – they were making sure not to walk in the middle of the pathway but rather close to its sides, ready to scatter around as soon as they heard any suspicious noise. Ankle deep in the warm, fluffy dust, they had advanced for at least four kilometres and with every soft breeze wave, redolent clouds of thick sweet apple scent were travelling from the trees to the children. When they decided it was far enough, they started tearing off ripened apples from the branches, hastily filling every bag they brought with them.
The children were working very quickly knowing that the horseback guards could be there any minute and having filled their bags, they immediately started on their journey back to the camp. They felt exhilarated with the fruits of their successful endeavour and murmuring and laughing excitedly, anticipated the long-awaited expansion of their scanty diet. Walking on the dusty road, from time to time, a contented Dana reached for a sweet, delicious apple and savoured its fragrant pulp. The little burglars already passed some thick, waist-high bushes when suddenly, something prompted her to look back.
In the bushes, two large, round yellow eyes with slit pupils were staring into the children’s backs. The eyes were not blinking and mesmerised by their frightening glare, Dana could not blink or move either, she stood still, with one single thought pulsating heavily in her mind: ‘These eyes cannot be just eyes, they aren’t there on their own, they must be complemented with huge clawed paws, sharp teeth, and a deep, empty, hungry stomach coveting for food…’
As she stood still, the trees and any animal activity around her paused, and the next moment, the eyes in the bushes, still not blinking, silently and gracefully moved for about three metres, to the very edge of the bushes in one smooth, swift move. That move awakened the Dana awash with horror making her let out the most blood curdling scream the children had ever heard. Continuing to scream, she dropped her bag and darted off. She was running in silence like a wind, propelling herself off high into the air from the ground with every long stride. She could not hear or see the other children and running away from the craving yellow eyes, she was only able to stop and compose herself at the border of the camp.
The others saw the eyes too and dropping all bags on the dusty road, followed Dana in her desperate sprint from the mysterious creature – they never found out what it was. Perhaps, a wolf fending for itself in the fields and orchards?..
The empty-handed distraught children returned to their bedroom, still throwing fearful glances to their sides and back occasionally and whispering to each other their guesses of what that animal might have been. The water canal seemed to now be murmuring something soothing and the trees were rustling peacefully and softly.
Dana was the last one to climb through the dark window into the bedroom. Before she went through the window, she cast the last glance into the starry sky. As the girl raised her eyes to the mild, silvery pearl moonlight flowing into her face and the calm moon magic pouring into her soul, her deep pensive eyes reflected the bright stars and recalling a recently read novel, she thought that at midnight the universe indeed smelt of wind and stars.