By Gennady Bondarenko

We all returned to the pier where Vasily ordered two of his sailors to go to the warehouse for explosives. Under the leadership of our, albeit extracurricular, but still, demolition specialist, the explosives were reinforced on the minesweeper in the necessary places. He set the timer while we quickly hid behind the corner of the barracks. Kolya prepared his camera for the shots the news agencies were about to fight for. At this moment, a midshipman rode his bicycle out on the pier. We all in one voice started shouting at him from around the corner and waving our hands, but he just smiled happily and made a welcome gesture in response.

The minesweeper exploded…

Our cyclist was the first to take the blow…

The midshipman, together with his bicycle, were thrown into the sea by the blast. A second later, a combat alarm wailed over the territory of the unit. As the smoke cleared, we saw sailors running towards the pier with machine guns in their hands. Sirens were also turned on ships nearby. It looked like they were already urgently giving up the mooring lines, preparing to go to sea and repel a sudden enemy attack.

Finally, the black smoke cleared and I looked at the pier. But instead of the nice and neatly ‘transitioned’ parts of the minesweeper, I saw only smoking blackened concrete. The minesweeper itself had disappeared, as if it had never been there at all.

Soon everything cleared up; the alarm stopped; the midshipman was taken out of the water – frightened, but alive and not even wounded. Kolya climbed a tree and took a camera off a branch, slightly scratched, but in quite good operating condition. A bit more problematic was getting the bicycle back from the bottom of the sea near the pier.

As for the leading news agencies, they too were left with nothing. The fabulous transition to the track of peace was never captured.

We returned to the editorial office empty-handed.

As Vasily explained, when we met him the next time, he accidentally put a comma “not after the right sign” in his calculations. However, he did not mention this fact in the report to the unit commander, which he was ordered to write. Still, his idea with explosives was ultimately crowned with success: The minesweeper was really blasted into fragments, which they collected over the entire territory of the unit for several more days. Ultimately, the midshipman was given three days off to recover, and the senior lieutenant Vasily was given a severe reprimand, but at least no one was killed or maimed. And as for us, well, the editor blamed me and Kolya for everything that happened, although Kolya tried to explain that we literally had no hand in all of it.

A few days later we almost managed to regain our reputation as documentary reporters. The police planned a night raid with the code name “Special Operation to Detain Drunk Drivers.” Local press participation was also encouraged to highlight the police’s “uncompromising commitment to principles.” The editor’s choice inevitably fell on Kolya and me. “Mind you,” he added sternly, “this is your chance to prove yourself worthy of the good name of journalists. In a southern city like ours, and especially in the summer, such a ‘special operation’ could not fail to be successful.” By midnight there were about a dozen ‘highway’ lawbreakers. The policemen were writing out tickets; Kolya took pictures; and I recorded statistics in my notebook for future reporting. Yes, I told myself, that would indeed be great material for the newspaper, especially the contrast – the disgusting faces of drunken drivers and trustworthy sober police officers.

It turned out as I expected … well, almost like that. The chief of police was pleased and personally called the editor, thanking the journalists for their good work. Our editor-in-chief liked this reaction from the chief of police. He shook hands with us and promised hefty bonuses, but very soon he got a call from the city government inquiring if it was really necessary to publish a photo of the governor’s daughter. Kolya and I tried as best as we could to convince him that it was neither his nor my fault. Who could have known that she got married and changed her last name? As for those bonuses, well, we never received them.

(…to be continued…)

Series – Evanescent

January: If Something Can Go Wrong…It Will – Jonay Quintero Hernández (Spain)

February: The Planet of Pleasure – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)

March: Evening with Jackie Chan – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)

April: Vuvuzelas, Walkie-Talkies and Madiba Magic – Sarah-Leah Pimentel (South Africa)

May: Remembering – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)

June: 5-4-3-2-1 – Talia Stotts (America)

July: Getting Ready for Newborns – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)

August: Regrets – Kate Korneeva (Russia)

September: A Hollow Pursuit – Diana Haidar (Syria)

October: The Test – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)

November: The Writer’s Daughter – Lauren Voaden (United Kingdom)

December: Translation Perfect – Zhang Lu (China)

Special: Catching Water III – Javier Gomez (Argentina)

Background – Context

Transadaptation Volume 2: Conceived – Childhood Transadapted, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2021)

Transadaptation Volume 1: In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world


Cover photo: Crimea – The Minesweeper – Yaroslav Zinyukov (Unsplash)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

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