Luz Lanch de Bairacli Levy


The Silver Fox and other Stories
A collection of
 short stories

by Luz Lancha de Bairacli Levy


daughter of Juliette de Bairacli Levy.
Published online by Ash Tree Publishing


The Silver Fox
(part 1)
by Luz Lancha de Bairacli Levy © 2007


The Silver Fox and other Stories - Table of Contents


A golden light fell on her black hair. Her long slender fingers moved rapidly along the white and black keyboard. Yuri, bodyguard to the Russian ambassador, stood near a large glass door, looking out at the frost covered ground. The tune of the Moonlight Sonata filled the vast hall. A large silvery moon rose slowly from behind the dark pine trees, shedding its pale light over the gleaming ground.

The music stopped. The pianist stood up and gave a bow. Yuri watched her, fascinated. He saw long black hair framing a pale Slavonic face, and large grey metallic eyes staring vacantly out at the crowd. Something in those eyes seemed strangely familiar to Yuri, but he could not place it.

People began to crowd around the pianist to compliment her. “Who is she?” Yuri thought, and those eyes. . . . He followed her discreetly as she moved among the crowd.


“Lovely, isn’t she?” Yuri heard a deep husky voice beside him.

Nina, the embassy gossip, smiled at him keenly.

“Yes, lovely. Who is she?”

“The ambassador’s niece. A real snob.”

Yuri looked at the young pianist. She was sitting now on a low couch talking to her ambassador uncle. Suddenly, she looked straight at Yuri and smiled, but her eyes remained obscure and mysterious.

Coffee was served by waiters in white and black uniforms. Nina came up to Yuri, smiling, “Come, I’ll introduce you to her.”

The pianist was standing by the wide glass doors. A silvery moonbeam fell upon her shiny hair. Her pale face glowed in the soft light.

“This is Milenka Moldovkaya,” Nina said, “and Yuri Alexandrowitz, our bravest man!” she added affectionately. Yuri stood before them speechless.

“I’ll leave you two now,” Nina said, then walked away, disappearing into the crowd.

Milenka smiled at Yuri. “So you are a brave man?”

“No, not really. Well, not when it comes to beautiful women.”

She smiled shyly.

“Do you live here? In Paris, I mean,” Yuri then inquired.

“Yes. I study music, and give piano lessons.” She unexpectedly looked directly into Yuri’s eyes. He felt again a pang of recognition.

“How long have you been away from Russia?” he asked her.

“I came here as a child, with my mother. She was French.”

“Have you been back to Russia since?”

“No.”

“Don’t you miss it?”

“Miss it? Why?”

“The snowy plains. The music. The warmth of the people. The French are so . . .”

“So . . .”

“Well, unfriendly. Aloof.”

“Some people prefer to live in an unfriendly and aloof society, as you put it!”

She looked into his eyes, her own eyes remaining secretive and mysterious.

People were beginning to leave. Milenka stood up and flashed a smile at Yuri, then she walked away. She departed suddenly, taking Yuri by surprise. Her followed her quickly, calling her name. She turned around, astonished.

“Please, can I see you tomorrow? Will you have dinner with me?”

Her dark eyes studied him attentively, then she asked, “Where?”

“Anywhere.”

She began walking away slowly. “Milenka! Wait, you know this city better than I do. Where would you like to meet?”

“Seven o’clock, outside the Russian Embassy.”

On the following evening, just as Yuri was getting ready to leave the security office, the phone rang. It was Sergie, one of the security men. “Yuri, I am sorry, I cannot start my car. This weather! I have to be at the ambassador’s home at seven. I will never make it. Please go in my place. . . .”

“Damn, these Russian cars they make us drive,” Yuri thought. Then he remembered that Sergie’s car was a brand-new Renault.

As Yuri descended the embassy steps he could not bear to look towards the main entrance where Milenka would be waiting in twenty minutes’ time. He pictures her standing there, her pale face, her strange eyes. . . .

He arrived at the ambassador’s home and inquired as to where they would be escorting him.
“Some boring family dinner,” Sasha, one of the security men, informed him.

“Where at?”

“Maxim’s. His brother has arrived from Russia.”

“Whose brother?”

“The ambassador’s, whoever else’s?”

“Well, who is going to ride in the official car?”

“You can,” Sasha replied abruptly.

The street before the restaurant was closed off from both sides. Security men in plain clothes roamed the sidewalks.

Once the honorable party had been seated Yuri went out to talk to Sasha. After a few minutes Yuri’s attention was caught by the faint sound of high-heeled shoes tapping along the pavement. He turned around. A tall figure in black advanced slowly towards them. As the figure approached, he saw that it was a tall woman wearing a long black cape. The hood was pulled over her eyes to shield out the freezing wind.

The security men approached the woman. Yuri heard her reply in Russian. He went up to them. To his astonishment, he recognized Milenka. Her pale face was framed by the soft black hood. Her dark eyes seemed lifeless and obscure. She looked at him for an instant and then went into the restaurant.

“What a beauty!” Sasha exclaimed.

“She is the ambassador’s niece. It is her father who has arrived from Moscow. The dinner is in his honor,” one of the security men said.

Yuri stood motionless, his face pale and mystified.

“Hey! What has happened to him?” Sasha exclaimed, laughing. “He looks like he has seen a ghost. Yuri, what is the matter with you?” He patted Yuri on the back. “Is this always how you react with beautiful women?”

Yuri did not respond. He felt as if he truly had seen a ghost, a phantom from his past: the image of a Russian icon he remembered from his childhood. She had just appeared before him, her pale porcelain face framed by the black hood, a soft halo outlining her head in a pale golden light, those metallic eyes penetrating his soul, and her concealed smile. . . . He felt confused. Was she really there a second ago standing before him?

“Sasha,” he said, “that woman in the black cape, did she go into Maxim’s?”

“No. She took flight into the black starless sky!”

Yuri stood stunned for an instant, then he turned and walked down the passage leading into the restaurant. Milenka was sitting beside a tall grey-haired man, listening attentively to his conversation. Suddenly she looked at Yuri and smiled. Yuri went back out and joined the other security men who were patrolling the streets outside the restaurant.

Around midnight the large party began to come out. Milenka was walking between the ambassador and the tall grey-haired man. She came up to Yuri.

“Hello,” she said in a hushed voice.

“Milenka! I am so sorry about this evening. I had no way of letting you know.”

“I was there at seven, but then I was informed that you would be here.”

“Can we meet tomorrow?”

Milenka studied him for a prolonged second, then said, “Come, let’s go for a walk.”

“In this cold?”

“Yes, come.”

Yuri went up to the security men, spoke to them in a low voice and them called to Milenka, “Come, let’s go.”

She wrapped her cape around her slender figure, then pulled the hood over her head. The street was empty; the only sound was the tapping of Milenka’s high heels on the cobbled pavement. It began to rain heavily; an icy wind blew frozen rain across their faces.

“I live nearby,” Milenka said, turning her back against the penetrating wind. She held out her hand; a taxi stopped promptly. “Come!” She smiled at Yuri, and got into the taxi.

They passed through rain-drenched streets, flashes of lightning lighting the dark buildings. The taxi stopped outside a tall apartment house. Large wide steps led to an impressive doorway. Yuri followed Milenka, disconcerted.

She buzzed the door open, then greeted the night watchman: “Any messages?”

“Yes, your father phoned. He’ll phone back tomorrow morning.”

“Thank you. Goodnight.” She led the way to the elevator.

She opened the door to her apartment and switched on the light, then led Yuri into a spacious living room. A white piano dominated the room, white wooden shelves covered the walls, displaying a large collection of records. White leather couches were situated in various places about the room. A large white marble vase stood in a corner, filled with white roses, but for a single red rose in the center of the massive bouquet.

“Coffee?” Milenka asked smiling, taking off her coat. “I even have chocolate cake!” She went into the kitchen.

“Did you make it?” Yuri called out, feeling more at ease now.

“What?”

“The cake!”

“No! I don’t bake cakes!”

She returned to the room carrying a large silver tray. Upon it were a silver coffeepot, pretty porcelain cups and neat slices of chocolate cake on a silver plate. She put the tray on a low marble-topped table and went to select a record. The familiar tune of the Moonlight Sonata filled the room. She came and sat facing Yuri. He watched her beautiful face as she poured the coffee attentively.
“Please, have the coffee while it is still hot. It is such a cold night.”

Yuri watched her eyes as they changed color, now becoming dark and mysterious.

“You come from a village in the Ural mountains. Is that right?” Milenka asked.

“Yes, originally. We moved to Moscow after my father died. I was twelve at the time.”

She sat silently looking at him, her eyes becoming velvety. He looked away to escape her fixed gaze.

“Music,” suddenly she said. Yuri looked at her perplexedly. “Music,” she repeated, “is my essence.”

The Moonlight Sonata ended. She looked at Yuri for a prolonged moment, then stood up.
The sound of heavy rain beating down outside sounded clearly in the silent room. A bright streak of lightning illuminated the silver curtains, touching her face and reflecting its flash in her eyes. The room instantaneously became black as the electric power failed. Yuri fumbled in his pocket for a lighter.
“I have candles in the kitchen, follow me.” She brought out from a drawer two silver candles, placed them in a glass holder and then carried it into the living room.

“You can stay here tonight. It would be madness to go out into that!” She gestured towards the tall windows.

Another flash of lightning lit the room. He caught a glimpse of her eyes. She had looked at him kindly, in the same way he remembered the Madonna had, so long ago, when he had accompanied his weeping mother to say her parting prayers before leaving their village.

“I have a guest room. There is no problem. You are very welcome to spend the night here.”

“Thank you, but I must go.”

She escorted him to the front door. The long corridor leading to the stairs was pitch black. “It is foolish to go out into that,” Milenka said in a quiet voice.

“Yes, you are right. It will be impossible to find my way.”

She led him into a single bedroom. She placed the candle holder on the table beside the bed and took one of the candles from it. Holding it in her hand, she said, “Goodnight,” then she left the room.

In the morning, when Yuri entered the living room, he saw a note placed on a silver tray.
“Do not contact me. Milenka,” was all it said. He put the note in his pocket, then left the apartment.

continue to part two....

 

by Luz Lancha de Bairacli Levy © 2007
for reprint permission, contact Ash Tree Publishing
PO Box 64 Woodstock NY 12498
or write to: wisewoman@herbshealing.com

 

Click here for more stories by Luz, daughter of Juliette de Bairacli Levy
The Silver Fox and other Stories - Table of Contents

 



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Click here for more stories by Luz, daughter of Juliette de Bairacli Levy
The Silver Fox and other Stories - Table of Contents

 

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