• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 12
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Vladimir glided through the empty window cavity into the middle of the room. Slowly, he turned full circle, looking about him, but the dust remained untouched by the pressure of his feet.

A weak sun shone through the exposed eaves on to a chaos of debris, home only to spiders and vermin. Like a bomb site, it was hard to imagine the airy and elegant attic room it had once been, although, bizarrely, the roof tiles been piled neatly under the window, as if awaiting re-use.

Vladimir breathed an almost inaudible sigh. He smiled: it was still their room, the room in which they had lived, had laughed, had loved.

He went to the window and beckoned. Immediately a shaft of sunlight burst more strongly into the room, picking out the brass corners of a small box embedded in the depths of the ruined chair. Nodding in satisfaction, Vladimir reached out delicate and translucent fingers towards it. In answer to his gesture, the box gently rose into the air, floating upwards on a myriad of sparkling dust motes. The lid opened, to reveal the small figurine of a young woman, spiralling gently to the tinkling chimes of the musical box. The room was filled with warmth and the subtle perfume of violets. Tatiana had come home.

Tatiana, her eyes blue as the winter sky, her laughter like troika bells. Tatiana in her favourite gown, the swish of white lace a glissando, a rhythmic accompaniment to the endlessly circulating strains of ‘Plaisir D’Amour’. Music that cleansed the air.

Vladimir smiled his ghostly smile. Now love had returned to this broken place.