publishes a story about a Strong Man.
— Mom, why the grandfather always sits on the bench at the entrance? the girl moved away from the window and looked at the mother.
— What grandpa? Grigory?
— Probably, — shrugged the girl.
— Well, I want him to sit, and that sitting, smiled the mother, breathing the fresh air.
Why is he constantly stares in front of him? — do not let my daughter — yesterday I was passing by, greeted him, and he didn't even answer. Staring somewhere and sitting in silence.
— He's already old, patiently explained the mother, maybe he didn't hear just.
— And yet... And yet he talks to himself constantly.
The woman approached the window and looked out into the street. The old man was sitting on the bench in his unchanged posture: leaning both hands on a cane, standing in front of him, and his chin on his hands. A little bit after watching him, the woman turned to her daughter.
— I hope you are not hurt? — strictly said the mother.
— No, of course! — quickly replied the girl, — he's just some weird grandpa. Talking to himself, others not. Constantly looking somewhere, sitting there alone...
The woman shook her head and sat on the chair.
— The fact that he...***
— Well, play? Death stopped at the bench and looked at the old man, ' by the way, Hello, Grigory. I keep forgetting to say hi...
— Listen, girlfriend, I sit and think — are you bored or something?
— In what sense? — a little confused Death.
— What are you torturing me? The time has come, so let's go. You are with me in these games playing? Are you all right?
Death sighed and sat down on the bench opposite.
— No, not all. Only those who I like. Here I like you, I will not hide. Moreover, the games bring to my work the element of justice, and I will not hide, fun.
— Oh, you like to talk! the old man shook his head, element! Justice! Read a lot of books?
— Yes, not so long ago I have mastered this skill, laughed Death, I had a friend, so he wrote letters to himself so I thought he was still here someone needs. I had to learn a lot.
— Yes the hell with reading. Games you their why satisfied?
Well, it's fun... — surprised Death — won — live more. Lost — with things on an exit. Unfair? And I entertainment a no.
— And if a person constantly wins? Then what are you going to do?
— Wait, — shrugged the Death, with one I play chess. Yet never won. But nothing... Yesterday the Shah he delivered. To the Mat has not yet reached, but I try. Sooner or later surrender.
— So you with me suffer for six months. It is necessary to you?
Boring you or something, waved his arm Death, I think I wonder every day people like you under the handle to drive? And so at least some diversity.
The old man thought for a moment.
— Well... There's your words of logic. Okay, come on. Begin?
Death squirmed on the bench, settling himself comfortably, and smiled.
— Let's. Rules of the former — who was the first to take a look, and he lost. At the game two hours. Went...
— Honestly, I'm amazed at your composure, — removing the watch back in his pocket, and, getting up from the bench, gave a Death — peepers — the game is not the most challenging of all that I offer to people, but she is the most effective. Few withstood my gaze for more than five minutes, and you have six months stay. You are not scared?
— Why should I be afraid of you? — chuckled the old man, — especially as we're already long familiar, and I had time for you to look.
— Yes? And when, sorry?
— Long ago it was. You probably don't remember that meeting. I still was very young... the Germans then we ironed on the full. Not allowed to breathe. Here and that day they covered us with their artillery. So much so that the head did not raise, — the old man shook his head, ' I lie, therefore, in the trench. Shrank all the earth afraid, know?! You look, and on the edge of our nurse runs — Valya. I shout to her, they say, and well, jump down, fool you are! And she can hear nothing, a terrible roar. And frightened, I guess. He sees nothing around. What to do? Jumped Yes to her. Piled it on the ground, and he fell. And then as I jerked around... the Last thing I have seen as you are close, huh looking at me.
— Honestly, I do not remember, — shrugged the Death, then this was the time — every day new faces by the hundreds, and even thousands... So how'd it go?
— What ended? Shell-shocked I was then scared and broken bustles. The doctors pulled from the world. So for me the war was over.
Wow — surprised Death didn't know you, it turns out, hero.
— Come on, — waved the old man — anyone would do that... Okay, I'll go home. And you go on.
The old man slowly rose from the bench and headed for the entrance. The door opened right in front of him and out jumped a girl.
— Oh, sorry, understanding that nearly hit grandfather's door, she whispered.
— It's nothing... ' said the old man and stepped into the doorway, carefully stepping over the threshold.
— And let me help you? — muttered the girl, ' my mother said to me, you have to help because...
— I did nothing — tried to kill her old man, but it was too late.
— ... because you're at war blinded and see nothing.
Death, already made a few steps from the bench, the second froze and stopped. Slowly turning around, she stared at the old man, who in turn stood at the door. Eyes narrowing, she stared at the man who in six months brought her nose.
— Grigory Ivanovich, — she said softly.
— Yes? the old man slowly turned around.
Death paused briefly.
— What about a nurse? Alive?
— Valya? At home, she. Hurts much. So no way for me to die. It won't hold it, I can't handle myself.
— Got married?
— Well, Yes. After the war got married. And live since then.
Death paused and, bowing his head to the side, saw the old man, thinking about something else. The old man stood at the door and leaning on a cane, silently waiting for her decision.
I was thinking... Boring is the game — peepers. Let's take a couple years to play, and if nobody loses, then in another start? In the city, for example.
— A couple of years? the old man said, — well, thanks for that... You and I don't hold grudges. Not for me I'm afraid, and for her.
— What? — falsely shouted Death, I in recent times can not hear. Okay, I'll go. Until tomorrow, Grigory.
Death turned and, waving his dark robes, and briskly walked away...