Thursday, March 5, 2009

Of Children and Peasants – Part XIII

Excerpt from “Anna Karenina Comes to America” by Leia Tolstaya*, Millerskaya Ltd., New York, 2009. For earlier installments please click on the keyword phrase “Of Children and Peasants”.

Levin had used the capabilities of time travel for the benefit of all he was close to. His brother had been restored to health, with the medicinal knowledge he had gathered in his many journeys. Once he realized how much time he had wasted in gathering courage to ask for Kitty’s hand in marriage, he had gone back and done that much, much earlier. Therefore they had been married before Anna and Karenin had even conceived their first child.

Anna and Karenin sat in Kitty’s parlour. Kitty was tending to one of the children.

“I love you so much that I am willing to let you go,” Karenin said to Anna.

“I love you too. I didn’t realize you cared that much. You are always so involved in your work.”

“And I didn’t think you were interested in spending that much time with me. Maybe that’s why I get so wrapped up in my work. But I would give that up, if you wanted me to go with you.”

“Really? You would give up your position, everything, for me?”

“You are everything to me, Anna. Without you, it would all be meaningless. But if you don’t want me, if you married me just because your family pressured you, then I would give you an annulment and let you go.”

In the barn, Levin raised the glass roof off the time machine. Slowly, like coming out of a dream, everyone unbuckled their seatbelts and climbed out of the cab.

They traipsed into the house. They first saw Kitty, looking pretty in her modest, pale blue dress. She had a dainty little figure, toned from the manual work was often did on the farm, voluntarily. Her hair was slightly disheveled from tussling with the kids. Her cheeks were rosy from the long hours she spent outdoors. Her eyes shone like stars. Then they saw Anna.

Once you looked at Anna, you couldn’t take your eyes off of her. Her dark red lips, pale cheeks, and deep brown eyes were captivating. Her black curly hair was done up in the modern fashion of the city, set off by the simple pearl earrings and necklace. Every inch of her was styled to perfection. Her dress was a stark, dark blue, evidently tailored by the best seamstress that could be bought. She held herself as if posing for a picture.

She held Karenin’s hand and boldly announced, “We are both coming with you.”

To be continued…

*Leia Tolstaya is a pen name for Elizabeth K. Miller, and as such her works fall under the same copyright.


Loren Christie said...

This is an interesting twist! I've been thinking about Anna's choices and, you probably will disagree, but I'm feeling more sympathetic for her. Think about it. Imagine being forced to marry someone you were not attracted to, and didn't even like as a person. (Not that the man is a bad person, just not someone you fall in love with.) Think of how unhappy and ugly life would be. I don't agree with HOW she did things, but I can understand what she did, and how she got tangled up in her own web.

Loren Christie said...

Okay, I am looking forward now to how these two will act in the year 2009.