Translated Works

Seven Days of the Week

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Monday:

Finally, the organization decided to start reviewing the appropriate areas for mass guerrilla attacks. Now everybody is happy because of the victory of the Revolution, but who knows what would happen in the future? Several groups have been sent to identify appropriate mountainous and forest areas and we are one of those groups.

By noon, after arriving in the area, we seized an abandoned villa where we set up our headquarters. It is a luxury building, but rural residents near the villa have taken everything they could and have ruined the rest. Lucky enough they haven’t burned the building. They shouldn’t be blamed. When you compare these peasants’ lives with lots of suffering to those of these sycophants, such as the owner of the villa, you would understand them. On the bottom of these masses’ hearts, there is a lot of accumulated class hatred that if they had no old ignorance and fear, could fragment all the world exploiters in a day.

By evening we went to village to identify the area and meet the villagers. They treated us with suspicion. Peasants often initially are suspicious of the strangers, because the strangers have been either savage gendarmes and government officials or city slickers. We should be fully aware and without any provocations do our missionary work. Young guys are more curious and we could open a conversation with some of them. Peasants, do not talk at all, or if start talking, you can’t stop them!

Some said that villa belonged to a wealthy city guy, who sometimes came there and had nothing to do with the villagers. Some said it was a security center. However, there is nothing remained that could reveal anything about it. They also said funny things about the nearby lake. They said that nobody can cross the certain scope of water. Because the flow of the water stops the swimmers like an invisible wall and as usual that security service would also have bases there!

Maybe they wanted to fool us and laugh at the city boys. When you look at their faces, you wouldn’t be able to understand that it is a simple man or someone who pretend simplicity and laughs to you.

The day passed quickly and we didn’t understand how it became night. There were so many volunteer for night guarding that we had to draw, and my name was picked as the first guard.

Anyway, I can’t sleep tonight. I would like to sing out loud guerrillas’ march or shout my gun until I wake up everybody to seat around fire together to talk and sing, but probably they think I have lost my mind.

Comrades fall asleep anywhere on blankets or newspapers. Like as Smolny Institute on revolution night. I really feel the joy of being together and throwing away individuality from my heart. I liked to put their names here, but I don’t think in terms of security issues it could be right. Actually, most guys already knew each other, so that calling a pseudonym is almost funny, but writing a note is dangerous and may everyone read it.

I still can’t believe all this is true! Is it real?!

Tuesday:

Early Morning, we went to the lake to bathe. A pretty big lake and its water apparently come out of the mouth of the cave. Surprisingly, what residents said was true and we couldn’t get close to the mouth of the cave. Whatever you tried could not go beyond a certain limit. The water pushes back you. I do not know the scientific reason for it, however, should have a logical reason.

A comrade threw a grenade at the spot which after explosion made a big fountain of water. Villagers clapped and shouted strongly, but an old man who seems to be their chief, made them silent. Commandeer reprimanded that comrade for wasting ammunition, and we returned to headquarters.

According to news received by radio, the political situation was extremely tense. It seems that a vast conspiracy to attack the leftists is underway. On the coming days we must be careful and vigilant. A courier with new orders and supplies has to come tomorrow.

Dinner was even worse than lunch. Fortunately, I am not the guard tonight, that’s good because I am so bored and want to sleep earlier.

Wednesday:

By morning, when we woke up, we understood that the comrade whom the commander reprimanded the previous day for throwing a grenade in water was absent. We searched everywhere until noon but couldn’t find him. Night guards also didn’t know about his whereabouts. We thought he must have left the group because of what had happened yesterday.

At noon, the sentinel on the roof of the headquarters reported that he saw a group of people have gathered along the lake and our lost comrade lying naked among them. We immediately went there and finally managed to bring him back to headquarters, naked and unconscious, clutching a feminine hand that was cut at the wrist.

When he regained consciousness, told us that after a few hours of climbing he reached above the mouth of the cave-like inflow and then dive into the water, and after this he didn’t remember anything. Fortunately he didn’t take the weapon and his equipment with him; otherwise they be would missed like his clothes and the short sword that he played with all the time.

He said the clothes and the sword was packed in his back, but when we found him we didn’t see anything except that feminine hand. The severed hand is so really beautiful that makes you upset. Does it belong to the so-called security people or mermaids! Nobody knows. Something must be wrong with this comrade. After a severe reprimand, commander said that the issue would be reported to the higher ranks and until clarifying the matter, he must be detained in a separate room. This is our first prisoner!

Everyone seriously censured the last night’s final pass guard, a young comrade, due to neglect and sleeping at post. He suddenly burst into tears and disturbed all. Maybe if it was another time, all of us would burst into laughter, but in this situation, every member of the group was on the verge of tears. We are lucky that we have no female comrade among us! The courier who came today said that all printing offices had been attacked the previous night, and our organization’s newspapers and other left groups’papers had been seized. Rallies in several cities against leftist groups have carried out and some of representatives in parliament asked prohibition for our organization and some other leftist groups. The same old story!

Some comrades say better to discuss listening to BBC Radio. I do not think that listening to the imperialist radios could have any significant impact on us; however, but I’m not really sure. Today no one was in the mood to argue about it.

From morning, no one is thinking about cooking or eating. At night everybody eats a piece of bread and now tumbling in his place. Nobody can sleep. Commander puts the hand cut into a glass of alcohol and wants to send it to the lab. It seems that he was a student of biology some time. Not a proper scene to see, reminds me of putting embryo into the glass of alcohol. The headquarters has become the mansion of horrors!

Thursday:

Early morning, we woke up by the sound of screaming and gunshots. Locals had surrounded the headquarters. It was not known who spread the rumor among them that the guerrilla rape women and mutilated their bodies. If the guard was not on his post, all of us were massacred. Naturally, we could not kill them, and aerial shooting had no effect except a waste of ammunition.

We were forced to leave the headquarters. We left the radio, a machine gun, a bazooka gun, ammunition, most of the food and medicine that we had and almost all books behind. One of the comrades was sent to city to contact the organization and bring us food. The rest went to the mountains.

After six hours of hard hiking, we stood on top of a mountain overlooking the lake. With five canned beans we shortened eating. It is not clear what should we do if we cannot find food. One is reminded of what happened in Bolivia for Che Guevara.

At night, when one of the comrades brought out a radio from his backpack and first took our radio, I mean their radio, and then took the BBC, nobody talked about him being right or wrong. All organization’s offices throughout the country are occupied.

Friday:

Last night, I was in the final pass paired guard with that adventurer comrade. He told me strange things about the lake that I didn’t understand. To be honest, I was very tired and fell asleep by his bass sound like a lullaby.

I was dreaming about beautiful underwater cities and mermaid, and when waked up didn’t saw him. I looked down and saw him with by the lake and his hand had been cut off. I woke up every body. No one knew what to do. We wanted to send two comrades down, that the local residents came and suddenly attacked our comrade. Shooting the sky had no effect. One comrade wanted to shoot them, but the commander didn’t let him. Frankly, I also wanted to do the same. In front of our eyes, like scavenger cowards that attack half-dead defenseless people, our good comrade was killed and dismembered. The comrades were crying and beating their heads with fists; one person hit his head with a stone so that his face was covered with blood. Some fellows were shouting and cursing, some crying too quiet. God knows what the situation was. Right now that I remember the ordeal and write these things, I am crying again.

The comrade who was sent to city came back without being able to contact the organization. He brought a little food, but nobody touched them. He said the mob are killing and slaughtering in front of all people in the city.

Saturday:

Last night one of the guards escaped carrying a gun. He even didn’t think what would happen to us if they ambush while we are asleep. The funny thing is that he was one of the more extremists among us!

At morning before breakfast, another one didn’t get his share and said that he is scared and wants to go, and that if he had the courage would stay with us. Then he gave his weapon and equipment to comrades and went away. While leaving he returned and said we can shoot at him from behind if we want. Then, as if to compliment or encourage us to do this, he said, its ok, and quietly added, this way is easier.

No one talked. I thought with myself that he might be saying every moment “now, now, now …, now everything is over …”

Where to go?

Organized arrests had started. Several members of the central committee pleaded guilty to treason and espionage in a radio interview and asked all members of the organization to surrender themselves to police within a week. Unbelievable! Radio wave turned and for a moment went on revisionists’ station, Where Mrs. Lyudmila happy and carefree was answering to requested songs, after a little noise, and finally the BBC confirmed the news and reported about the bloodbath that was to come.

Bloodbath, a word that I had repeatedly read and heard, but now for the first time I understand what it really means; I imagine people like these villagers who come in front of me naked in a public bathroom, and the shower taps instead of water, pours hot blood of our comrades, comrades martyr’s blood, the blood of our good comrade whose body was hacked to pieces yesterday, and maybe even our own blood. All fun and joy, they wash their body and throw blood to each other’s head and face.

Sunday:

Everything is over.

I ran out of ammunition and threw my gun into the lake. Now with a bullet-riddled broken leg and without anything to do I lay in my trench, look to clear blue sky, clouds smooth and listen to the silence suddenly happened few moments ago. The rest of the comrades either run out of ammo or they can’t fire anymore.

It was a good battle; if their backup helicopters didn’t emerge we could beat them. How hard is to wait this moment and yet I’m full of a sense of relief and joy. If I was a romantic guy, I had enough blood to write the last page, but honestly I do not know what I am writing these few lines for. Does it mean that that I’m hopeful that someone may read them? Perhaps only I am bored.

Well, it seems to me the moment has come! First I hear the rustle of leaves and cautious steps slowly approaching, and now the latest single shoots. One of the comrades wanted to scream to say something, but the bullet silenced his voice. I did not understand who he was and what he wanted to say.

Irrelevant thoughts came to my mind.  Is the speed of sound faster or the speed of a bullet? I guess the speed of sound is much more, but this has nothing to do with what happened. I remember when I was kid; the science teacher said that the speed of light is faster than the speed of sound and that is the way that militaries can estimate artillery distance when shoot the ball at night.

I don’t know what to think about. It must be something valuable indeed, because I can’t find the time to think anymore, but the more I try the less anything comes to my mind.

Steps sound too close; gently touch the cyanide capsule clenched between my teeth with my tongue and say to myself cyanide is the sweetest end for a guerrilla!

 

 

 

 

Bahman Zebardast (IRAN)

Author, translator and poet Bahman Zebardast is the Director of Administration and Finance at TWM, Iran. He did his masters in Shahid Behesti University in Tehran. Bahman Zebardast has rendered “Memoirs of Richard Frye” in Persian.

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