really ask her about you . . . She’s not home now, but comenin, I’ll show you something.” And through the first room, henled me to the second, which I hadn’t seen.nIn the corner of the room, Baba the black goat was curlednup next to a strange tall structure. Seeing me, she raised hernhead, then turned away. The structure was assembled fromnold, dirty boards and tree branches, and smeared with clay.nOn the floor in front of it lay the mound of dry grass.n”What’s that?” I asked.n”Well, she wouldn’t say, but I figured it out,” Wunderkindnsaid delightedly. “It’s a symbol of the woods, her nativenenvironment, but mainly it’s a link — it’s her link to Nature’snprimeval force!”nAfter I left the Wunderkinds’ apartment, I had to gondowntown. So it was quite late when I came home thatnevening. I got out of the elevator and noticed, near thenWunderkinds’ door, a figure in white. Sasha, in a long whitengown and something white wound on her head, stood by thendoor, holding in one hand a jar of water, and in the other anbrush. Babbling something, she would dip the brush into thenwater and draw circles and squares on the door. “Sasha!nHow’re you?” I said. But she didn’t answer, glanced at menwickedly and disappeared into the apartment. An odd bird,nreally, I thought. In olden times, they would have burnednher at the stake in a second. I was too tired to do more thannmake it to my bed and collapse into slumber.nThunder awakened me at 3:00 A.M. Somebody wasnpounding madly at my door. I rushed to open it. There, innthe doorway, stood Doctor Wunderkind. His beard wasnbloody. Dark bloodstains were on the bedsheet he wasnwrapped in.n”I was wrong,” he said hoarsely. “It was Yarila!”n”What?” I asked, gaping at him. “What Yarila?”n”That structure … it was not a link to Nature, it was anpagan idol, Yarila . . .” he gasped, “and she . . . wantedn… to sacrifice me to him . . . telephone, I need … annambulance, quick . . .”nI leapt to the phone and started dialing.n^^^L/^es, tighten it here,” Doctor Wunderkind said. HenX and I were standing in my bathroom, the bloodynsheet lying on the floor. I was trying to bind two long deepnslashes in his chest.n”Good thing she didn’t hit the jugular. Now, bring thenbandage under my arm, this way. Devil!” he winced.n”Lucky I woke up in hme.”n”Why a sacrifice?” I mumbled. I was half-awake andncouldn’t quite figure out what was going on.n”She said that. Pull it tighter . . . right . . . when Inknocked the razor away from her, she started begging me tonlet myself be sacrificed to this idol, Yarila . . . Devil, sonmuch blood,” he bit his lip.n”Where’s she now?”n”In shock.” He suddenly went pale and began slidingndown to my feet.nA few minutes later, a siren of a huge white ambulancenwailed in the courtyard below. Wunderkind regained consciousnessnbut was very weak from loss of blood and couldnnot walk. The orderlies put him on a stretcher. On anothernstretcher from the Wunderkinds’ apartment they carried outnSasha. She lay shll, like a stone, but her eyes were widenopen. The pair of stretchers was shoved into the ambulancenand, wailing and drowning everything around it in bluenlight, it tore out of the courtyard.nSasha was not prosecuted. Doctor Wunderkind, in ordernto save her, declared that he attempted suicide becausenof exhaustion and work pressure. They didn’t, however,nreturn to their apartment. They divorced. She went back tonthe North, to her village of Bityugovo. He moved to, thenSouth, to the small town of Chistopol.nI abandoned the novel and began writing a play. <^nnnBlood in Drancynby Gloria Glickstein BramenFirst, you must understand about Drancy:nyou must understand that Drancy is not a bad place:nits whitewashed houses are like the open eyes of children;nanthropomorphic blooms are cultivated near pitched red roofs.nA fundamentally comforting cleanliness and uniformity prevail.nAlthough Jews awaited Nazi deportation here —nbetrayed by collaborators, or, more often,nParisian concierges who preferred vacant rooms —nordinary prejudicesnare insignificant when times are good.nNo one holds Drancy responsible for a war.nNo one from Drancy testified at Nuremberg.nSo, when the deportation camps were eliminatedn(a funny word), the town resumed its real life.nDrancy was restored to propriety and uniformity,nbecause times were good again.nMy lover told me about the campnfrom the terrace of a house which covered the site.nI heard playground screams and went inside,nand lit gas to steam milk for coffee.nHe was suffering from the extractionnof an impacted wisdom tooth. Before going to bed,nhe rinsed his gums with iced water to numb the pain.nHe awoke with his mouth filled with blood.nThe linens were speckled with stains; my shoulders, his chestnsmeared red; the blanket suffused by animal smells.nThough he wept, the strangely agreeable heat of bloodnlulled me back to sleep.nIn the morning the bed was Nuremberg.nI was on trial. Again.nLater the doctor said he’d exacerbated thingsnhimself by flushing the scab off his gums.nOCTOBER 1989/19n