“Men fell for her, flocking like corpulent moths to her wicked glow and silent call…” – A SIMPLE SOUL
“The desire for fire and passion quickly returned, but they proved elusive despite her cheerful disposition and energetic search. As a result, Elizaveta’s personal life was reduced to compromise and a quest to satisfy her lust. This held its own brand of passion: risky and shameless, with a sharp, musky aftertaste. Her outward detachment would give way to a surge of stormy intensity; she seemed to break free of her cage, growing unrestrained and insatiable. It had little to do with crude sensuality; the nature of these whirlwinds that tossed her about was much deeper and subtler. Elizaveta had no name for it, but with a bit of work, she could convince herself it was the energy of love.
Time passed, and nothing changed. One by one, her girlfriends started families of their own. Elizaveta held no grudge: she knew a different fate awaited her, and it should not be rushed.
Men fell for her, flocking like corpulent moths to her wicked glow and silent call. Eventually, however, she grew up and became stingier with her charms. She was tired of variety; the ranks of her admirers thinned out, and only a lucky few were granted permanent status. And yet she couldn’t develop respect even for them. The hollow vacuum they personified didn’t resonate on any frequency, made no echo on any wavelength, yielded no light or word. At first, she resented them, but eventually they became merely amusing. She accepted it as fact that in her country, the stronger sex was much worse than the weaker. This knowledge helped her reconcile with reality, providing a common ground for isolated episodes.
Having an answer made life easier: she watched with a smile, even a sort of maternal concern, as her lovers moved about the room, gestured, squared their shoulders, and threw furtive glances at the mirror; as they tried to put on airs and take up more space; as they ate, drank and smoked, simulated thoughtfulness, and studiously knitted their brows, only to dive with relief back into familiar patterns, from house chores to sex to driving. She knew the real value of their lies and insinuations, their vague promises and frequent whining. She knew how easy it was to confuse them, to knock them right off their feet, to flatter them into giving her what she wanted, to get them to talk or to fall silent with doubt. She held power over them, yet she didn’t much like this power. Control over events offered convenience, but when things didn’t work out, she took it lightly, refusing to get sucked into an argument and feeling no regret…” – A SIMPLE SOUL
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His crafty plan results in a deadly threat. Her hopes keep her locked in a vicious circle. They parted ways, supposedly forever. But will they be able to live apart?
Winner of the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for Fiction
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