[I wonder if this subject is of any interest to this community because it relies on the somewhat forgotten historical facts about the evil dictatorships of the last century including the USSR. For people living all or most of their lives in the 21st century it is hard to relate to this distant past. In general, how creepy do you think can good stories related to those dark times in the past be? As far as Russian history goes, I see people here are interested in the mysteries about/around Rasputin and the experiments conducted in the USSR during the WWII era. As far as I know, if we can find real protocols of Mayranovsky's experiments on live humans, this reading would be just as creepy/scary as anything on this board if not much creepier.]
An aged man was sitting on a bench at the end of one of the platforms in a busy Moscow railway station. He has been coming to this station almost every day for the last three years and sitting down on a bench inside the concourse if the weather was bad and on a platform bench by the tracks during a better weather. He was normally dressed in a very old-fashioned suit from some 50 years ago and always had an old black suitcase with him.
After sitting down, he would normally open the suitcase, take an old yellow Communist Party newspaper printed in 1970s or 1980s out, spread it out on the bench next to him, and put little white busts of Lenin in the corners of the newspaper to prevent the wind from blowing it away. Then he would take a piece of brown bread with ham or sausage and a pickle along with an old Chinese thermos with a hammer and sickle symbol painted on it out of his suitcase and place these objects on the newspaper. After having his quick meal and drinking out of his thermos, he would wrap up the paper and put it together with the thermos back into the suitcase, pull an old book out, and start reading it. The books he read at the station were protocols of the USSR Communist Party Congresses and works of the leading communist philosophers of the past, like Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin. Sometimes the man would bring an ancient notepad with Lenin's silhouette on the first page with him, open it, and sit still as if pondering what he should write there, then, after writing a few words, he would put it away and replace it with an old communist book from his suitcase and get engrossed in reading it.
At first, the man was not very noticeable in the hustle and bustle of the big modern-day railway station in the enormous capital of Russia. But soon a security guard working at the station was spooked by the everyday presence of this strange man at a place where one is expected to see new faces every day as the station visitors normally travel long distances and do not come back to the station too soon after their departures. The guard accosted the man with a question on what he was doing every day at the station. The man answered with a completely straight face that he was waiting for a train to the USSR. Surprised, the guard called somebody on the radio and then told the man: "Hey, don't you know that the USSR does not exist anymore? There have been no trains going there for a very long while." The man objected: "I know, but I am hoping that maybe all of a sudden they launch an additional train to the USSR, just one train will be enough, and, who knows, maybe I will catch the train and my luck." The guard smirked and called his supervisor on the radio again. The supervisor, in turn, talked to the station master and they decided not to harass the man. He was polite and clean, he did not look like a homeless vagabond, did not try to spend nights at the station, and did not beg for money. It was not illegal to eat on the benches as the station's fast food places did not have enough capacity to sit all the people who wanted to indulge themselves with some meals before their trips, and waiting for a train was what the concourse and platforms were built for.
Little by little, the Man Waiting for a Train to the USSR has gained some popularity. A couple of Russian vloggers posting their videos on youtube.com interviewed him. Even a local TV channel once devoted him a minute of its "City Life" airtime. Street peddlers also tried to sell the strange man some of their stuff. After finding out what he was doing at the station, one of them tried to sell the man sugar, butter, cigarette, and vodka coupons printed in the USSR to ration these goods. The man blankly rejected the offer saying that, in the USSR, all these coupons were free of charge to the working class. He did not buy anything from the other peddlers either. And after that, even this limited interest in the USSR weirdo started waning as the man was not coming up with any new tricks and was stubbornly following his original "waiting for a USSR-bound train" routine every day.
It was a warm late spring day in the city. The man finished his sandwich and emptied the contents of the thermos into his stomach. That day, he brought with him some vodka blended with tea in the thermos and the inebriation resulting from drinking this potion made him sleepy. He dozed off and started dreaming about his past in the USSR. He was a happy young man again. He again met his first love and together they went to celebrate the International Workers' Unity Day on the Red Square in Moscow. They carried red flags and communist motto posters in front of Brezhnev, Gromyko, Sooslov, Kosygin, Ustinov, Chernenko, Andropov and other leaders of the USSR who were standing on Lenin's Mausoleum Tribune and watching the passing-by jubilant crowds with smiling faces. After that, he was dreaming about himself and his new girlfriend continuing the celebration in the stairwell of his apartment building by drinking the 777 fortified wine out of the bottle neck and eating very tasty smoked sausages that one could not buy in a store. The sausages were distributed to factory workers by the government as a holiday gift one per person and he was able to sneak out of his factory with an extra sausage...
A loud whistle and a screeching sound of a stopping train ended the man's slumber. He opened his eyes and saw two soldiers with a giant German Shepherd on a leash in front of him. It looked like they just exited the train that woke the man up and wanted to talk to him. The big station had many platforms and tracks. The train was stopped right at the platform where the man took his nap and it was a sequence of identical old short wooden covered boxcars pulled by a black and green locomotive with a steaming chimney and a big red star painted on the front. The uniform that the soldiers with the big dog were wearing and their submachine guns with round magazines on their shoulders looked like they were from a museum with old Soviet artifacts. Very remarkable items of the soldiers' uniform were their blue hats with red hoops around the heads. A red pentagram-shaped badge combined with a hammer and a sickle inside the star was attached to the hoop of the hat directly above a black shiny visor. The man recognized these hats as belonging to the old-time Soviet secret police called NKVD that conducted the "Great Purge" in 1930s and 1940s when many millions were arrested and sent to serve long sentences in labor camps in remote places or even executed without any proper court procedures and legal defense on suspicions of not being loyal to the communist government. Many people disappeared for good just because their relatives or neighbors wanted them gone and took advantage of the situation by reporting on them. In the following years, the NKVD was merged with the foreign intelligence to form the mighty MGB/KGB.
"They must be shooting a historical movie here," - thought the man. Intrigued and sobered up, he stared at the soldiers. One of them stepped forward and asked nicely, but with a power in his voice: "Can you tell me, please, if you are a USSR citizen?". The man decided to play his usual waiting for a USSR-bound train game and answered: "Yes, I am." "Then, can you, please, show me your ID?" - spelled the soldier firmly. The man fumbled for a bit in his suitcase while still gazing at the soldier and pulled out his very old expired passport issued in the last years of the USSR. The soldier took the passport, examined it for about half a minute then looked at the man's face as if comparing it to the passport photo and, while still holding the passport, asked the man with the same sternness as before: "Do you happen to have any other documents and belongings with you? Can you give them to me for inspection, please?" Without hesitation, the man handed the soldier his suitcase, the book that he was about to read at the station, and the notepad with Lenin on it. "Yes. With this book, I am educating myself in Communism exactly as the Great Lenin bequeathed. And in this notepad, I have been making a list of enemies of the Soviet people and the USSR all these thirty years since it fell apart." The soldier took the book and the notepad from the man, put them in the suitcase together with the passport, thermos, Lenin busts, and the newspaper and pronounced even more sternly and still politely at the same time: "Good. Now, Comrade ..." - and he spelled the man's name as it was written in his passport - "... I have to ask you to, please, follow me to the train." His huge dog, that was sitting on the platform, stood up on all four paws ready to walk as if he understood exactly what the soldier had just said.
The man thought for a second and realized that he had no other choice, but to obey. He stood up from the bench and followed the soldier holding his belongings to the train car closest to them. With his strong hand, the soldier unlocked and slid the heavy square door, located on the side of the boxcar, sideways to the open position. The man was surprised to see that inside the car there were no benches, just the floor with hay on it and a few skinny men sitting in the hay. They were covering their emaciated faces covered with stubble to protect their eyes from the bright light that suddenly for them came through the square doorway into the car. The car had only two windows; they were small horizontally-stretched rectangles located close to the roof on both sides of the sliding door. The windows were partially covered with thick metal bars attached to the wall outside of the car making it impossible for a human to escape from inside. The inside wall of the car across from the door was entirely occupied by a huge poster showing Lenin and Stalin with the motto: "In the USSR, hard labor is a matter of honor, matter of glory, matter of valor and heroism." A strong smell of human excrements emanating from the car hit the man in the nose.
The man stopped on the platform in front of the door and froze in horror. Suddenly, he felt something poke his back. He turned around and saw the partner of the secret police soldier he just talked to at a very close distance behind with a drawn submachine gun. He also saw the German Shepherd on the platform baring his teeth and preparing to jump on him. Shaking and stuttering the man squeezed a question out of himself: "W-w-where a-a-re you t-t-taking me to?" The soldier, while still pointing his gun at the man, roared: "Get in! We are taking you to your happy dreamland, to the USSR!"
Should I include this one or let the readers figure what kind of "soldiers" the man met on the train station platform?
"The man recognized these hats as belonging to the old-time Soviet secret police called NKVD that conducted the "Great Purge" in 1930s and 1940s when many millions were arrested and sent to serve long sentences in labor camps in remote places or even executed without any proper court procedures and legal defense on suspicions of not being loyal to the communist government. Many people disappeared for good just because their relatives or neighbors wanted them gone and took advantage of the situation by reporting on them. In the following years, the NKVD was merged with the foreign intelligence to form the mighty MGB/KGB."
Read this on the main site, yesterday and I liked it very much. Sounds a lot like what the real thing could've been, in terms of the cruel soldiers and the whole sarcastic cynicism coming from them. I don't know if the old bloke was over zealous with his fascination over the old regime but you know, there are weirder delusions out there than longing and hoping for the USSR to come back.