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Pavel Nikolaevich Balashenko

A Man Without a Country in A SCENT OF MYSTERY

I am not quite the same now as the scrappy man who made up part of a platoon bent on destroying both sides fighting in the war between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia only a month ago. There must be a heaven, there must be things worth fighting for rather than fighting against. One reason not to be so pessimistic is that I have found the little brother I thought I'd lost forever in Sebastopol in 1919.

Lyolya and I are delighted to have found each other after so many years. You know him as the plucky young man in the Paddington cell of the Resistance, who is now a tutor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. That's right, that Alexei. Not the handsome, mysterious 'Tsarevich' that so recently appeared in London! Oh. Since you're in the Resistance, too, I can let you know -- he 'was' that Tsarevich.... the blest little fool! Now I worry about him as he resumes his normal life in this city, working, seeing his girl, going to church, and otherwise giving his all to the cause. Alexei also worries about me, not knowing that much English right now. I need to find a job and earn my keep. Refugee status is a mixed blessing without a paycheck. There is hope.... I've met a pretty Jewish girl, named Esther, who could teach me English. Maybe things could go on from there.....? My charming little brother is not the only knight in shining armour in the Balashenko family!

In SHORT CUTS

Pleased to add to this anthology. Mr. Braeden, what is my next assignment? Will do. Otherwise, I love to talk about childhood and the way things used to be. My pen name sounds Russian, does it not? I admit I love Dostoevsky and Chekhov, Turgenev and Leskov... and thought up that name over vodka and Radiohead. This IS a creative writing internship, you know....

My Novels:

A Scent of Mystery

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Bella Donna
Olga Oldenburg
Solitaire

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My Pandas:

Panda
Best Wedding Toast.
May 2008


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