The night was very quiet. The only sounds came from the cabin, where Yokoyama, Sawanni and the kids talked. I walked almost to the very door, when a sound stopped me in my tracks.
A growl. Then, unbelievably - painful yipping!
I peered into the bush in front of the cabin. I saw Midori hiding there, staring at the window. Her nose wrinkled horribly and she bared her fangs in a growl again. I must've gasped, because she looked at me with a painful expression and began to crawl towards me, yipping. I knocked on the window, before going to the wolf. Sawanni came out first, then Yokoyama. Midori sprung to her paws and nearly knocked him over, her teeth clicking in hatred inches away from his arm. Dular intercepted, grabbed her and rolled with her to the grass.
Midori seemed to cool down immediately and licked his face in apology, still making small painful noises, like she was fighting something inside of her.
The adults stood watching in confusion, while Amur and Dular petted Midori, trying to calm her down. The red streaks under her eyes stopped flashing, like they usually do in her aggressive moments. The crest lay back down on her spine, and she kept licking the boys, still throwing uneasy glances at Yokoyama.
When we came out in the morning, we saw that, the grass and trees along the road that yesterday brought Yokoyama's Jeep back to camp turned black, as if scorched. The wind from taiga carried with it acrid smell. It was not the smell of fire, but of hatred.
A man was walking to the farm. He avoided the blackened road and cut through the woods. He wore different clothes than the Evenks, but I would recognize a shaman anywhere.
He turned out to be a holy man from a local tribe. We greeted each other in a traditional fashion. I invited him to sit down at one of the tables in the yard. Amur and Dular brought some food and drink. We ate, made small talk, for a while not asking our guest the reason for his visit.
His eyes kept searching all of our faces. Finally, after the initial pleasantries were observed, he drew deeply on his pipe and said: "The wood is awake and its angry. I dreamed of this man here" - he pointed at Yokoyama - "The wood knows, he could be one of those, who can bring the same destruction here as what happened on the other side of Baikal. I dreamed of the great mushroom cloud engulfing all the life and carrying it away to the Other Side."
The shaman smoked some more in silence. We were too stunned and unsure, what to say, so we said nothing. He continued:
- "The heart of the wood is angry. I see no evil in your souls, even in this one" - another poke at the General - "but he needs to offer some assurances to the wood. A sacrifice, perhaps."