East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Pandora in Krasnojarsk


For my next story, that will be part of the Seven Lives Project, I have put together a handful of pieces, like cards in a solitaire, or pieces of a puzzle. I will start writing the story tomorrow, and work on it for the whole week, and once it’s ready (hoping it’s ready in a week) I will translate it in Italian, and post it to my patrons.
This, at least, is a plan.

But right now, these are all the pieces I have…

Krasnojarsk at the end of the 19th century
  • I have a place, called Krasnojarsk, somewhere in Siberia, just north of the Mongolian border. It’s the winter of 1918, and the city is the base of the Battaglione Savoia, a highly irregular unit of the Italian army.
  • I have a bit of obscure history, that’s the Battaglione Savoia, a bunch of Italian war prisoners from the Eastern front of the Great War, under the command of a man passing himself for an Italian officer, actually an Italian businessman that had the men uniforms tailored at his expenses, and got part of his equipment through black market resources.
  • I have a bit of hearsay, namely that with the men of the Battaglione Savoia in Krasnojarsk served also two young women, as nurses, and that one of them was Russian, and a member of the aristocracy.
  • I have a snippet of a song
    Pandora takes the time
    To tell you stories of her past
    That everybody knows just can’t be true
  • And therefore I have a name, that is Pandora Marcinkowska, a young Polish woman, the daughter of two circus entertainers, currently serving as a nurse in Krasnojarsk. She once dreamed of being an adventuress, like Lola Montez, and this is her shot at it…
  • And talking of shots, I have this very clear image, of a young woman with blond hair, wrapped in a great coat at least three sizes too large for her. She’s standing in the snow, and the cold turns her breath in a pale cloud. She’s holding a small cat tucked in her coat, and has a Mauser pistol in her right hand. She’s keeping off a band of men. One of them is down. He’s cursing and holding his leg. His blood is red on the white of the snow.

These are the cards that I have been dealt, and this will be the game I will have to play. And I’m really looking forward to it, because meeting Pandora will be like meeting an old friend for the very first time.

And I may as well let you hear the song in its entirety…

A perfect theme song for my new main character.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

4 thoughts on “Pandora in Krasnojarsk

  1. Compatangelo!!! I’m a happy man. 🙂


  2. It seems a good stert, I’m sure you’re going well


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