Aleksandr Voinov, Riptide Publishing, Small Gems

Small Gems – Skybound by Aleksandr Voinov

“You’re alive. If you want I can fly.” – William Goldman

In the midst of conflict and the horrors of war, there is quiet. There is a certain hush, a sense of peace and silence that can be found not in the arms of battle but in the arms of someone who holds the answers to the questions written in the longing for connection.

This is what Aleksandr Voinov has done in Skybound. He has created an image with words that is bleak but at the same time filled with hope among the fear of death. It is a picture painted of victory in the certainty of defeat, where a kiss can give you the wings to fly and surrendering doesn’t mean losing but gaining the promise of a future that might otherwise have been lost.

The year is 1945 and the Second World War is gasping its final breaths. It is a place and time when Felix and Baldur discover there is something more worth fighting and living for than their country’s directives. Skybound was an entirely new experience for me. I’ve read stories from the American side of the war, from the British, but this is the first time I’ve read a story set on the German side, which illustrated to me how easy it is to forget that in battle, regardless of what side a man is on, the casualties are still altogether human ones.

Skybound is an example of the perfect short story: spare because that was the mood and tone of the time in which it takes place, sedate yet filled with a sense of urgency that translates into a raw and undeniable longing to be somewhere, anywhere, as long as it’s on the winning side of life.

I’ve read a lot of Aleksandr Voinov’s work and I have to say that this story is at the top of my very tall heap of favorites.

Buy Skybound HERE.


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