We sat and drank what we enjoy: Madeira, Starka, Zverobóy, Then on a sudden to the pit we’re called and fast. There’s one Stakhánovite - Gagánovite Zagládovite - and God knows why, but he alone is missing in a mine collapse! He is a former NCO, a mark we should be reaching for, he’s like a pioneer - prepared, nonetheless! Straight from the ship, producing coal, he helped his country meet its goal, although today, it seems, he made a massive mess. Down in the pit, a onetime con, who’s bold and reckless to the bone, suggests: "This trouble - we cannot elude. We dig him up and he once more will start fulfilling his three norms, will start producing tons of coal - and we are screwed! So, brothers, dial back your ardor, Let’s not commit to trying harder, since One for All, and All for One still works!" He served in Tallinn during Stalin, now down below alone he’s lying, we pity him - we truly do, as folks.
© Kirill Tolmachev. Translation, 2023