“Kolya! We need to get out of the street! Kolya!” The voice fell like a brush of warm air amidst the loud popping of guns on the sobbing Bukharin, holding the dying man in his arms. In the blink of an eye, Ivan was there, prying his friend away, pulling him back to the safety of the rough blockade of boxes and stones about 50 yards away.
They reached the blockade, and both collapsed on the ground. Ivan looked around distractedly at the remnants of the Red Guard that had returned. He reached for a young messenger.
“Go, tell Usievich that we need a redirect from as many forces as he can muster, we need them here as fast as he can get them.” As he spoke he realized how tight of a grip he had on the boy, he was turning pale from fear. He released his grip and the boy shot away like a bullet; Ivan knew at least part of it was from fear. He looked around. They were all afraid now. The Kremlin had fallen, just like Usievich had predicted, and then Ryabstev had turned his attention to breaking the siege. He had hit the bridge first, the stormy tirade of the organized men against the make-shift militia was terrifying, but the Red Guards had held their ground. It helped that they controlled the high ground and many shot from the protection of the buildings as the Provisional Government’s regiment advanced to the end of the bridge.
For hours the battle had reigned, bullets roamed the air as plentiful as raindrops in a spring storm. Many had fallen, but the Guards had held their ground. The regiment had retreated back into the haze and smoke, but for how long Ivan didn’t know. Kolya grasped his friend’s hand, trying to regain his breath. They waited hand in hand for what seemed like hours.
The sound of running feet brought them both back to their senses. The boy was coming back with a message for Ivan. He opened it gingerly.
“Well, what’s it say?” Kolya asked not knowing whether to be excited or despondent.
“It says Red Guards are on their way and will be here within an hour. Troops from Petrograd have just arrived in the city.” He let out a sigh.
“Do ya hear that Comrades? Our Red Guards from Petrograd are here to join the fight! We’re going to win boys!” Loud cheers and shouts reverberated eerily off the walls around them, reminding them the battle wasn’t over. It would take nearly two weeks for the Bolsheviks to take Moscow. But they were going to win. The October Revolution was a success.
© A River Runs Through It Photography