(under the pen-name Nail Izmaylov)
65 900 words in Russian
First published under the title “Ubyr. No One Will Die” («Убыр. Никто не умрет»). Saint Peterburg, «Azbuka-Classica» Publishing, 2013, 4000 copies.
They returned home.
They were expected.
A terrible grief, Ubyr, happened to Nail and Dila. They had to run and hide from dangerous humans and deadly undead. They had to learn to be true to their word, their cause and their clan. They had to fight for themselves and for those they belonged to.
They believed that someday the pain would go, help would come and no one else would die.
Children are so gullible.
The victory is a hard one: nothing stops Alex’s father, unlike Nail’s, from trying to kill him. Nail loses self-control and nearly wipes out all of Alex’s family.
Later, in the airport he finds his relative Zulya who is pregnant and has just returned from her vacation in Egypt. Nail tells her that his parents caught a virus. Yet Zulya and her husband, both living in another city, cannot leave: her labor begins. Nail, who has managed, by now, to repay all the debts he incurred lately, collapses.
He regains his consciousness in a hospital and soon finds his parents not far away. Nail’s mom is back to her normal self, although she doesn’t remember the events of previous weeks. His father and grandfather can’t even speak. Nail discovers that his dad only lost the gift of his normally spoken Russian speech, but he can communicate in English which he knows poorly, and in Tatar and Old Turkic, which father and son suddenly have a perfect command of.
Talking to Nail helps his parents get better. Doctors find that the boy’s organism looks totally abnormal even under a severe stress, but cannot explain it.
Nail agrees to participate in an entertainment of girls in a hospital: they want to summon the Queen of Spades, a character of urban legends. The ritual is ruined by a nurse, who makes the girls leave the ward. A girl wearing a jumpsuit stays with Nail who’s never seen her before. The next morning, he cannot understand whether she was just a dream or not.
After a conflict with a nurse, Nail escapes for home to enjoy peace and calm and videogames. House spirits, mortally frightened by Ubyr, won’t leave the boy alone: he is tormented by scary sounds, apparitions and voices, calling out his name even in an American rock song. However, he feels he really doesn’t have to fear these spooks. At the same time he doesn’t realize that standard manifestations of adolescence (such as over-confidence and loss of self-control) overlayed on his extreme powers, making Nail a threat to himself and to others. He doesn’t pay much attention to a fact that his teammates in an online shooter game act strange and keep storming the same hospital which looks suspiciously real.
Next day at school, Nail fails to notice his classmates’ strange behavior. Upon noticing, he tries to convince himself they are just try to play an April’s fool joke on him. Too late, he realizes that his classmates and some of the teachers fell victim to Ubyr.
The school principal enchants the boy using ancient spells with water. She intends to use the boy as a club against disobedient students, never completely realizing dangers of Ubyr.
Believing that he has lost his virginity in the hospital, Nail is convinced he is Ubyrly now. He loses his will and independence and, upon the principal’s command, terrorizes students of senior classes as an act of intimidation. The principal cannot force Nail to attack Dila; he chooses to hurt himself instead.
This is when Ubyr which plots an attack on a maternity home shows his true face (according to myths, babies are Ubyr’s favorite prey and food).
Classmates turned Ubyrly knock the principal out and force details about the hospital and maternity ward out of limp Nail.
With a huge effort Nail, who realizes he is still a virgin, manages to shake off the charms and take on multiple Ubyrlys – watched and inadvertently blessed by his grandmother, who came to find her missing husband and relatives.
Nail displays miracles of bravery, harshness and kung-fu, complete with fencing using his oak spikes. He rescues Dila. In horror, he realizes that the principal and her assistant who conjured the spell upon him were ordinary women, not possessed Ubyrlys, who decided that goals justify the means.
In the hospital, Nail gather his classmates and friends from the boxing team, including Alex, who managed to recover after the cruel excorcism of Ubyr.
The boys, who believe Nail, supported by couple of adults, arm themselves and walk out of the hospital to face the army of Ubyrlys.
Epilogue. Several months later, Nails aunt Zulya, who never knew that her nephew and his friend saved her and her newborn son in a Kazan maternity clinic, with her husband watch a hockey game in Kazan live on TV. They get distracted and miss a moment when the broadcasting interrupts: players of the Kazan team pounce at their adversaries and try to maul then, and guys, headed by Nail, rush to them from the bleachers, reaching for their wooden spikes.
Out of the whole family, only the baby sees the mayhem, reaching for the TV screen and, way ahead of time he’s supposed to, trying to say his first word: ‘Uncle’.