Title: NIGHT WITCH
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Word count: 113,000
September 1940. Nadya bumps toes with tall, blue-eyed Nikolai on the Moscow metro, and that’s the end of simplicity as she knows it.
Up to now she’s just floated along on the Communist current: she married a Communist Party functionary who is moving up the ranks, she works hard in her courses in flight navigation, and her own happiness is pushed aside in servitude to the Motherland. But after her feet meet Nikolai’s on that train, a window is opened onto a life where service and happiness may coexist. When her alcoholic husband finds out about their affair and cuts her off from her classes and Nikolai, she wishes he would go back to ignoring her.
Despondent Nadya struggles with life as a shelved wife to a man who torments her. Meanwhile, her stunned nation quivers before the thunderous roar of the Nazi war machine. Nikolai is conscripted to the front, Comrade Mr Too Important Peter evacuates to safety…and Nadya flies up in the air. After training as a navigator with the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, the long-suffering Party wife gets shot at by Me-109s while she drops bombs on enemy ammunition stores. Four long years later, she scratches her name into the Reichstag wall in victory. Going home, Nadya, the heroic and bemedalled “Night Witch”, has decided she will never return to the old tyranny of life with Peter. Her husband, though, has revenge and blackmail on his agenda.
After he arranges the arrests and executions of Nikolai’s parents, Nadya and Nikolai are on the run. Soon it is not Peter they are running from, but the law, the very idea of Communist Socialism. They must leave everyone they love behind for the great unknown of Freedom, just over the heavily guarded border. That is, if they make it there.
Thank you for your time and attention, and I look forward to hearing from you.
The tall man with the shock of sandy hair apologized for stepping on my foot, when it really hadn’t been more than a bumping of toes. I smiled and assured him it was all right, and took a seat on the metro across from his. It had been a very good day. At flight navigation training school, I’d done very well on an exam, earning an unsmiling but appreciative nod from the hard-faced instructor. There was a war on in the West. Comrade Stalin had made a pact with Hitler, and that war wouldn’t come to our door, but Osoaviachim, the flight training school, had recently begun accepting women. What a remedy it was to my situation: twenty-three years old, wife to a man fourteen years my senior who didn’t love me, hadn’t bothered to consummate our marriage, and ignored me for the most part.
These good days, full of feelings of accomplishment and progress, were typical since I was accepted to Osoaviachim. So it happened that I still had a little grin on my face when I caught the eye of the sandy-haired man again. It was when he returned my smile that I noticed his eyes. Bright, gemlike blue, with corners that crinkled upward as he smiled at me. My own smile broadened. Something in my chest tightened, and I was suddenly aware of my heart beating. I held his gaze for a moment before looking away and trying not to fidget my fingers.