Photographer: Andrey Ignatovsky, Guild Agency, @gildia_agency
Nina Rassen is not only a famous artist and founder of “Multidimensional Bionics” style as well as a clothing designer with her own brand RASSEN ART. Nina is also trying her hand at the literary genre. Here is a fragment of the book Chroniclers of an Alien Princess, or the Heiress of the Rassen family (in abridgment), which contains a description of Nina’s meeting with Michel, the main protagonist of her painting “Couple of the World,” which answers the question why the “couple of the world” is represented with wings.
Anin stepped outside. It was very dark, well past midnight. Something Red was dragging behind her, coming off her shoulders, and at first glance, you’d think it was a cloak. When Moonlight and the light of a small number of lanterns hit it, one could see that it was made up of many colored feathers, as if woven together into a single fabric.
Her back ached terribly, and it felt like this cloak had grown attached to her back. As she walked over to the puddle and looked at her reflection, she realized with horror that the same small, red-shimmering feathers were forming an intricately composed pattern on her body, reminiscent of some very intricate designer outfit. Also long and insanely heavy was this cloak.
“How would I get it off,” Anin thought to herself. She reached her hands back, trying to find the clasps and somehow unbuckle the clinging burden. And then she realized with horror that it was not a cloak at all, but a part of herself-it was wings.
— What a nightmare! — She said almost in a full voice, and her voice trembled as if she were about to burst into tears. She looked up at the sky and screamed almost in full voice.
— Not only am I a princess, not only am I a reanimated mummy, but what is this! Who am I or what am I?! What are these feathers, what am I, an angel and not a demon! And how do I get them off?!
— in the neighboring house, they’re starting to get lit up the windows. She had woken someone up with her screams. Anin wandered as far into the city as her heavy burden would allow, trying to speed up as much as her “new suit” would allow.
The city was unfamiliar to her. It was a small provincial city of post-Soviet space, of which there were quite a few scattered across the territory of the former Soviet Union. But where it was, she couldn’t understand, because there were no street names, no signs, as if everything around her resembled one big landscape. She walked, walked, walked and made her way to the forest. After walking a short distance, deep in the forest, she saw the edge of the forest, and sitting on it was a man wearing a rather strange hat for our time, reminiscent of a wizard’s cap. When the man saw her, he jumped up, took off his hat, and made a curtsy a little lower than he should have, even closer to a curtsy.
— Greetings, Princess, — he said in a trembling voice, — you’re right on schedule. Anin didn’t understand anything. She was rather annoyed, but she realized she’d better not get angry or it would rain again. And that thing that was pulling behind her, if she got wet, it would kill her. She smiled back at him with the last of her strength, knowing how to squeeze out a fake smile, and held out her hand, gesturing for him to come over:
— Come to me, Linraem, I recognize you. And I’m glad to see you, but I don’t quite understand how you got here ? Maybe you can tell me where we are and what’s going on?
— Yes, yes, of course, tonight is the night of the Phoenix-Firebird merger.
“What nonsense,” Anin thought to herself, — “what are the tales of the Vienna Forest.
The character Linreem was a man (well, at least that’s how Anine identified him) of medium height, wearing a rather expensive gray woolen suit, a bit like a German or Austrian military uniform, and a cap. (“What’s a cap got to do with it?”)…
These were all questions swarming in Anine’s mind. Linraem moved closer to her and spoke aloud: “Not a delusion at all, and not of Vienna, but of the Romanian Forest.”
Anin realized with horror that this character had read all her thoughts with ease. Linraem saw her confusion and motioned for her to sit down on something resembling, obscurely, either a stump or a rock, well, let’s say a protruding, almost circular platform. If she didn’t know better than she did, she would have thought it was for a helicopter or a flying saucer.
— Don’t be frightened, Princess. Are you thirsty, hungry? How was your flight? – Did you make it?
Anin looked at him in bewilderment.
– Yes, you opened your wings for the first time. We were all worried about how the flight would go and whether you’d make it on time. Linraeem handed her a cup of tea, which he carefully poured from a thermos.
— Did you read “The Firebird” as a child?
— Well, let’s say, — replied Anin, although vaguely remembered this particular fairy tale. There Ivan the Fool traveled somewhere there, looking for a feather. Well, in general, to be honest, not my favorite fairy tale.
— So you, Princess, are the firebird.
— Sooooo, — Anin’s eyebrows rose with indignation and her wings folded, as if they were in a fighting stance.
— And from here, more details! Not only were they moved into an incomprehensible body, not only could they not meet us without incident, but they decided to dress us up as a firebird! Have you all lost your minds????
Linraem expected such a reaction and calmly said:
— Don’t be nervous, Princess. Drink your tea, you will need your strength, it will be a long night. And we didn’t fall from the oak tree, because it wouldn’t have worked. You’re sitting on the stump of that very oak tree.
Anin felt with her hands the place on which she was sitting, and it was indeed not a stone, it was a giant stump. She finished her tea, climbed entirely onto this stump and started walking in circles around it. The diameter of the “oak” was quite large — it was like it took up the whole clearing, and a large helicopter, or even two or three, would have landed safely on it. She looked at Lanraem.
As if he’d read her mute question, «We don’t know for sure, but according to urban legends, it was Vlad Tsepesh. In revenge for you not choosing him in that incarnation and decided to kill yourself, but the Turks poisoned you before that, so it wasn’t suicide again. And Vlad decided to burn the bridge so you couldn’t escape. Well, that’s the short version. And then the blood cult began, all sorts of legends about vampires and other fables, well, and understandably, «drink the blood, eat the body».
There’s not much left of the oak tree after the fire. Only the roots were then carefully sawed by the druids and scattered in their places in different parts of the world. Many early works of art have frames made from it. Many artists also added ash powder to paint, so people were drawn to these paintings unconsciously. For a long time no one was allowed here.
Only after the collapse of the USSR this place was forgotten,and we began preparations for your arrival.
Anin tried to put the puzzle together, but it wouldn’t fit. She reached the heart of the oak tree, and then her whole body, both above and below, was pierced by strong discharges – as if there had been a short circuit, and lightning had struck both below and above. Feathers and hair stood up. And she collapsed. She woke up after a while, sitting on a chair that looked like a throne.
She had a staff in her hand, and her head was full of noise and voices. On her left hand stood Linraeem and held a pillow with some sort of crystal on it. He leaned over and whispered in her ear: “It’s time, Princess, summon them.” Anin thought that if it wasn’t her and it wasn’t here, and this all hadn’t happened to her before, she thought she’d found herself in a theater or on some movie set, some interestingly mythical film. But it was all really happening.
Wrapping herself like a cloak in her wings, she stood up, took her staff, banged it on the set (i.e.the oak tree) and said loudly and menacingly in a metallic voice that was not her own:
-I am the fiery King-bird, I am the princess of Ukok Ra-Okulo de Ra-Ochy Bala-Ochyra-Mandi-Ochy-Ochy Bala-Ochi Ra-OkoRa Rassen Ra N Ra Rassen, princess of Ukok, by birthright heiress of the Rassen family, daughter of the one god SolaRa and the creator of RA Omnipresent and Omnipotent, in the name of my father I drive all entities away. I call upon my retinue. All those who are loyal to me, come! I also call the hidden wizards and magicians to awaken. Come to me now!
Half-asleep people of completely different ages and dressed up, as well as teenage children, began to crawl into the clearing – they were carrying twigs in their hands, resembling kindling firewood.
Lanraeem gestured that the children should be sent away. The twigs began to be spread out around the perimeter at a safe insistence from the platform stump. People came and went, bowed, showed the branches and took two steps back, placing them on the ground. Anin went into the Alpha state, and her eyes seemed to stop listening to her again, but she felt and saw everything as if at the same time.
Lanraem walked over, took her hand and said: “You’ll have to go down to them and hook each one up personally, or the Phoenix won’t get through.” Anin was already well aware of what it was to hook up, she had done it many times on the funnels in Moscow with those who were ready, and her power and skill had already grown that she had learned to touch and hook them up “by” without even touching the body. She reached down and, lightly touching the first Mage’s solar plexus with her finger, began her task, connecting one by one. In the meantime, the platform — an oak tree stump — had been draped with red silk cloth, and an incomprehensible pile of pillows and a huge down, truly royal blanket had been brought in from somewhere.
Anin walked on, slowly and gently touching each new arrival. People some caught the pendulum at first, and others who had blocks began to cough. She had seen this many times before, so she wasn’t surprised by anything. Lanriyeem asked: “Princess, did you choose a body to boot Phoenix?”, though he knew the answer to that question and might not have asked it. He knew that she had chosen and visualized the body back in 2011, and had had dense physical contact with that very body for the past 7 years.
Her precious Bear, as she still called the man of her dreams, was sleeping without hind legs in his apartment in the Moscow suburbs. He’d had that happen when he was dreaming in his sleep, too. So when four wizards with a blanket and in strange costumes appeared in his room, he thought he was obviously dreaming.
They said something about filming, and the unsuspecting naive Bear continued to further observe his strange dream. The wizards carefully moved him onto the bedspread with all his sleeping paraphernalia and flew out the window. The bear periodically woke up and rubbed his eyes in surprise, looked down and thought what a strange dream he was having. After a while they went down to the teleport at the fountain, opened the secret door and came out through the transformer box not far from the clearing where Anin had recently connected them.
Fires were blazing around the stump-plot at a safe distance. The sleepy, naked Bear began to wrap himself in his blanket. Anin noticed him being carried closer to her. She smiled — if anyone knew how much it mortified her to look at him as he slept. Anin, with Lanraem’s help, climbed up onto the platform. Her feet were barefoot, and she felt the soft flowing fabric beneath them – it was silk.
She reached the middle of the stump and climbed under the blanket. There, too, she carefully reloaded the sleeping Bear. She hated to wake him, but time was running out, and soft music was playing around her that sounded like a mixture of drums and heartbeats. Bear woke up, saw her and was very surprised.
He started looking around. Anin looked very strange — she was wearing this strange outfit, as if the feathers were part of her body. Anin looked gently at him and said: “Sleep, little bear. Remember I said we would surely see each other in dreams. See what an interesting dream it is. And look how cool my outfit is.”
Bear still realized it was a dream, since it couldn’t be real — it was too much like some fairy tale fantasy movie. He pulled her closer and said: “So, ready, space princess? Now I’m going to send you into space!”
Anin wrapped her arms around him near his shoulder blades and felt the sprouting wings. He rose above her and spread its unreal-sized wings with some sort of gold and purple cast. The area around it was already glowing, and the light went out as if it were one big unified column into space. The drums beat louder, and the people around them began to applaud. Anin stood up and shamefully wrapped herself in her blanket, though her wings covered her almost entirely. The bear rejoiced at such an interesting dream. And Anin hugged him tightly and said: “You are well done, my general, a real Phoenix the clear falcon, my Sun.” The bear understood nothing of what she said, but he realized that he was good and she was satisfied, and that was the most important thing.
— Well? — Anin took the Phoenix Bear’s hand in hers and jumped up and spread her red, shimmering fire wings. Shall we fly? Let’s race to Moscow? He accepted the challenge and soared too. He was already wearing a purple suit, made of fine, fine feathers, like velvet. He felt it carefully. He liked the feel of it, too — he was a lover of tactile sensations.
— How do I look? — he asked Anin.
— Like my God! — she laughed.
— What’s that like?
— Like a real super-hero! But you can take a look, there’s a pond near the castle. They flew over the castle somewhere over the expanses of Belarus.
— Ooooh, — rejoiced the Bear, descending lower on the terrain. — That’s our castle! Nesvizh castle!
Remember, you drew it and I photographed it for you! Oh no! That’s definitely it. Come on, I’ll show you around. “I’d show you everything here myself, when will you remember me?” she thought to herself.
— Come on, dear, this is your domain, I’ve never been here (in this incarnation), — she added a little quieter.
— Just promise me it won’t take long. We have to fly 814.8 kilometers to Moscow. And we’ve already passed the teleports. I want to get there before dawn. I hope you don’t forget where Button-Dot is. And don’t press it in the air.
To be continued