The Death of Young Tesla

The Death of Young Tesla

The defining event of young Nikola’s childhood was the day he witnessed the death of his older brother Dane in a riding accident. In the years following the tragedy, Tesla (the son and grandson of Serbian Orthodox priests) began seeing visions of the air around him “filled with tongues of living flame.” True story!

Voiced by: Gareth Mcneill

Словарь Ножницы Перевод Значение Замена

Dying, brave Nikola tried to speak to his father, who was bent beside his weak son's bed.
“Father, I don't want to die.”
    “Then don't,” Milutin pleaded.  “Your mother could not bear it, she…we could not bear to lose you.”    
    Nikola cleared his throat to whisper. “Father?”
    Milutin leaned closer, afraid for his son.  “Speak to me.”  He took Nikola's hand in his own and faked a smile.  
“Is it time to make my confession?”
His father was surprised, but Nikola was wise; he knew the confession must be done.  Father must make the preparations for his boy's soul.  
“Will you do so now, my son?”
    “Not yet.  I could have gotten well –” Nikola stopped, overtaken by a coughing spell.  Milutin called for his strong but grief-stricken wife, for this was surely the terrible end.  But Nikola held him back.  “I still could get well if you let me study.”
    Milutin sighed sadly.  “Always this need to study.  I am proud of your achievements, but…if only you would have turned that passion to religious faith!  All this study of earthly subjects nearly killed you before.  Now you tell me only study can save you?  Enough.  Only the Lord God can save you from death.”  
“And He has chosen not to,” Nikola stated in anger.  “My sin is that I want to be great!  I ask you both, let me become an engineer, to help others.  It is the only way I can survive…”
Vain child,” Milutin said without humor, “you would bargain with the Lord?  Very well, Niko.  For my part, I accept, but it is out of my hands.”
“Then I shall await the Lord's answer…”  Nikola slipped away into a stupor…  
“Niko, come back!  I say, you may be an engineer if you wish!  In fact, I command it!  You will be an engineer, do you hear?” Milutin put his powerful hands on his son's skinny shoulders, shaking them.  
Nikola felt the firm hands, the hands of an graceful angel clasping him, taking him away, lifting him up…
“No!!  Do you hear me, Nikola Tesla?  You will go to the best school in the world!  You will be a great engineer…”
With a bird's eye view, he saw Father holding him, saw his crying mother burst into the room, fearful tears streaming from her eyes.  He observed Father going insane with grief.   
“Come back!” Mother shouted.  “You'll be an engineer – the greatest history has ever known!”  Hearing this final declaration from his wife, Milutin burst into a fit of tears himself, his dead boy limp in his impotent arms.
Nikola moved around in the shadows, weightless, watching the beautiful swirls of blue around a dark black hole which pulled at him, stretched him toward it.  It was the right place to go; it was not the end.  But slowly he turned his head back to view his kind and loving parents and to hear their pitiful weeping.  
His eyelids were heavy as coffin lids.  He opened them to look into the face of his desperate father.  
“Agreed,” Nikola said proudly, accepting the terms, accepting the challenge, before drifting into a dreamless sleep.  
“By the grace of God!” Djouka exclaimed, her fist held close to her mouth.  
When he awoke, his illness had vanished like a frightened ghost.