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Walking Outside the House

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A Russian girl of six years dashed down the hallways of her home, thunder and lightning crashing and illuminating the dark carpets and wall panels. Rain beat harshly against the windows as she ran, tears streaking down her face.

She stopped and waited for a second when she came to a wooden door at the end of the hall, her hand raised to knock upon it, but she hesitated. She wondered whether her mother would be upset with her if she crawled into her bed at this hour.

Another loud bang from outside. She flinched, deciding now would be a good time to go inside. She rapped her knuckles as loud as she could, crying out all the while.

"Mama? Can I come in?" She tried to keep from choking up.

Mere seconds later, the door was opened and a young woman was standing in the doorframe, looking down at the little girl. "Mae? Do you want something?"

"... Can... Can I sleep with you tonight, Mama?"

She sighed, a small smile on her face. "Are you afraid of the storm, my dear?"

She nodded, tears rolling down her cheeks. She sniffed and looked down, avoiding her mother's gaze as the woman picked her up gently and carried her into the room, closing the door behind herself. She set the child down on her bed, covered her up with the heavy blanket and sat down beside her.

"Would you like me to sing for you?" her mother's soft voice echoed through the cozy room.

"Mm-hmm..." Mae replied quietly.

The woman closed her eyes and tried to remember a certain song - one that her mother always sang to her on stormy nights. She gathered the lyrics and the tune, positioning herself on the bed so she could face her daughter, and she began to sing.

Mae had never heard this song before - it was a cryptically beautiful one, at the very least. The lyrics were almost upsetting, but the voice that her mother had adopted was beautiful, and offset Mae's fear by a little bit. She wasn't able to relax fairly well during and after the song because of the words... She thought that her mother was purposefully trying to scare her into sleeping.

Тили-тили-бом

Tili Tili Bom

Закрой глаза скорее,

Swiftly close your eyes

Кто-то ходит за окном,

Someone is walking outside the house

И стучится в двери.

And knocks upon the door.

Тили-тили-бом

Tili Tili Bom

Кричит ночная птица.

The night birds are singing.

Он уже пробрался в дом.

He is already inside the house

К тем, кому не спится.

Of those who can't sleep.

Он идет...

He walks...

Он уже...

He is coming...

близко...

Closer...

Тили-тили-бом

Tili Tili Bom

Ты слышишь, кто-то рядом?

Do you hear someone nearby?

Притаился за углом,

Lurking around the corner,

И пронзает взглядом.

Piercing with his gaze.

Тили-тили-бом

Tili Tili Bom

Все скроет ночь немая.

The silent night hides everything

За тобой крадется он,

He sneaks up behind you,

И вот-вот поймает.

And he is going to get you.

Он идет...

He walks...

Он уже...

He is coming...

близко...

Closer...

Тили-тили-бом.

Tili Tili Bom

Ты слышишь, кто-то рядом?

Do you hear someone nearby?

Притаился за углом,

Lurking around the corner,

И пронзает взглядом.

Piercing with his gaze.

The rain had subsided a little bit while her mother was singing. Mae looked out the window and wondered if her mother was telling the truth or not, but she didn't dare to ask. Could there really be someone lurking outside in this storm? ... No, of course not. It was just a lullaby, after all.

Mae felt shivers down her spine when she kept looking out the window. She swore she saw a shadow, and maybe even heard footsteps.

Mae watched as her mother took off her slippers and lifted the blanket to lay underneath it. "Goodnight, child. Sleep well."

"Goodnight, Mama."


Some time passed by after Mae saw the shadow. She hadn't heard anything for a while, so that was good. Her mother was snoring very quietly beside her, and she couldn't fall asleep because of the continuous rain.

Her eyes widened and she hid half of her face under the blanket at a sudden noise.

There was a knock at the door.

Her eyes welled with tears. She thought back to the strange song... no, it wasn't possible.

Mama...

Footsteps down the hallway.

Mama, wake up...

The sound stopped, right in front of the bedroom door.

Tell me it isn't real...

Still, there was silence. Mae didn't like it. She pulled the blanket up even higher until her entire body was covered and she lay huddled underneath.

The door opened.

It's only a lullaby.


Tili Tili Bom is an old Russian lullaby. The point of the haunting lyrics and melody was to scare the child into falling asleep so that the "man" wouldn't get them. Here is a video of the actual song.

Russian Lullaby - тили тили бом (with english translation)02:06

Russian Lullaby - тили тили бом (with english translation)

Tili Tili Bom.

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