Just moments after the shots, as Serafima looks at the bodies of her schoolfriends, a feathery whiteness is already frosting their blasted flesh. It is like a coating of snow, but it's midsummer and she realizes it's pollen. Seeds of poplar are floating, bouncing and somersaulting through the air in random twirls, like millions of drunken ballerinas performing dances of sublime but unpredictable lightness. That humid evening, Serafima struggles to breathe, struggles to see.
- From One Night in Winter (The Moscow Trilogy) by Simon Sebag Montefiore