A line of militia formed behind Yurovsky as he spoke.

Eleven targets against one wall of the room, nine rifles

pointed from the other.  Yurovsky, being in charge, had claimed

the privilege of dispatching both the deposed tsar and his

son and heir.  In his right hand he carried a

Nagant M1895 double-action revolver, the standard-issue sidearm for the tsar’s

army; his left held the handwritten execution order.  “Your life

ends here,” he told the deposed tsar.  “What, what?”  Nicholas

asked.  “It’s all over!” Yurovsky screamed.  Yurovsky raised his revolver

and shot between the tsar’s eyes.  Nicholas Alexandrovich fell dead.


Paraphrases from the novel Enchantments by Kathryn Harrison.