Russia – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
Today’s photo is by her Cousin It, or Kent as she calls him.
It reminds me of my childhood, when the winds from Siberia would hurtle across the North Sea and into our little town just south of Edinburgh, bearing gifts of snow, sleet and hail.
My mother habitually ejected us from the house with the immortal words ‘Fresh air is good for you’.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on the picture, below.

Copyright Cuzzin Kent

Copyright Cuzzin Kent

Russia

We invade Russia.
A terrible idea.
Not mine, of course, I am just a grunt, a foot soldier.
Whoever made the decision didn’t know much about the weather here in winter.
It is around -30 degrees.
Painfully cold.
In some cases fatally cold.
We are turning into savages.
We do anything to lessen the chill.
We come upon a village strewn with corpses.
Their weapons are still in their hands, frozen in place.
I say weapons, but they are clubs, knives, broom handles.
We want their coats.
We can’t get them off over their fists, clenched around what they were carrying.
So first we smash their fingers.

About ceayr

A Scot who has discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his life in the West of Scotland and a large part elsewhere. His first job was selling programmes at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success. He is somewhat nomadic, fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.
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66 Responses to Russia – Friday Fictioneers

  1. madamewriter says:

    The soldier’s unsung cry. Excellent slice of war and the brutal turn of survival. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Margaret says:

    Very effective to describe such a dehumanising scene of suffering and horror in this matter of fact voice. I also like the little comment that they are ‘turning into savages’. He knows it but it seems he’s beyond caring. This is the tragedy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellently told as always. The horrific reality of war, the tiny gruesome detail standing for the whole.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Don’tcha just love a good war. So noble.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. War is hell – no matter where you are, no matter the temperature. It goes on and on and on.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. mjlstories says:

    Vivid powerful writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This actually has a historical basis: both Hitler and Napoleon invaded Russia.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. MythRider says:

    Too bad war is a reality. Powerful last line.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, C.E., butterflies and rainbows? We’re all waiting. This was brutal but then war is cruel. Survival is a powerful driving force, and men have been driven to worse. It would have been true justice if Hitler had been physically leading them into Russia. Well written as always. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jan Brown says:

    Your imagery is flawless. Readers can easily imagine themselves in the shoes of the soldiers who are so driven to peel off those coats. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Brutal – this really shows how it must have been.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That was brutal.
    Very vivid, too.
    Now, I’m shivering.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I enjoyed this winter tale; vivid and brutal.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Brutal, very effective.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. gahlearner says:

    Realistic and brutal. Not only in war, whenever survival is at stake, something in us rises that’s hard to control. In this case, paired with an invasion, the sympathy is with the dead victims. But is it really worse to smash dead bones instead of life ones? Excellent, and thought provoking as always.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. mickwynn2013 says:

    Love the way this takes all the “glory” out of war and reduces it to what it really is. The sense of the extreme cold came was delivered expertly

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dale says:

    It’s not like the dead need the coats now, do they?
    Loved this grisly piece of yourn….

    Liked by 2 people

  18. paulmclem says:

    Probably just as well for Western Europe that Hitler did try to invade the Soviet Union. Divided and demoralised his forces to our benefit.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. michael1148humphris says:

    The brutality of trying to fight a war in a Russia winter came home.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Lynn Love says:

    Quiet right about looking back through history, C. Has anyone successfully invaded Russia? Both Napoleon and Hitler failed, of course. Be interesting to find out.
    This is grim and grisly, but who’s to comdemn them? Not me. It’s awful, but if you’re freezing to death and you pass some poor dead man with a nice warm coat going to waste … Awful, but that’s what we drive people to when we make them go to war.
    Written with clarity and just the right tone for the subject. A great, disturbing story.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I grew up hearing stories like this… the terrible winter, and what it can do.. the smashing of finger made me clench my hands to tight fists.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Oh my heart got faster and faster reading this!

    Like

  23. Oh they have really turned savage.

    Like

  24. The desperation of the soldiers and their awareness of what they were forced to become screams out from this story. If only those who make such decisions could be forced to hear

    Like

  25. Sandra says:

    Gritty, dark, brutal. Your trademark, I think. I find myself getting nervous once I start reading your pieces. 🙂 Well done!

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Thank you, Sandra, I didn’t realise I had a trademark!
      And I am surprised, and quite pleased, that you get nervous, I take that as a huge compliment from the ‘Top of the heap’.

      Like

  26. wmqcolby says:

    Very well-written, C.E. Kind of reminded me of All Quiet On The Western Front, but, then again, all wartime situations are like that.

    “Cousin It,” huh? Hee-hee-hee-heeeee! And here, I just got a haircut on Monday.
    You could write a sequel to this — “Weekend In Siberia” by that great Russian writer Frozma Azzov.

    Have a quality day. And be well, sir! 😉

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Ah, Cuzzin Kent, just be grateful you are not Uncle Fester.
      I am now concerned that Lady R is cast as Morticia, but thankfully she speaks no French.

      Thank you for your kind words on my tale, and your good wishes.
      But still a long way to go on that front.

      Like

  27. Graham Lawrence says:

    You really do excel in this format C.E. Another fine gritty piece and a timely reminder of the horrors of conflicts.

    Like

  28. Dear CE,

    Yes, I snapped that on one of those delightful winter days when I couldn’t see out my office window. We get more ice here than we do snow. It’s okay, Cuzzin Kent chose the prompt this week so it don’t make me no never mind.

    Re your story. Now who’s Mr. Cheerful? Grisly. Well done and shows what happens to otherwise humans in dire circumstances. Reminded me of Lord of the Flies on Ice.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Yep, could have been worse, at least I kept it in the family.

      Re story.
      Love ‘Lord of the Flies on Ice.’
      Disney meets Golding, with a dash of Flatley, perhaps.
      And yes, something does happen, it seems.
      Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  29. neilmacdon says:

    Brutal. Is this Napoleon? Or Hitler? Or is the Russia that lies in the heart of all of us?

    Like

  30. ceayr says:

    Oops, sorry, I credited the prompt to Cuzzin Kent when it is Rochelle’s own work.
    Apologies, lazy reading.

    Like

  31. Dreams of invading Russia, so many times crushed in ice. Nice piece of history reflected in your story.

    Like

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