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Oct 4, 2010



Oct 4, 2010

Objector in Red 1251 Words.

The year was 1980. The month was February. A young married couple lived in a cottage on the civilized edge of Siberia.

Dragana looked her husband in the eye, something that wasn't easy for her to do lately.

"Ivan, look at the flour. It's full of beetles!"

Ivan, who was reclined in his chair, with a blanket covering his legs and a Greek philosophy book in his hands, looked up at her.

"I'm sorry to hear that my love, can you pick them out?."

Ivan's calm and relaxed response only irritated Dragana.

"No Ivan! We can't just pick the beetles out! If there are beetles then there are also beetle eggs. This flour is infested and useless!"

Dragana let a bit of her rage out by making a show of dumping the flour out all over the cabin floor. She knew she would have to clean it up later.

Ivan pinched the bridge of his nose and sat forward in his chair.

Ivan worked for the government, but who didn't these days?

Ivan was technically a hunter. He was a terrible hunter who had never provided the government with more than one sorry deer carcass a month.

In addition to being a government hunter, he was a reserve Lieutenant in the Soviet Army. A position he had earned with his Art Degree and the name of his father, who had been a decorated veteran of the Battle of Berlin.

"Dragana! I've eaten worse things than bug eggs! What difference would it have made if you had fried your dumplings with a few pointless bug egg specks. Now we have no flour! You realize I'm probably the only man in twenty kilometers who wouldn't strike you for what you just did, don't you?"

"You're the only able bodied man in fifty kilometers anyway! Not that anybody can know!"

Ivan shot up from his chair.

Dragana continued sarcastically, "Oh, be careful dear. You don't want anybody to see you stand up!"

"What is this? Is this what you want? Are you picking a fight with me right now? What do you want from this?"

Dragana screamed in frustration. "I just want clean flour so I can cook!"

Ivan laughed. "Oh sure! Let me just walk into town and buy a big bag of flour. Let's let everyone get a good look at me. Maybe I'll even visit the conscription officer and wish him a good morning!"

"As long as you get me some flour." Dragana said flatly.

"You think I'm a coward, don't you? Do you want me to go to Afghanistan? Do you want me to get my head chopped off by some loving Muslim rebel like what happened to your cousin? Do you want to give birth to our child alone?"

"I want my husband to be able to buy me flour. I want to have my parents visit us. I want to take a walk with my husband around town! Do you think I was a little girl who dreamed about babysitting her fake crippled husband who didn't want to go to war?"

"So you want me to go to war?"

"No! I don't want there to be a war!"

"Well I'm sorry Dragana! I can't be some big loving hero who changes the world! I can be here for you and our child, or I can be in Afghanistan. Do you think I'm proud of hiding from the war, pretending to be a cripple? My father was a war hero; I'm not a loving coward. I choose to stay here because I love you, and I love our child! I don't want you to starve or freeze in a damned bread line."

Dragana didn't respond and just looked down at her feet.

"Well?" Ivan said.

"Well what?" Dragana muttered, wearily.

"Well what do you say?" Ivan said, annoyed.

Dragana looked up, near tears. "I just. Want. Flour."

"Fine!" Ivan hollered as he shot out of his wheelchair. "Fine!"

Ivan threw on his coat, which he hadn't worn in months, and began to walk around the cottage finding all of his unused winter clothes.

Fully suited up for the outside world, he looked at his pregnant wife.

"I'm going to walk into town, in front of everybody. I'm going to get you your flour. I'm either coming home with a hundred loving pounds of flour, or I'm going to Afghanistan in handcuffs, cursing your name."

Dragana didn't say anything.

Ivan continued. "I wish I was you! A hundred pounds of flour, or war paychecks until your fool of a husband dies! You're a winner either way!"

Dragana looked away and didn't respond.

Ivan turned and left the cottage, slamming the door.

It was insanely cold outside, and it was a two mile walk into town, but Ivan was determined. He was going to buy the biggest bag of flour he could find, and he was going to drag it home to his bitch of a wife.

As he walked he had a brief fantasy of drowning Dragana in flour. He immediately felt like an rear end in a top hat, mainly because she was carrying his first child, and secondly because he loved her.

He continued to walk, and he began to calm down and think more about his situation. He had not been outside walking for a while, and he was freezing and miserable. He had not been fully alone for a while either, and he was unable to not think about himself.

'I'm a draft dodger, a deserter and a fraud. I'm a traitor to the Union. I'm one more flaw in what should and could be a perfect system of government. I'm too weak for communism. I'm laying around living my little selfish life with my family money. Call me Ivan Romanov.'

'My father, the war hero, what would he do? Would he leave his pregnant wife to answer the call of duty? He probably would. He most likely did. It's not fair; these brown desert rebels are hardly Nazi Germans. This is my war? This is a stupid war. I truly believe that this is a stupid, pointless conflict; and I don't want to die for what is at best a pissing contest with America.'

Ivan had managed to occupy about half his journey to the town with these thoughts, as he looked down at his army issued snow boots. Ivan had always had a bad habit of looking down at his feet while he walked.

Once Ivan had his fill of Geo-political internal thought, he began to think about his wife again. She held the distinction of being the only subject that managed to get him more upset than the shadow of nuclear war with America.

Ivan was so preoccupied with his thoughts that he began to wander off road.

Of all the thoughts racing around Ivan's mind, a certain story from his father had been long forgotten. A story about the German jumping S-mine. A story about the closest his father had ever come to death. Ivan's father had been the sole survivor of his squad because he had heard a click and had slammed himself to the ground, breaking his nose in the process.

The German's had deployed these jumping anti-personnel landmines all over the Continent.

Ivan's father had always gotten a kick out of the American's name for them, 'Bouncing Betty's'. Ivan's father had always liked Americans too much.

Ivan, walking off of the road, heard a click and stopped, wondering what it could possibly be.

Oct 4, 2010

In and Flash, please.

Oct 4, 2010

Thank you for the crit, Morning Bell. I will keep Thunderdoming. This was fun.

Oct 4, 2010

Ugh, school is hard.

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