Friday, January 29, 2010

A Twist Of Noir 338 - Stephen D. Rogers

VICTOR - STEPHEN D. ROGERS

Listen. Just because we’re fighting this war to protect our homeland against external threats doesn’t mean I shouldn’t make a few extra marks to send home to Dusseldorf. The only problem, my friend, is that these Soviet barbarians own nothing of any value.

The rare chicken that survives their retreat is butchered outright or traded for cigarettes. Their vodka tastes like piss. The huts they live in are torched before we even arrive, just to spite those of us who know of a market for thatched mud.

I have family back in Dusseldorf. A wife and four children. A sick and dying mother. They’re the only reason I find myself in this position.

And you? Were you posted to France where you’d spend your days sipping champagne and your nights deciding between the many Mademoiselles who will do anything for a bar of good German chocolate? No.

No. Instead, you’ve been condemned to the meat-grinder that is the Eastern Front. To this inhospitable, Godless country. Scorching heat and endless rains and winters that redefine Hell.

You’ve got the bulk of the Soviet Army in front of you and partisans crawling up your rear. Every breath you draw might well be your last.

A man needs some relief from the horror, the nightmare that continues after you pry open your eyes. A man has needs.

Her name is Natasha. The barbarians left this little one to die but I saved her, fed her out of my own meager rations.

You could have her for an hour.

*

Natasha outlived them all.

BIO: Over five hundred of Stephen's stories and poems have appeared in more than two hundred publications. His website, www.stephendrogers.com, includes a list of new and upcoming titles as well as other timely information.

2 comments:

Paul D. Brazill said...

Harsh. Brilliantly done.

Betty Dravis said...

This is what I would call Flash Fiction, Stephen. It is descriptive in its harshness; pulled me right in.

I,too, like to write clever twists in the last few words.

Gripping, creative and frighteningly real.

Congrats!

Betty Dravis