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Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Last War: Chapter 71, Part 1

“General Igoumensita?”

“Ah, good evening, Michaelis. How are you doing today?”

“I’m quite all right, sir. There is an important message.”

Igoumensita waved the other man off as though nothing was of any importance.

“The message can wait. Come, sit down. Have some pheasant. Have some pierogies. Wursts? Bread? Wine? Water?”

A sumptuous banquet that would have fed a small village for a week was laid out before Dimitri Igoumensita. There was a motley assortment of foods from all over the Eastern Bloc and Germany. Igoumensita was gorging himself as he tended to do, even in the heat of battle, when it was time for a meal.

“There are very few things that a general should be decadent about,” the Greek said, “But food is not one of them. We’re occupying a large country here, Michaelis. We should eat well.”

Pantermalis reluctantly sat down at the table, but did not lift a fork. He had a dour and urgent expression on his face. Igoumensita continued stuffing food in his mouth. He finally noticed the younger Greek was not eating.

"Eat, eat. Demons take those with empty bellies."

"We all know the way evil spirits turn the course of the war."

“Don't rule out the occult, but at the very least you know scientifically eating keeps your strength up. Oh, dammit, you can ruin anything, even a meal, can’t you, Pantermalis? All right, what is your urgent message?”

“The Germans have landed.”


“Almost their entire army survived the voyage here. We’ve gotten no word from Joniec’s fleet.”

“That idiot!” Igoumensita exclaimed, bringing his fist down to shatter his plate, “I should have known better than to trust that fool, let alone make him first admiral of the navy! Have him hung!”

“He was killed and most of the fleet was sunk.”

“Then dredge the floor of the sea and find his body. I want it hanging upside down in Athens so people can stone the corpse. Bastard!”

“Yes, sir,” said Pantermalis reluctantly, “But shouldn’t we be concentrating on beating back the invaders?”

“Invaders? Pantermalis, you forget, we’re the invaders. They can have Germany back if they want. I’ve got no sentimental attachment to this chunk of land. As long as their army and navy pay dearly for it, they can have it.”

“We’re not even going to fight?”

“Of course we’re going to fight! But we’re not going to be reluctant to retreat. Don’t mistake my words, though, Pantermalis, I’m not afraid of anyone. I don’t care if the Eastern Bloc has to take on the Boches, the Frogs, the Yankees, the Ivans, the Ozzies, and the Limeys all at once. I don’t care if we have to take on the Imps, the Spicks, the Canucks, the Chinks, or anyone else. I don’t fear Pollack saboteurs or Raghead mercenaries. The Eastern Bloc will take everyone on the planet down.

"Germany is not an important position to be held. It's only important to weaken the German army. If they attack us and we crush them instantly, fine, but if they attack us and we start losing more troops then it's worth, we're going to run the hell out of this country."

Pantermalis nodded.

"Send the army to meet them. You can handle command without me for a bit, can't you?"

"Yes, General Igoumensita."

"Good. Dismissed."

Pantermalis left. Dimitri Igoumensita took a bite of some roasted bird.

"Rather good. I'll have to find out it's name."

He continued to eat unperturbed.

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