“People of Warsaw,” the Eastern major said gruffly into his microphone, “Despite the war and the deep resentment which has grown between the Eastern Bloc and the Polish people, we only want the best for Poland. Our occupation has been helpful to your country in many ways, and by resisting us, you only hurt yourselves. We are willing to be compassionate. We only ask that, in return, you admit your allegiance to the Bloc.
“It’s really not such a bad deal,” he added candidly, straying somewhat from the prepared speech, “You get a lot of things that an occupied country wouldn’t get, and that you didn’t have independently. Most importantly, you get our protection. As a token of our friendship, we now present this statue of one of your great heroes. In the interests of cooperation and understanding, we present the people of Poland with this gift.”
The major made a little hand gesture. A few of the Eastern soldiers pulled down a sheet that was covering a huge, larger-than-life statue. It was the simulacrum of an overweight, pompous slob of an officer. It was Johann Joniec, the notorious Ukrainian admiral whom the Easterners had placed in charge of the Polish North Sea ports after the initial occupation. There were simply no Poles who had been willing to collaborate. Through shrewd politicking and bold piracy Joniec had risen to become the head of the Eastern North Sea Fleet. He had a Polish name and his family tree could dubiously be traced to central Poland, which Igoumensita had hoped would placate the Poles by placing a foreigner in charge of an occupying Navy operating off the Polish coast.
“Monster!” Lewandowski yelled out.
The crowd had been startled by the Joniec statue. The major hadn’t realized that they would be angered by it, though. Joniec portrayed himself to his Eastern masters as beloved by the Polish people, an adopted son. Lewandowski had been counting on the Easterners to miscalculate based on Joniec’s lies. That was why he had set off the fuse that would send the crowd into a fury. He got a firm grip on the empty bottle he was holding and flung it at the statue, yelling Polish curses.
“Pocaluj mnie w dupa, Joniec!” Lewandowski yelled.
There were suddenly murmurs of disgust and rising anger through the crowd. The Easterners were scared. It seemed as though a solitary old bum had seized an opportunity to turn a whole city against them.
“Now, now, calm down…” the major said.
But a flung brick halted him in mid-sentence. He jumped down from the podium. His soldiers also scrambled down. Unfortunately, they had made the mistake of moving directly into the crowd. The Easterners were bludgeoned and kicked to death. Lewandowski had now almost single-handedly incited the crowd into an angry mob.
“Show those Eastern bastards what being Polish really means!” Lewandowski yelled.
The screams of “Tak” rose to a fever pitch. The crowd began rioting. An angry contingent dragged down the statue of Joniec. Screaming bloody murder, Lewandowski ran and miturated onto Joniec’s face.
“To the headquarters!” Lewandowski yelled out, “Let’s kick those invaders out of Poland once and for all!”
Mob rule swept the city of Warsaw and out into the surrounding countryside. Eastern soldiers were murdered in the streets. And in response the Easterners began setting up machine gun nests to decimate whole crowds of Poles. Lewandowski found himself elevated from the status of beggar to the powerful leader of an angry throng. His own fury and leadership ability seemed to whip the Poles into a frenzy of destruction, eradicating anything even remotely related to the Bloc.
The Eastern garrison returned the favor in kind. The soldiers used brutal force to try to quelch the rebellion. The entire city became an urban war zone. Warsaw burned that night.
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
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."
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