Untitled - [livejournal.com profile] daily15

May. 8th, 2007 03:13 am
xifeng: (Default)
[personal profile] xifeng
Tralalala. Word of the day was "alert". OMG DEATH U GUYZ.

There is fighting in town that day; St. Petersburg has finally bubbled over in the aftermath of the Revolution, and amidst the noisy chaos of riots and hungry workers and crowd police who refuse to fire and jumpy nobility trying to pack and flee somewhere, anywhere, Anna has slipped out of her mother's house unnoticed to be a bandit. The Revolution has nothing for her to do at the moment, and she is almost seventeen, bored, and destructive.

Grim and impassive, clad in her splendid ideology, Anna passes the empty houses like skulls in the snow, lights still on in some of them; others are marked with signs which clearly proclaim them the property of the Petrograd Soviet. Some have been left unlocked, and when she tries the doors and finds her way unobstructed by locks or servants, she wanders in and examines them, mentally cataloguing how much will fill the Party coffers. (She thinks, also, of the glory that will accrue to her for expropriating all this for the Cause, but quashes this base fantasy as unworthy of a real revolutionary.)

The furnishings hold nothing new for her. She is the daughter of minor nobles, and embarrassed about her bourgeois upbringing; every spare minute is spent atoning for it. Anna is used to the thick, intricate rugs, the chandeliers, the jewelry, the food left to rot in the icebox. Glorious in appearing, secure in her triumph, she struts about abandoned houses, rifle strapped to her back. Anna never goes anywhere without a rifle; one never knows when one will have to put down counter-revolution, and in any case, it belonged to her brother, who is dead.

In one house, she hears a faint noise, although she believed it abandoned; flattening herself against the wall in the foyer, alert as any professional soldier, Anna listens, and judges. Footsteps. Squinting--even with her glasses, seeing is work--she waits, hoping the unseen occupant will show himself, or that it is not another bandit.

"Why does no one come?" a clear, girlish voice says. Anna peeks, briefly, around the corner, chary of her movements, and sees the speaker: she might know her, they might once have met. She isn't certain. It's a girl no older than she, but her hair is pale where Anna's is dark, and the two frown for completely different reasons. Anna thinks she's drawn back in time to avoid being seen, but the girl squeals, eyes wide with fear, and covers her mouth, pointing.

There's nothing for it. Without thinking, Anna lunges forward, the rifle already drawn, and runs the girl through the gut with the bayonet. She watches, impassively, as the other girl sinks slowly to the ground, the final scream already stifled.

Afterwards, she is sick on the back steps, alarmed by the strange, adult knowledge that death is real.
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Wang Xi-feng

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