Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sweet and Sour

The most recent short story competition was themed on Tales from the Volgan war, based around the storyline of 2000AD strips Invasion and Savage. I tried to write a deliberate nod to Valerie's letter from Alan Moore's V for Vendetta. Unfortunately the result was a little to obvious, and again rather melodramatic. The audience must have thought the same because this entry was notable for getting no votes at all. Ho hum.

Sweet and Sour

Takeaway , that's all she went out for. Sweet and sour chicken with noodles, our favourite. But she never came back, they took her away from me.

When the Volgans invaded we thought it wouldn't affect us. We figured they would just take over London and wouldn't bother with us out in the sticks. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss we thought, but then tanks rolled up the high street and there were Volg patrols on every street corner. Still we expected life to just carry on, even when they started posting their lists of rules:

Identification papers to be carried at all times, no graffiti, no anti-Volgan protests of any kind, no public displays of emotion, and a curfew at 9pm every night.

People started to disappear and there were rumours of camps for what they called reprogramming and resettlement. The chip shop closed down when they took the Gohils. Their son Barry used to give me extra chips, I think he fancied me. But still we thought if we kept our heads down this would all blow over and life would go on.

Then I got my craving for Chinese food. We knew that Alan's stayed open right up until curfew. She said she'd be there and back in no time but a patrol picked her up and I never saw her again. I stayed up all night waiting and in the morning there was a knock at the door. It was a guy I knew from college.

"Pack a bag and come with me. Be quick about it, love, you've been denounced."

We saw the Volgans marching down our street as we fled into the hills. I don't blame her for telling them about us, anyone would talk in one of their torture cells. I blame myself for burying my head in the sand, for sleeping while the enemy stole our freedom. Well I'm awake now and it's not my head I intend to bury.

My life used to be poetry books and cello practice, now it's pipe bombs and shotgun shells. We used to have flowers by our bed, and tea and toast every morning. There was sweet and sour for special occasions and chips every Friday. Now I make explosives from flour and fertiliser, and we boil half-rotten potatoes over open fires.

We're always outnumbered, always outgunned. Our victories are few and come at a price, but there's a change coming. A savage force of resistance is sweeping up from the south. More people join us every day. I used to be a student, I had to be taught how to use a gun. Now I teach others how to fight.

The love of my life is buried in an unmarked pit, but the day of my vengeance is coming. That's right, you Volgan scum. Vengeance is coming for you, and just like my favourite food it's going to be hot and oh so sweet.

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