In the back of a book named Tactical Memoir Of Dear Leader’s Most Revolutionary And Anti-imperialist Fashion Ideas was a lone piece of paper that had been torn from its binding. On it was a simple list. The words and names on the list, penned neatly in black ink, all bore sentiment. There was resentment, disappointment, and a little bit of indignation.
You’re using me.
What killed your conscience?
Wake the hell up.
I will never let you forget that mistake.
Does it feel good?
At the bottom of the paper was a name that had been scratched out many times over, but the words to follow, first written by a hesitant hand, were still legible.
When you said it would be this hard, I wish I would have listened.
Their dance was not an elegant waltz. It was an aggressive swing with all of the passion and none of the pleasure. When she jerked him this way, he jerked her that way. There was no lead, only two fervid stars dancing to two different beats. Neither found solace in the intimacy of their situation, only adrenaline infused dread that set their nervous systems on fire.
The complexity of their relationship had them tense under a hot spotlight. She could smell his arrogance and he could sense her ambition. They knew well each other’s hands and hips, but not Achilles’ heel.
He hesitated for a few seconds. He contemplated clearing his throat again. He wondered if he should speak slowly or drop this on them quickly. He questioned the sanity of whoever submitted this scenario. And then he announced it in that same booming voice, “North Korea achieves full nuclear proliferation.”
The room fell silent, section by section, as countries began to process what had been said. A wildfire of reactions inflamed East Asia. The news erased North Korea’s glare and his eyes shot open. The biggest, silent gasp slowly morphed into the biggest, stupidest grin. South Korea and America shared struck expressions. China’s countenance slowly took on a defeated expression that was already tired of dealing with events that hadn’t happened yet. Japan’s joyless smile turned straight lipped, but it was her wide, startled eyes that spoke the loudest.
Following the silence was an slow bubbling up of murmurs and mutters from around the room. A stern conversation began between North Korea and China while South Korea, America, and Japan exchanged worried banter back and forth until they decided none of them knew what to do. Some parts of Europe expressed concern over the issue, but in the end they just began arguing about their own problems. Iran and Pakistan took the opportunity to move one row down and a few feet closer to their friend, who coincidentally just became the world’s latest nuclear powerhouse. India eyed East Asia from across the table, but refrained from engaging.
Warmth spread through hands that were hugging a hot cup of Shou Mei tea. North Korea sat with his legs crossed, an unusually subdued posture for the high-strung man, and lips in a faint frown. His eyes, glistening with a hint of dolefulness, were occupied with the etched drawings of dragons that circled the small, round table. Across from him, China was coolly watching him and thinking about money.
“I feel sorry for her,” North Korea said finally. “That’s what it comes down to.”
An eyebrow was raised. “Oh?”
North Korea looked up at China and began slowly, as if he was thinking through this own words. “We don’t think alike and we never will. But we both know that America is… a problem. She wants him gone as much as I do.” Then he added quickly after noticing China give him a disbelieving look, “almost as much as I do.”
“But not really.”
“Is that right?”
“He’s overstaying his welcome.”
China sipped his tea, nodding at the flavor–or perhaps the statement. “You prompted her to extend that invitation.”
China nodded again. “Right.”
“Whatever use he was to her then is irrelevant now.”
If it’s not worry then it’s stress. There’s a reason why you’re sending me emails at two in the morning, and it wasn’t to ask me about what I think is the meaning of Rocky Horror Picture Show (although, to answer your question: it’s obviously a social commentary about the dangers of the glam rock movement). What’s wrong?
To: Canada (email@example.com)
Russia is scary but she doesn’t scare me. Once you see a person at their highest and then at their lowest, things change. I watched her rule the North then tear herself apart. There’s no more mountains for Russia, just valleys. If she didn’t pull the trigger on me before, she won’t do it now–probably. I know why you brought her up earlier, but you can’t really compare Russia and China. Russia is a honey badger. China is a spider.
It was only a matter of time before North Korea got an h-bomb, and after that it was only a matter of time before everyone killed each other.
Model United Nations meetings were supposed to be intelligent and highly organized simulations of real-world diplomatic problem-solving during times of crisis. Not this one.
It started like any other. The “General Assembly” was set up like a college classroom, with long desks divided into sections according to geographic region. During the lull of the pre-session, countries walked between rows and through aisles to patronize one another for about fifteen minutes.
America had gravitated over to Asia to talk regional security with South Korea (“Hey, I’ve got a THAAD that needs deploying somewhere.” “Don’t wink like that. It’s weird.”) as North Korea glared daggers at them from three seats down in a chair that was rather close to China. The rest of Asia tried to keep their conversations pleasant while purposefully ignoring Japan. There was some kind of choir of angry squawking coming from Europe; nobody questioned it but everyone made sure to avoid it. That is, everyone except Canada, who didn’t know any better. The rest of the Americas were just glad their northern neighbor was somewhere else. The Middle East was, much like Europe, broken up into little groups of friends that didn’t even like each other that much, and Israel was nowhere to be found. Australia had slipped into the mess that was Europe because she didn’t want to look like a loser sitting alone. Africa was pretty mild.
The Cuban Missile Crisis left deep, psychological scars on both nuclear superpowers. For weeks after, America wore his flag on everything (tie, boxers, socks, cool baseball cap) to repel communism as much as possible. He also spent most of his nights on the roof with a 6-pack of root beer and a shotgun. But that was as much about the Red Scare as it was about his love for root beer and shotguns. Russia coped by plotting to control every country east of Germany.
In August 1963, a “hotline” between the US and USSR was established in order to keep total nuclear destruction of the planet from ever threatening humanity again. Ground-breaking for its time, this system allowed International communication to happen between the superpowers in a matter of minutes. It was made to prevent World War III. It was used to send ridiculous jokes.
Is your refrigerator running?
That was the first message Russia had received from America personally.
Leave my refrigerator alone.
That was the first message America had received from Russia personally.
Well then you’d better go catch it!
Russia didn’t understand, but continued to humor America throughout the Cold War.