Life After Napoleon

Same as it ever was.

This is a companion piece to the story “Holy.”


Dear America,

You asked how things are faring over here so I will explain with brevity the current state of Europe and its great powers. But first, I would like to get family matters out of the way.

Wales sends her greetings and wants you to know that she has been praying for your safety and prosperity. I was not aware that peculiar crystals were instruments of prayer, but she insisted that she was a “good.l Christian woman” and “not at all a Pagan.” Odd of her to say, as I had not mentioned paganism. When I asked Scotland if he too wanted to send you a message, he inquired about your identity. “Who?” “The United States of America, our estranged son!” Yet he still feigned ignorance. Ireland, a rather new addition to the family, seems to be adjusting well enough. She fears the internal backlash, but it was exactly that backlash that made her feel even stronger the need to unite. Well, she is convinced she has done the right thing, and so am I.

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Holy

Women want two things: God and absolute power.

Democracy is a plague and revolutions are the rats through which the disease spreads. If not purged, it will sow chaos in Europe.


Russia stood at the head of the table and made sweeping gestures, the gold adornments on her uniform bobbing and swishing with her movements. “Today is a momentous occasion–the birth of our Most Holy and Indivisible Trinity!” Her powerful voice filled the hall. “To begin the celebration, we shall make a toast in honor of our beautiful sisterhood.” The three women raised their glasses and a round of clicks echoed off the walls.

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Glasnost

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The Soviet Union was a home that didn’t feel like a home. Actually, it felt like hell.

“Throw off the yoke of imperialism!” That was the USSR’s pitch, and it sounded great. But many countries who would eventually become Soviet socialist republics and satellites weren’t there because they wanted to be. 

In 1940 Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia learned the hard way that you don’t say no to the Soviet Union. Unwillingly they became part of Russia’s big, effed up family.

February 1990

That house was falling apart, that much everyone knew. Things were always broken: appliances, electronics, and lights would cut in and out without reason, and there had been one too many accidents involving the staircases. But despite the deterioration, water damage, and mold, they tried to hold on to it. It was all they had.

Ukraine stood beside the grimy bathtub and cranked its rusty knobs as cold nipped at his bare skin. A short sputter of brownish water shot out, startling him. After more fruitless cranking, he sighed and slipped into a robe.

“Hey!” He shouted down the hallway after peeking his head out. “Wasn’t someone supposed to be fixing the pipes today?” No response. “Hello? Anyone? The pipes are—” He heard a sudden groan to his right.

“It was me,” Estonia admitted sheepishly. “I was supposed to be on pipe duty, but things kept coming up.”

Continue reading “Glasnost”