Belaja Smert

Image Credit: Steve S., Marblehead, MA      Stalin has been paranoid. What a surprise.      This time, he’s been worrying about Finland. He’s been worrying that they’re planning to invade Leningrad, since they’re so close to it. He came up with a “brilliant” plan: to demand the Finns to hand over large swathes of their land, to form a demilitarized zone between the two of us.      Finland’s answer: ei (no).      And so, Stalin turned to the most logical, rational response: to invade them.      Thus, here I am. I’ve been dragged out of my poorly-made shack in the middle of nowhere, to march into Finland. It’s currently early January, the year 1940. We marched for quite a while, down one of the few roads available, and we made it to Kollaa about a month ago. Things have not been going well.      There are very few roads in the area, and they’re all guarded by the Finns, so we aren’t very mobile. The Finns, however, are very skilled with skis, and need not worry about roads or guards. We outnumber them 4 to 1, but they all wear snow camouflage, whereas we wear the brown uniform of The Red Army, making us very visible. All of the good Russian commanders were killed of in the Great Terror, so all of our commanders are loyal to the Party, but incompetent. Furthermore, the Finns have White Death. We don’t know his name. Few of us have even seen his face. Yet, he terrifies us all. He’s killed over 100 of us so far, and with no signs of stopping. Our artillery and tanks still can’t beat a single man with a rifle and skis.      After weeks of fighting without much progress, we’ve decided to attempt to penetrate the Finnish defence line. We’ve tried it before, but we don’t have much of a choice.      I’m marching through Kallaa. Not too much has happened. We still have quite a way to go.      I think I just saw a glint of sunlight out of the corner of my eye. Almost like something metal.      Well, nothing has happened yet, so I probably shouldn’t wor- [At this point, Simo Hayha, known by the Soviets as Belaja smert, marks another tally into his journal, the fifth today, and skis away in silence.]


I ate it. All of it. It was terrible. My taste receptors burned with acid and salt. Still, my digestive system accepted it, converting the mass consumed into precious needed energy. My next meal was twice as big, mostly blue and green, much more delicious-looking. Third rock from the sun. AJ Joseph gardens while waiting … Continue reading AMELIA JINDI: Ravenous →


Fibonacci was fascinated by spirals. Mathematical patterns in flower petals, repetitive details in seashells – Nature’s inescapable, infinite cycles. As I hear you arguing with your father, drink-fuelled tempers curdling love to spite, I wonder: are we all like this? Caught in eternal circles, passing around the point where we began. Jo Withers writes micros, … Continue reading JO WITHERS: Spirals →

AUTUMN LALA: Bloody Blanchett

Something wasn’t right. Detective Tift examined his suspect. Newlywed Scott Blanchett scratched the dried blood flaking his wrists, sobbing all the while. This case was clear-cut. They had enough evidence. “Why don’t you just admit it?” Tift asked. A pause. A sniffle. “I can’t admit to what I can’t remember.” Autumn Lala lives in Ohio, … Continue reading AUTUMN LALA: Bloody Blanchett →


18: The pelican on my shoulder reminds me to slow things down, live calmly. 25: The snake slithering up my arm symbolizes willful and unapologetic action. 33: The rose on my wrist shows me that beauty can stem from new beginnings. “Dad, what do your tattoos mean?” “Nothing,” I say. Jonah Ardiel lives and writes … Continue reading JONAH ARDIEL: Tattoo →


Every Tuesday at four in the afternoon hearts racing the trio of princesses zips down the hill and skips across the cobblestones to the village library Why all the excitement? The Harry Potter book club that’s why Every princess knows nothing compares to the secrets of wizardry hidden in books Roberta Beach Jacobson is a … Continue reading ROBERTA BEACH JACOBSON: Giggles and Magic →