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Evil Knows No Buckeyes

by Sam


(This story's based on one told to us by a Korean War veteran at our Veteran's Day celebration at school. I thought it was an interesting perspective, and I think it might even work for this month's Historical Fiction contest...it's not great, but it's not Green or Hourglass-related, either, which is progress as far as I'm concerned. :wink:)

***

The year I wanted a Radio Flyer for my birthday was the year I got Nazis instead, men with funny accents who got loaded off a bus into our barn all stiff and sore.

My daddy hated them; he said they were no good, they were evil pigs, and this made sense. (They took Poland, even though the Poles weren’t hurting anybody.) They picked corn in the backyard, and that was it- he did admit they did their work well, but it was their kind of work. Work that wasn’t intellectual, work that didn’t need anything besides a set of hands.

One day, one of them was carried into our kitchen and Daddy told me to leave because something terrible was happening and I wasn’t supposed to see it. The Nazi himself was crying, and I’d never seen one of them up close before, but I stopped myself when one of their little broken crosses rolled out into the middle of the floor, smothered in red.

I don’t like blood, and never have, so I went upstairs and didn’t come down, afraid to sleep because it’d give me nightmares; the horrible kind that get your heart beating all panicky and your skin all cold and sweaty.

The next morning we were all yawning at breakfast, especially Mama. (The German himself was asleep in the rocking chair in the corner, his arm all bandaged up like the evil mummy in the latest Cosmic Man issue.) She had gone to the hospital at night, only to find that they didn’t take Nazis because they were going through Rough Times and didn’t have the money, and so she had to stay up all night with him because he had gotten his arm caught in the thresher and needed the help real bad.

(He was a young one, too, maybe five years older than I was.)

Daddy was tired too, tired from spending the whole time muttering that the Nazi was a dirty pig of the HJ, eating up his family’s money like slop.

***

A few days later I sat at the table, like my daddy, with the paper opened to the sports section. I could feel the German’s eyes on me, and so I set the paper down. “What are you looking at?”

“Hooskares,” he said thoughtfully. “Win?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I rolled my eyes and went back to reading the paper, though occasionally checking to make sure he wasn’t still staring. With his good hand, he was playing with his hair, white-blonde and slightly damp with sweat, enough to make it stick up when he thrust his hands through it.

He laughed, a sick, thundering laugh. “You know Hooskares- win?”

It took me a moment to understand what he wanted. “You mean ‘Huskers’?”

“Ja. Win?”

I flipped over to the sports section, where the score was headlined. “Nah, they lost to Ohio, twenty-seven nothing.”

He exclaimed something in German that I took to be a cuss, and I stared at him. “Not an Ohio fan?”

“Yeck, Ohio. Bad.”

“I’m with you. They stink.”

He smiled, blue eyes sparkling with excitement. “Like pig, ja?”

I reached over the table to shake his hand. “I like the way you think, mister.”

And I really did mean what I said. Even though he was supposedly a swine himself, he and his country weren’t rooting for Ohio- a true sign of progress, even in a country my daddy said was evil.


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Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:28 am
bubblewrapped wrote a review...



Oh my god! **falls in love with story** LOL.

Seriously though, it really was excellent. I'm so glad I found it on the boards, or I would have missed out on a real treat. Lovely sophisticated writing style; my only complaint is that I, like Jack, would have liked it to be longer, although I'm torn because lengthening it might ruin the lovely cyclic quality and...

Anyway. What I'm trying to say is that it's good. I'd love to read more, but as it is it's still great. Kudos :D




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Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:18 am
Misty wrote a review...



I liked this; both characters.It was an easy, simple read, but quite enjoyable. Anything longer and it would have been too long, I think. A nifty little short story. Im sorry this isn't a proper critique but i'm anxious to read the next story, and cannot find anything amiss here. :)




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Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:47 am
RoxanneR says...



This is interesting, but funny! I thought the ending was a bit weak, but apart from that it was good. The sentences were at the right balance and it all made sense.

Will you write some more of it?

RR*




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Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:46 pm
Myth wrote a review...



It was really the beginning that drew me in. In one sentence you managed to fit in what the short was about, and I could tell from the start the main character was young (though you don't really give an age).

Work that wasn’t intellectual, work that didn’t need anything besides a set of hands.


I was reminded of Lenny from Of Mice and Men and how he appeared threatening to the other owrkers or someone with curly hair.

As Jack said, I would agree this is too short. You've got to write a little more because the voice of the little boy, though it gave him character, wasn't enough to carry the story.

-- Myth




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Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:11 pm
Sam says...



What? It's...what? :wink:

Thanks, guys! This is majorly appreciated in the bleak world of Nano- and now I've got something to practice editing. I'll lengthen it and look at that last paragraph, and see where it takes me.

Again, thank you guys very much! The critiques are appreciated.




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Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:05 pm
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Poor Imp wrote a review...



Fun story, Sam! The character's voice was very easy, genuine without being trite or unnecassarily simple. ^_^

I don’t like blood, and never have, so I went upstairs and didn’t come down, afraid to sleep because it’d give me nightmares; the horrible kind that get your heart beating all panicky and your skin all cold and sweaty.


Above is a good example of a complex sentence without being verbose or strained. ^_^

With his good hand, he was playing with his hair, white-blonde and slightly damp with sweat, enough to make it stick up when he thrust his hands through it.


And the image above sets off the impression of 'bloody swine'--and the reality of a human being sitting there, aside from typing or otherwise. ...I won't over-talk it.

He smiled, blue eyes sparkling with excitement. “Like pig, ja?”


Even though he was supposedly a swine himself, he and his country weren’t rooting for Ohio- a true sign of progress, even in a country my daddy said was evil.


The two pieces above: The first makes the point, gently ironic, of 'pig' and, well, 'pig'. ^_^

The last bit reiterates it. I like the 'true sign of progress' -- fits very well. The first sentence might be a bit redundant.

But in all honesty, that's the only aspect that even mildly stuck out. It was a great, honest short short story. ^_^


IMP




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Sat Nov 25, 2006 8:57 pm
aeroman wrote a review...



I really loved the child character that the whole thing was from his perspective. It really brings an interesting light to the otherwise depressing setting that the story is placed under. It made me laugh at the end and reminded me of my friend's little brother. He is really into sports and if you like his sports team, he instantly likes you, lol. I'm sorry that I don't have time to give it really a proper critique. But I will be back.




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Fri Nov 24, 2006 2:01 pm
Firestarter wrote a review...



I really liked it Sam! Amusing and insightful. You could feel the youth of the narrative. The little references like the latest Cosmic Man interview helped the historical setting come alive a little more. In anything, I think it's too short - I think a lot of it could be expanded, because right now we don't have much of characters -- only one dialogue that could be furthered by more. Write more!




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Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:29 pm
deleted6 wrote a review...



LMAO heh that funny and it good someone making them look more human. The Germans have had enough punishment. Anyway i like it so is their going to be more, or is this it. I hope there will be more. You really seemed to researched everything well done.





"While we may come from different places and speak in different tongues, our hearts beat as one."
— Albus Dumbledore