It was a typical winter day — cold. Temperatures in Irbit occasionally reached the point at which Fahrenheit and Celsius become indistinguishable. On the other side of the Ural Mountains, the invincible horde had been met by an indomitable will. At the end of the monumental battle, a quarter million invincibles surrendered at Stalingrad. It marked the end of the pathogenic explosion. Its implosive eradication had begun.
A mother was rushing, with toddler in tow, to the wartime mall, the black market, where the Russian people bartered for necessities. She had dressed her son warmly: long woolly underwear; pants; shirt and sweater; an overcoat with mittens; a hat with ear flaps; and little boots made of felt. The felt was effective because the temperature was too low for snow to melt and make the felt wet. His father had recently demonstrated the fascinating way in which saliva turned to ice before it reached the ground with a clink.
The little boy stopped walking to complain about some minor discomfort. His mother’s hasty effort in dressing him for her important errand had been less than his fastidiousness required. In her agitation, she started spanking him, a very unusual response from her. But suddenly she stopped.
Advancing towards them was a disorganized column of misery guarded by army troops. The prisoners-of-war were shivering in the remnants of their warm-weather uniforms. Their heads down, icicles hung from the nostrils of the vanquished invaders. Tanya stared at the despised detritus shuffling past.
“That accursed nation of swine!” she exclaimed, as frozen spit punctuated the ground.
A mother was rushing, with toddler in tow, to the wartime mall.