The First Defence

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
Satirical story about a sneaky invasion without causing full blown warfare.

Submitted: February 06, 2019

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Submitted: February 06, 2019

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The First Defence

Dimitri scanned the dirt road coming from the mountain pass.  Nothing moved. He lowered his binoculars and went into the small hut that functioned both as the border post and his dwelling. It was time for his mid-morning break. Once inside, he opened the old ammunition box that functioned as his cupboard and took out a bottle of vodka, an inkpad and two stamps, a round one, with the official entry visa text on it in tiny lettering. The other one was adjustable. He could change the date it produced by turning a couple of small wheels. Dimitri looked at it and noticed he had forgotten to adjust it the day before. There simply had been no need for it. He sat down on the straight-backed chair that was the only real piece of furniture in the hut and turned one of the tiny wheels on the date stamp one click.

‘Ready for service,’ Dimitri said out loud just to put his voice into gear. He put the stamps and the inkpad on the rough table and poured himself the first vodka of the day in his battered tin mug. The fiery fluid went down in two gulps. He smacked his lips and sighed as the rough booze went down his gullet. He slammed the mug on the table with a loud clang. That was when he heard the noise outside. Very faint, but a noise, nevertheless. It sounded like an engine in the distance.

Probably that farmer from the other side of the mountain, Dimitri thought. He had been on this side of the mountain twice before, and he was the only Russian he had ever spoken to. He wasn’t a bad chap. Probably looking for one of his sheep again. Just to be on the safe side, Dimitri decided to check what was going on and went outside.

As he focussed his binoculars on the dirt track coming down the mountain, Dimitri felt the blood drain from his face. A dirty green truck slowly made its way down. It clearly was a military vehicle. He could just discern some green figures sitting in a row on the back of the vehicle. ‘The Russians are coming,’ Dimitri thought. What was he to do? Just as he was about to lower the binoculars, he spotted a second truck appearing over the top of the pass. This was serious. They would be at the border post in a couple of minutes. The situation could be too big for him to handle; he needed his phone

Dimitri’s instincts seemed to take over from his brain as het sprinted back into the hut. He grabbed the cell phone from the table and swiped the screen until he found the number he needed

‘They’re coming,’ he said in a hoarse voice, as the call was answered. ‘They’re coming.’

‘Who is this?’ a stern voice on the other side asked.

‘They’re coming, hurry, they’re coming.’

‘Make yourself known,’ the voice said. ‘Follow the procedure.’

Dimitri suddenly realize he had forgotten about the emergency protocol . ‘Private Dimitri Jacolev. Post 26.’ He identified himself, knowing the man on the other side must have seen the caller’s identification on his screen as soon as the call had come in.

‘Okay, what’s the matter? ‘asked the voice in a now friendly, slightly patronizing tone.

‘They’re coming, the Russians are coming. At least two trucks full of them. They’ll be here in minutes. What am I to do?’

The operator on the phone seemed to understand the emergency of the situation and replied: ‘Don’t hang up, I’ll put you through to Colonel Kapolev.’

Almost immediately, an authoritative voice continued the conversation.

‘What’s this about Russians?’

‘They’re coming down the road. At post 26. Trucks and soldiers. Dozens of soldiers. I don’t know what to do.’

‘An invasion?’ asked the Colonel.

‘It has begun,’ answered Dimitri. ‘There’s lots of them. I’m all alone here.’ His voice started to tremble.

‘Don’t panic, soldier. You’ve been trained to deal with a situation like this. Just fill me in.’

‘They’re attacking my post,’ Dimitri said. ‘They’ll be here in a couple of minutes. I don’t know what I can do about it.’

‘Just do your duty soldier. Stay at your post and defend your country. Help is on its way.’

Then the line went dead.

Dimitri started to swear as he yanked his AK-74 from its hook on the wall. Then he raced outside again.  The trucks were already within a quarter of a mile from his post. They were softly growling like an angry pack of wolves as they slowly came down the road, their heavy wheels audibly crunching the gravel deep into the surface.  Dimitri felt sure they would grind him to a pulp too if he stood up to them. How was he to defend his country? He only had the one rifle.

Then they were upon him. The first truck ground to a halt only two yards away from where Dimitri was standing. The right door swung open and a giant of a man, jumped from the cab.  He walked over to Dimitri who stood at the side of the road with his AK-74 dangling from his right hand, its muzzle pointing to the ground.

‘I’m Captain Solokov,’ said the man. ‘You can give me the rifle, my friend, there’s nothing to fear anymore. The Russian army is here to protect you.’ He reached for Dimitri’s gun and almost gently took the the weapon away. Then he slapped Dimitri on the back with his enormous hand and smiled. ‘Relax soldier. You have done your duty.’

Meanwhile, all the Russian soldiers had climbed from the two trucks and had gathered round their commander who ordered them to check the border post. They immediately swarmed around the hut and looked everywhere.

‘There’s nobody around,’ their sergeant reported.

‘I have found this, ‘A young soldier with a pimply face said and, showed the stamps and the inkpad.

‘There’s no more need for that,’ the captain said. ‘We’ve brought our own for a real post down the road.’

‘You should be glad,’ the captain said to Dimitri. ‘Now you are in a truly free country. You’re no longer commanded by those amateurs.’ Then he threw Dimitri’s weapon to one of the Russian soldiers. ‘Show him how brave he has fought us,’ he said mockingly. Promptly, the man drew back the bolt of the rifle and pointed it at the hut. The rifle’s magazine was emptied in one long burst. The bullets slammed into the earthen walls of the hut, leaving a pattern of neat, round holes. Then the shooter removed the empty magazine and dropped it on the ground among the spent cartridges.

‘See, you’ve tried to fight us off,’ the Russian Captain said. ‘You cannot be blamed for anything. You have done your job. Now, what are you going to do?’

‘I don’t know. What can I do?’ Dimitri asked.

‘You can make a call,’ suggested the Captain.

‘What’s the use?’

‘You should inform your officer that your post has become part of Russia again, as it should be. Tell them you have been liberated,’ the Captain suggested. ‘They’ll be pleased to hear from you.’

Dimitri doubted it.

‘Come on, make your call,’ the Captain said in a sterner tone of voice.

Dimitri nodded and took his phone from his pocket. The same voice answered.

‘They’re here.’

This time there was no reprimand about not sticking to the protocol ‘Where?’

‘Post 27. I’ve been overrun.

‘You haven’t done your duty,’ the voice said accusingly. ‘You should have stopped them.’

Dimitri kept silent and thought about the implications of the remark.

‘Post 27, answer me. What is your status?’

‘I have run out of ammunition,’ Dimitri explained and felt hurt by the chuckling around him.

‘Where’s your bayonet?’ This time it was Colonel Capolev’s voice.

‘I’ve lost it in the hand-to-hand fighting,’ Dimitri said, as he took the bayonet from its scabbard with his left hand and dropped it on the ground. One of the Russian soldiers stepped forward in order to pick it up and, when he stepped on a small rock, he twisted his ankle and fell over.

‘How many of them did you get?’

Dimitri looked at the soldier with the twisted ankle and replied: ‘One of them is hurt.’ He paused before he added: ‘Badly.’

‘What a shame, you should have killed him.’

Dimitri looked at the soldier who was taking off his boot. ‘He was lucky, I almost got him.’

The Russian Captain suddenly took the phone from Dimitri and addressed Colonel Capolev. ‘This is Captain Solokov of the Russian Army. I want to inform you that this area has now been liberated. and is part of the only true motherland again. Please refrain from sending troops, there is no need for bloodshed. We are not going to give up what is rightfully ours, no matter how many troops you would send.’ He didn’t wait for a reply, but simply rang off. After handing the phone back to Dimitri, he made a gesture and all the Russian soldiers climbed aboard the trucks again. They immediately took off, the engines softly growling again.

Dimitri watched the trucks disappear before he went into the hut to collect his few belongings. It didn’t take him more than a couple of minutes to gather everything, and then he also went down the dirt track. Somewhere in the far distance there was a town he had travelled through on his way to the border post. He didn’t know what he would have to do, but perhaps there would be someone there to report to. Some officer who could give him orders he could carry out. Someone who could make sense of it all.


© Copyright 2019 Bert Broomberg. All rights reserved.

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