We now return to our regularly scheduled programming!
After a longer then planned hiatus, Iron and Ice is back! I’ve finally shaken off the post-vacation blues and am back on the weekly writing horse! You can expect weekly updates just like before. In this chapter we take a look back at some of the history which has created the world of Iron and Ice. We learn some background info on the various countries and just why everything got so messed up!
If you haven’t been following along, I recommend you return to the beginning to get caught up on the story so far! I also plan to collect the entirety of the first chapter, Snow Can Kill, and make it available on for download as an ebook. Keep an eye out for this in the near future!
Also, did I mention that I published my first ebook!? Thank you to everyone who has checked out Here Comes the Reaper. Right now its only available on amazon, but I soon hope to have it on iTunes and the Nook! I’m really happy with the reception its received so far. Its great to be able to share my stories with everyone!
And so, with no further ado, back to Iron and Ice
With a frail hand, Fedor Telitsyn pushed open the wooden door to his home. He slowly lowered himself into a sitting position on the step leading down to the street with a grunt. Not that it was much of a street. It was little more than a frozen mudtrack that ran through the center of their village.
He remembered a time when someone had told him and the other villagers that they were going to put a paved road through the village. Fedor couldn’t remember exactly when it had happened, but he knew that he had been just a boy. the face of the man who had come to the village also eluded him. Fedor seemed to forget so much these days. He did remember the man’s clothes, however.
Fedor pulled out his pipe and filled it. He struck a match on the stone step. In the distance, the first rays of the morning sun began to pierce the treetops.
The man had worn a fine suit and beautiful leather shoes. They were the finest clothes Fedor had ever seen, finer than the clothes any of the villagers possessed. Fedor remembered the way that the village men, including his father, had listened to the man with rapt attention, their eyes darting to his cufflinks and tie. The man had gathered all the villagers together. Then the man had expounded upon the virtues of sacrifice and outlined grandiose plans to bring prosperity the village. Fedor struggled to recall specifics, but could only remember the excitement and the buzz of anticipation. In minutes the man had promised the wonders of technology and the easy life of an age of plenty. He said the men in the capital had it all figured out, and soon wealth would spread across their land. Back in their homes, the villagers all murmured about how respectable he was and how official he seemed. A mood of anticipation and patriotic exuberance permeated the village. The man was given a banquet, shown every sign of hospitality, and when he left, the people stood in the muddy street and cheered. The man had waved his hat from the back of his finely appointed, official wagon. They never saw the man from the capital again.
Fedor puffed on the pipe, watching the curling smoke disappear into the sharp, cold air. Around the village, others were coming out of their homes to begin the days work.
That man had been the reason Fedor had joined the army. The fervor of the well-dressed man, and his belief in the promise of a better future if only they were willing to struggle for it, had inspired Fedor. He had told his parents he was enlisting the next day. He had become Pvt. Telitsyn then. He had been 15. Of course he had intended to lie to the recruitment officer about his age, but they didn’t even ask. It hadn’t seemed to matter. Within hours, he found himself in a barracks full of other eager, young boys. The atmosphere was full of laughter and boasting as Fedor made his way to his bunk.
He had been filled with pride, to see so many. Surely with this many soldiers willing to fight for their country, they couldn’t be beaten. Why, the war would be over in a matter of weeks! Fedor had been brimming with excitement, sure that he was about to embark upon the greatest adventure of his life, until he had reached the back of the barracks, where his bunk was located.
Here were the older recruits. Men with backs curved from work in the fields or hands burned from hours in the factory. They too had been accepted to fill the ranks. They were gray haired, bearded, bald, and wrinkled men. At the time of their lives when most men thought of retirement and a quiet life being cared for by their children, these men were going to war. In contrast to the boisterous crowd at the barracks door, these men sat in quiet reflection. Some read books while others stared at their hands. They looked defeated without ever once going into battle with the enemy. They had been defeated by life, cheated out of the one time in their lives where they wouldn’t have to scramble to survive. None of them even looked up as Fedor passed.
Fedor Telitsyn knew then that he had made a mistake.