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Dusk in Kalevia: Short – Raven of Leningrad (Cherry Bomb)

Dusk in Kalevia: The Raven of Leningrad (Cherry Bomb short story)

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“You’ll meet your target when he stops in Leningrad to make the drop–follow him, intercept him. I don’t care about your methods. Whatever it takes to get us Clarke.”

Demyan opens the dossier laying before him on the desk, the scant information painting a picture of a young man new to the foreign service. There’s a single photograph–taken at an embassy function–of a freshly-minted bureaucrat, suit pulled tight across his broad shoulders, all squeaky clean patriotism and cocky grin. It’s the son of Uncle Sam himself, the kind of idealistic summer fool who challenges the world to break him.

What does a face like that know of fear, of despair? Famished as he is, Demyan’s response is practically Pavlovian; his mouth waters, and he can’t help the shiver that runs through him at the promise of the mission ahead. He wants to ruin this man, to drain the optimism from his face and leave a dark scar in his breast; he could run him through with shadows, devour his heart, and lay him bare. It would only take a moment.

“He’s good-looking.” Galina employs her characteristic knack for understatement.

“All-American Boy,” Plotnikov says, showing off his English. He bares his crooked teeth in a smile.

This prequel short story is recommended for ages 17+.

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