anemoia by a thread

United States

WtW's resident "the cool cousin you see once a year, but the conversation you guys were having a long time ago picks up where it left off without missing a beat" (rosi)

Child of God
athletic nerd


Message to Readers

Update as of 1.10.21: republishing for review, recirculation, and just to keep myself active on here without having to do anything new. <3
Thank you so much for all the support and love and kindness I've received since my return!
Feedback always appreciated.

Soviets and Mixed Drinks: A Short Story

January 10, 2021


    “You worms!” Daniel screams at the sky. Close to cloudless. The kind of early sky that puts Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes to shame. A pity that “You dirty, [expletive] Soviets!” is piercing it. 
    Smoke drifts lazily from the ruins of our house. I stand on the remnants of the front porch steps. I wonder if he wishes he had never remarried. He could have crawled back to her. Then he might have a house still. 
    “Daniel?” I draw my sweater tighter around me as I walk hesitantly toward him. He stands on the edge of our front lawn, screaming at whoever hears him because the Soviets never will. He turns to me. There is still a fire in his eyes. I never thought fire could be so cold; his brown eyes are closer to black in the light of dawn.  
    “What did we do, Grace? What was it this time, huh? Tell me, because I sure as hell don’t understand,” he huffs. 
I only swallow the burn of lies and guilt when I tell him, “I don’t know.” His chest is still heaving, but I can see on his face that he has calmed. 
    “Let’s go down to Jemmy’s,” I suggest before he asks more questions. “I’ll buy you a Tequila Sunrise, with double the tequila.” Daniel snorts. 
    “Fine. But alcohol won’t fix this world.”
    “No, but it might cool you off.” Alcohol makes him sluggish, sometimes delirious, and if he’s drunk, he’ll just pass out. Never has he been angry or loud. He has plenty of fury and volume when he’s sober. 
    When we reach Jemmy’s, our local saloon, Daniel is in deep thought. He’s been silent the whole three blocks. By the time Jemmy has made our drinks—a Tequila Sunrise for him, as promised, and an Irish coffee for me—I begin to wonder if he’s dozed off with his eyes open. 
    “I bet it was Ukraine!” he says. Jemmy blinks, startled. 
    “Oh. Sorry, Jemmy.” The bar is quiet, and Jemmy goes easily unnoticed. “I wasn’t talking to you,” Daniel added. He turns to face me. 
    “Grace, it was Ukraine! It would never be Russia directly; that would be too obvious.” My heart beats a little faster. Daniel unleashes conspiracy theory after another, weaving details so fast that I can’t distinguish fact from fiction. Which is foolish. I, more than most, should know what’s true. 
    “Hey, Jemmy, can I get another one of these?” Daniels asks, a glazed grin already on his face. Jemmy has had another glass ready for several minutes now. “Boy, I remember that Susie used to get so mad when I drank these. ‘Try this cheap wine,’ she’d say, ‘or even beer. Aren’t you guys supposed to like beer?’ Just because I’m a man, I suppose.” I am reminded that Daniel often takes a trip down memory lane after the first drink or two. His mention of his first wife sends me whirling five years down my own memory lane.
    I drew Daniel away from Susanna. She was a pretty little Southern brunette who was already cheating on him with her cycling trainer. I stayed honorable for almost two years and never made a real move on Daniel until they finalized the divorce, and even then, I was careful and mostly chaste; I was patient. My one redeeming quality, it seems.
    The guilt comes swiftly. How could I deceive him like this, gathering intel against him? I can hardly breathe, but I take a small sip of my coffee, nearly choking on the familiar burn. I covertly study his face, a skill I’ve mastered over the years. He could be handsome, if he wasn’t worn down and angry. If he didn’t work for the American government. He is attractive in the way that I am: if only we were a little less weary, if only we looked a little closer to our ages, if only our faces were brighter and our smiles more frequent. Daniel doesn’t know that I was born from a passing affair between a loyal soldier and a Ukrainian woman with an ocean in her eyes. He doesn’t know that my father gave his life defending the ideology that his father gave burning speeches against. 
    It’s time to come clean. I don’t know how I decide, but some unknown force—the shreds of my conscience making a dying effort, perhaps—moves me to a confession. I look him straight in the eye, because if I am going to be brave, I need to be brave all the way. 
    “I burnt the house down.”
NOTE: Comes from a Pinterest Writing Prompt that required these words to be included:
  1. Grace
  2. Remarried
  3. Tequila
  4. Ukraine
  5. ‘I burnt the house down'
That's why it's a little disjointed. Historical accuracy is not present.


See History
  • January 10, 2021 - 7:31pm (Now Viewing)

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  • Tushar Mandhan

    “Fine. But alcohol won’t fix this world.” if only it did........wouldn't all of our problems be 'champagne problems'......*sighs*

    4 months ago
  • Emi

    I like the kinda hints about the Cold War here. I know it's not technically historically accurate but there's a little historical flavor there and I think that's cool.

    4 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    K I meant to say "And I'm glad to see you around" but " And I'm vlad" is hilarious

    4 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    And I'm vlad

    4 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Honestly, this didn't feel that disjointed at all to me. I really liked it. It felt fiery and cold.

    4 months ago
  • ~ carolina ~ {formerly rosi willard}

    “Fine. But alcohol won’t fix this world.”
    “No, but it might cool you off.”

    best line of dialogue ever.

    4 months ago
  • Just_A_Memory

    This is so freaking good! *Alcohol won't fix this world* had to be my favorite line. Why? I don't know, tbh xD

    7 months ago