Erkki

Born in the fall of 1909, Erkki is the second child in a brood of 5 children in total. His older brother, one year older than himself, grew up knowing he was oldest, expected to be the one to take over the large farm and logging business, whereas Erkki, second in place, never knew what was to be his place in the family's business. In difference to his younger siblings who did all their father told them to, Erkki showed a more rebellious streak and suffered more than one beating because of his mischief.

In the civil war, the Tapper-Rautakorpi family fought on the White side. Erkki wasn't involved personally, as he was still only a child at the time, but the events are etched forever into his mind, like it is for most Finns who took part of that war.

He grew up as the family's black sheep, but he was clearly intelligent and did well enough in school. Leaving elementary school, he then went onwards to high school which wasn't something most children from the area could do, only the well-to-do.

After high school, there was a year when he worked at the farm and in the forest, but then it was time for his military service which he entered with some reluctance, not especially thrilled about being ordered around. However, he oddly fitted in like a fish in water, servicing in a machine-gun company, despite his sometimes problems with authority figures. It wasn't a time without episodes - he spent time in military jail more than once, for shorter periods, but on the whole, he liked it and was a good soldier, thinking fast and taking initiatives while at the same time being able to be a follower to the squad leader, someone you could rely on to get his duties done orderly and quickly.

He met Jari Viinikainen in the service, Jari being his squad leader, and the two got along well together. There're few people that Erkki would listen to with respect, but Jari is one of them. They didn't come from the same village but kept in contact throughout the years.

After the military service, Erkki returned home and worked at the farm with the kind of bored attitude of someone who feels no interest in it, knowing that he's not working for himself. He alleviated his boredom by each weekend partying with other young people in the village. Then, suddenly, he fell in love with the blonde pretty girl of another well-to-do family in the area, and more oddly, she fell in love with the rebel in her turn and less than a year afterwards, they got married, blessed by both families. Erkki's family hoped this would settle him down, and they were right - the young trouble-maker calmed down considerably, worshipping his young wife. The two moved in into a small house on the Tapper-Rautakorpi lands. A few months after that, his wife was pregnant and the happiness was complete. The usually so dour and grim Erkki shone up and was in a better mood than ever. He forgot all about his family problems, not caring about his older brother or his father's expectations; he was to be a father.

Of course, the happiness didn't last very long. When Eeva was to give birth to their first child, complications ensued and she and the child died. He buried his wife and his son and found little comfort with his family, or anything. For awhile, he drank heavily and was violent on such occasions as parties. If not for Jari Viinikainen talking him out of it, he might've ended up in jail. Jari straightened him up and instead he joined the civic guard.

A few years ago, Erkki seduced a young woman in the area, Sonja Korhonen, with no intentions of taking it any further than that. The outcome was that she got pregnant and gave birth to a boy which she has named Henrik. Erkki, perhaps still caught in the loss of his wife and child those many years back, refuses to recognize the boy as his, not wanting the responsibility.

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