To Moscow


I am still alive and Stalingrad has not given up. I know you hate me complaining about Mother Russia's spoiled children so I will say this — you certainly are some stubborn sons of bitches. The Fascists are trying to break this city but they have only made rubble of buildings, not spirits, and I find I am proud to wear this uniform. Nearly twenty years since the last time I had a rifle in hand this way. I don't know whether to be happy or horrified that I remember exactly how to fire it.

It's hard not to think of what my father told us in the civil war. Fight so that the next ones born will not have to. He failed that, he said, with the Great War. And I suppose so did we in the years that followed, as much as I had so hoped that we hadn't. So many of those conscripted are so very young, and that is to say nothing of the children whose homes the Fascists have destroyed. I still hold hope for the younger ones, Efim's children and the like. We will prevail for them, no matter the cost.

I miss you painfully. The most daft things remind me of you sometimes. A comrade here has held onto a library book she found, and all I could think of was the time you left my books on the damn train. I still haven't forgiven you for that, though I intend to one of these days. I will see you again soon, I promise you.

Luka Andriyevich

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