[Note: This is Part 2 of a two-part novelette. Visit our previous post to read Part 1.]
Reading Dead Lips — Part 2
By Dustin Steinacker
They must have razed the entire village, Alex said carefully, rather than admit that ordinary people had killed the officers living here. Better for the city to appear a battle casualty.
“Why does it matter?” she managed. “Whether it was military or rebels?”
“Czir military all captured or killed. Nobody there left, but still guerrillas fighting. No need to inspire them.”
“But you know it was rebels.”
“Everybody knows. Propaganda.”
“Then why?” she pled. For understanding, for any way to put order to this. Questions of politics seemed so distant and sanitary to this charnel town before her. “Why the coverup?”
“We pretend not to. Same thing. Propaganda still works.”
These streets of death brought names back to her memory. Her friend, little Tibor, he of the harelip scar. The Valentins, who both shouted and struck their children and made Noe glad for her gentle mother. Petr Mátyás, an oddly well-to-do peddler who’d had the misfortune of settling in Óste just before the end. A nice man with a hard-to-place accent who loved a foolish pun.
All dead or enslaved or worse. This was a graveyard, as much as any she’d visited coming here.
Snap. (Continue Reading…)