Pseudopod 181: Spirit of Nationalism

By Richard Marsden

Read by Mike Bennett

The wind bit into his skin like daggers into flesh. The cold was like no other he had felt, and he knew it was only going to get worse, day by day. Never mind the night; even people such as himself had to find shelter by night or end up a victim of his own trade by dawn. Gregorie’s eyes panned out across the vast, empty, bleak Russian landscape. It reminded him of looking out to sea from the docks at Cherbourg, with its long piers and obstacle strewn harbor to keep His enemies at bay. The steppes of Russia, much like the waters outside the port city.

Here and there he could spy a single tree, or what looked to be a hill or solitary steeple. White land, white skies, and cold wind made Gregorie curse Him again. Why had they marched so far? What was the point of Borodino and the thousands dead they had to leave unburied, and only a week ago had to trample upon as they retreated? There was no point, beyond the vainglory visions of a man. Of Him!

A groan redirected Gregorie’s thoughts. He looked at the makeshift path the Grand Army had carved through the snow. While Russia might be near-featureless, His army was leaving behind plenty of markers.