NEW Story: Drip
⚠️ This article is archived, and should be considered non-canon.
Some years ago, she was in the desert. At the time she had just fallen out with her lover, and their friends had sided with him. The reasons why they had sided with him seemed to matter less and less as time wore on — they might have always liked him better.
They were self-styled anarchists waging war against the Indian Springs Sheriff’s Department, who operated one of the larger camps north of Las Vegas. Fashioning themselves as martyrs, they carried on in the spirit of Sacco and Vanzetti.
Tzipora had been growing tired of fighting. There had been an outbreak of botulism not far from where they were camped out, and she was worried she might catch it. She wouldn’t survive it if she did, because her body was wasting as she slowly starved. The folks they used to steal from had fled the fighting. Once her lover had left her, and her presence began to irritate the small group, she left one night and walked to the local Women’s Auxiliary, a barracks of women and girls supporting the marxist stooges in that part of Nevada. It was impressive to the fourteen year-old — the dusty desert outpost was flush with Soviet-made rifles and medicine, with rations aplenty. As she enlisted, she thought of her abandoned comrades. She was filled with anger and jealousy.
She told her garrison leader, a man with an accent from somewhere on the East Coast she couldn’t quite place, about how she and her skilled anarchist friends had been at waging guerilla war against the secessionists. Then, in an act of spite, she mentioned that her old comrades had stolen supplies from an Worker’s Reunification Party camp. Perhaps, in her silly little head, she had wanted to see them brought under control and disciplined, and she would finally be satisfied after their cruel words and coldness.
Michael and Lenny, two friends, leaders, and one an ex-lover, were picked up by a WRP patrol and shot in the head in their prison cells. The KGB, which was supporting the WRP at that time, gathered up the rest of the anarchists, six in all, and sent them to a detention camp in Utah. Tzipora would not see any of them again.
The same day she found this out, she was singled out at morning assembly and awarded for her efforts in front of the entire Women’s Auxiliary. When she returned to her bunk, she found a hundred pairs of eyes on her, and her meager possessions thrown onto the floor. She slept outside as a traitor that night, and would leave soon after.
Blood does not wash off her hands. The shock of her childish mistake gave way to extraordinary self-hate, and some sixty years later she is still coloured by queasy, anxious guilt.