As the story will appear in my forthcoming collection ‘The Ombudsman’s Ombudsman’, I am just leaving here the first page as a taster.
This is an attempt at an alternative history rewriting the life of Stalin.
St. Petersburg, November 7 (Gregorian Calendar) 1917
Petrograd Soviet. 2ndFloor Bar
“It’s getting late. Tomorrow’s a big day. Make this the last one.” Zinoviev gestured to the others in the room that the time for celebration had yet to come.
“Grigory is right.” Lenin seconded his second. “Sleep well tonight, dear Comrades, for tomorrow revolution will be ours and all of Mother Russia will be in the hands of the Bolsheviks.”
The rest gave an immense cheer and downed the rest of their glasses. The punch of the last drop of vodka fooling their bodies into a sense of warmth as they made for the cold streets.
Zinoviev also head for the door, before Lenin stopped him in his tracks.
“Grigikins, you know my thoughts on Joseph. Try and make sure he gets lost in the crowd tomorrow. If you could, try and ditch him, if we want this revolution to work, the best thing for us, I mean Russia, is Joseph’s energy being sapped on the battlefield. I would rather write a letter to his wife naming him a martyr of the Bolshevik revolution, than have to clip his wings when he starts to fly. I assume we are in agreement on this matter”. Lenin turned to his deputy.
“Vlad, man, you overestimate him, or worry too much. He’s all talk. I get the impression he doesn’t believe he’s got this far. He’ll be happy just to hang around with the big boys. Utterly controllable.” Zinoviev remarked.
“I’m not so sure. I think it would be best if his input were limited. A wrong turning, an unfortunate ambush, something like that would be within your purview, wouldn’t it?” Lenin asked him.
“Consider it done, with pleasure. Sleep well Comrade.”
“и ты” Lenin concluded.