A short story
November 11, 2022
Some time ago I decided I wanted to read The Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn, so I bought the unabridged three volume set on eBay. It's an incredible piece of literature and commentary; I strongly encourage everyone to read it. One story he relates really struck me, and in fact inspired me to write the short story you'll find below. He talks about a woman who was a true believer in Communism. She was wrongly accused, wrongly convicted, and wrongly imprisoned, like so many innocent Soviet citizens were. Even after seeing the deprivation, brutality and horror of the Soviet penal system, she never renounced her Communism, and in fact claimed her imprisonment was her own fault! That anecdote got me thinking about modern times and how many of us, despite overwhelming evidence, are so staunchly entrenched in our own ideologies that we ignore, or just don't see, the truth of events happening around us.
This story is about that, about the refusal (or psychological and emotional inability) to change one's mind about ideology. But it's about a few other things too. Once I got started writing it, ideas just started coming out that I'd never planned on. It happens that way with me and my stories. Ordinarily I'd keep this one tucked away until I was ready to publish it in a collection, but after the midterm elections, I felt it was time to let it out of its virtual cage, also known as my hard drive. It will be included in the next short story collection I publish, whenever that might be, but for now I hope anyone who's made it this far reads and enjoys it.
Mark Sowers, author of works of fiction. He writes fantasy, action/adventure, loves life in Alaska.