Meet the New Boss

Marshal Gororov  sat behind the vast desk. He stirred his tea with vigor.  The cup was a Russian one, clear glass in an elegant silver holder.

Gororov  held up the glass, pointing at the swirling sugar cube with his teaspoon. “You see how it it does not dissolve?” he said.

Bergmanis was unused to the indoors after so many months in the forest. He perched uneasily on the gilt chair in his smoke-sodden clothes, nervously twisting his forager’s cap. He did not like this Soviet and his evasions.

To Bergmanis, the matter was simple enough. The Nazis were gone, smashed to rubble. His men were tired of fighting, tired of war. They missed their homes, their families.

Gororov held up the spoon, smiled as he plunged it in. He crushed the sugar cube against the side of the cup. “But you see,” he said, “it is all a matter of  approach.”

What Pegman Saw: Latvia


World War II losses in Latvia were among the highest in Europe, with 30% of population killed. The Soviet Union reoccupied Latvia as part of the Baltic Offensive in 1944, a twofold military-political operation to rout German forces and the “liberation of the Soviet Baltic peoples.”  In 1949 the Soviet Council of Ministers issued a decree “on the expulsion and deportation” from Latvia of “all kulaks and their families, the families of bandits and nationalists”, and others. More than 200,000 people were deported from the Baltic in 1940–1953. In addition, at least 75,000 were sent to Gulag.  All in all, 10 percent of the entire adult Baltic population was deported or sent to labor camps. Many soldiers evaded capture and joined the Latvian national partisans’ resistance that waged unsuccessful guerilla warfare for several years.


Add Yours
  1. Joy Pixley

    Even before reading the historical note, Marshal Gororov’s sinister plans came across clearly. What a great metaphor, how the sugar cube doesn’t dissolve until it’s crushed.

  2. Prior...

    the crushing cuber at the end really captured how tough it must have been for these people. Gosh – and to think we complain about life sometimes over our modern problems when looking back can stir up some reminders as to how good we have it.
    I did not know that much about this area prior to the prompt this week and it has been interesting to learn about.

    oh and I like how even the cup he had was Russian – showing the entire foreign vibe in that there office.

  3. crimsonprose

    I like your use of the sugar cube to illustrate the point. I guess this is how the English felt when, having fought off yet another Scandinavian invasion, Duke William planted his rump of our throne and, with brutality, took over

  4. Cara Hartley

    Out of the frying pan and into the fire. The sugar cube was a great metaphor.
    Cie from Team Netherworld

  5. Lynn Love

    What a tragic history Latvia has – used and persecuted by both sides. You suggest the horrors well – that sugar cube imagery is perfect and very sinister. And I love the title – meet the new boss (same as the old boss?) Can’t imagine how the people must have felt, knowing the Soviets were coming back

  6. Dale

    I’ll have to join in with my unoriginal comment re the sugar cube. But what can we all say? It was brutally effective.
    It’s amazing what we learn with these Pegman stories. I am struggling to find something original…

  7. 4963andypop

    Seems like i came late to the party, and all the good comments were taken.

    I like the way you bent sinister.

    Of course, by saying that, I meant to invoke the Russian-born ant-Communist author Nabokov, who wrote Bend Sinister (in English,) about an authoritarian ruler who forces an unwilling professor to speak publicly in support of his regime, accidentally killing the professor’s son in the process.

    Then I discovered the heraldic meaning of the phrase “bend sinister,” as a marking on shields. It means “bastard,” much like the last name “Snow” in Game of Thrones’ Winterfell.

    Sounds like that meaning fit your story, as well.

Don't just stand there.