Short Story Serial: ‘Saturday Afternoon, Odessa’ – Part Eight

       ...I don't see the attraction of the city, I really don't. The kids in my class dream of the day they can live in their own little box of post-Soviet slum and either date or be one of the guys who managed to bring his weapon back after completing his National Service. It's disgusting. The guys who run the place (the bratva, if you'll excuse the use of my native tongue) are usually Ukrainian-Ukrainians, rather than Russians like me, who wield their state-issued firearms around like they're something to be proud of. If I was ever in charge, ensuring the proper return of military kit post-conscription would be the first thing I'd do, as for years now it's been a fucking joke. Give a kid a weapon, teach him how to use it, scramble his brain with hideous sights and then set him free, telling him he'll never get a job. Government-enabled mafia boys under the steely grey sky. Forgive my slight lyrical turn there again; I have words running through my head in a way that people here don't understand. I rarely get the chance to flaunt my mind.

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