Napoleon’s Russian Campaign

Oh, he thought about it several times – in a fever dream or summer party, too much gin and lime or whatever he was drinking – drinking always gets men thinking about conquest, about remnants left to be swept up to bed. But it was never going to happen (though his genius was quite magic). There comes a point when numbers ruin any hope of last ditch hail mary’s from the endzone. We were far too far from home. The Russians overwhelmed us in a heap of willing corpses, in the willing flames of torches on the fair city they lived in, on the radicalized children throwing rocks and laying bombs, on the fact that when we stopped to go back guess who was there blocking us – the Russians – laughing, mocking us for dying in the coldest winter God has ever put upon this earth.

I get it, he said, on his way back to Paris. Russia cannot be conquered, to dare it is death in the least and destruction at most. His snot had froze solid, his frostbitten toes itched with a burning he thought quite deserving of trying to do the thing no man can do. The Russians went back to their places – a few sent him Christmas cards the very next year – “Greetings from Moscow, glad you’re not here.”

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~ by perfectionatrix on May 30, 2012.

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