87. Anastasia twirled the cyanide pill

Anastasia twirled the cyanide pill. It kept on spinning for two minutes and never wavered more than half an inch from the middle of the table. A perfectly round red pill, was there a more elegant way to die in Moscow?

Anastasia hoped she didn’t have to take the cyanide. The temperature had crept up to minus seven. Spring was coming. Before long the buds in Gorky Park would be blossoming and her kids would once again be going on the Buran rides. Whether she’d be there beside them depended on who would walk through the door in the next five minutes. If it was Mischa, she’d live. Mikael, she’d die.

She had climbed the KGB ladder mostly on intuitive hunches. One day she knew she’d tumble down it again, much further down than she’d started. Today could be that day. The day she was exposed as a double-agent.

The front door squeaked. A pair of manly footsteps entered the hallway and started ascending the equally squeaky stairs. Anastasia had three floors to think on whether the danger had been worth it.

She’d done it for her kids in the first place. MI6 had promised them a house in the Lake District and a carefree life if she’d successfully complete the mission. That was eight years and five missions ago. There was no denying it. She loved her life as a spy. And by now the odds were stacked firmly against the Lake District ever happening.

The footsteps now took the form of a shadow peering from under the door, creeping closer, then going silent all together. There was a single knock.

“Come in!” Anastasia yelled.

The door flung open.

“Privet, Mischa.”

“Privet, Anastasia.”

His voice sounded more rugged than usual.

She bit, then swallowed.

 

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10 thoughts on “87. Anastasia twirled the cyanide pill

  1. pandaplatter says:

    you said if it was micha she’d live, then you kill her. Why how?

  2. pandaplatter says:

    really enjoyed this also the suspense was brilliant

  3. dreaminofobx says:

    Small thing caught my eye…it is Micha in the beginning and Mischa at the end. Great story…sorry MI6 didn’t come through with the house.

  4. wordkunst says:

    Thank you for visiting & for reading. I quite like your project here, a very good challenge to give oneself & one I myself would do well to attempt. This short reminded me somehow of a few stories in Roberto Bolaño’s collection ‘Last Evenings on Earth’. Are you familiar with Félix Fénéon’s ‘Novels in Three Lines’?

    *
    Red against red against red, she was thinking, an end in Russia in red. From the slowly increasing temperature one knew that spring sooner or later would, even that year, arrive. It never is the right time, she thought to herself, especially when you yourself were the one to have to choose and you knew that all available choices would bring the same result.

    *
    With all warm wishes,

    Alexander Booth

  5. Omar M says:

    I enjoy reading your short stories

  6. Ooooh I like this! Great work.

  7. You’re keeping us entertained, Dieter. Nice story.

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