CHAPTER ONE

 

One of Thousands

Glorious Chairman nodded and ordered the firing squad to shoulder their weapons and march the brothers to the execution site. They selected a tree on the outer edge of the clearing and shoved the two up against it.

"Do you want blindfolds?"

Stepha shook his head at Glorious Chairman. "You don't have to bind us either. We won't run away."

Glorious Chairman turned to Vanya. "Are you sure you don't want to beg?"

Vanya looked at Stepha and remained silent.

The Chief Agitator took this as his cue, pumped his fist and began the chant, "Death to the kulak pigs! Death to the kulak pigs!" Following his lead the remaining on-lookers took up the chant, "Death to the kulak pigs! Death to the kulak pigs!"

"Very well. The citizens will it." Glorious Chairman stepped away from Stepha and gave the command to fire. Six rifles were leveled at the brothers, three directly at Stepha's chest-the others at Vanya.

 

"Be strong," Stepha said. "Don't cry and do what I do." The two brothers joined hands and faced their executioners. "All power to the Russian people,"

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