by Frank O'Connor
Everyone agreed that Lvev Mendelstam was a very kind man. He kept procedures dangerously efficient, preferring electricity to beatings, even with the worst of the prisoners. Many of them requested to be interrogated by Lvev so that they could confess quickly and move on to be shot. The Party gave him The Cross Of Dedication and The Star Of Universal Glory, even while noting his unorthodox methods. Then came the The Grand Rapture of '56, when kindness itself was happily revealed to be a technocratic delusion. Now, everyone agrees, the real nightmare is just how the traitor Mendelstam could have got away with being "kind" for so very long.
Frank O'Connor is a compulsive addict in the army of frustrated writers. He blogs here, and his work has been published in Flashquake, Pequin, and Monkeybicycle, among other places.