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by Drew Gummerson

Ivan Ivanovich killed Vronski Vronovich with a club. The argument was over a game of cards, a bottle of wine, a bar in Sevastopol, a thick woollen blanket covering its door to keep out the cold, a bundle of gold coins, a watching hazel-eyed woman with a husband in Siberia, a former government minister with a penchant for opium, an overcoat with deep dusty pockets and wide secretive sleeves, a tiny unmade bed fresh from lovemaking, a flat with windows overlooking the raging Black Sea, a skiff waiting to take the winner of the game of cards to a new life in Honolulu, a beach hut, an alcoholic drink, a pair of racy trunks, the woman in the bar now in a bathing costume.

It was the usual kind of thing.

Just another story.

Like all the others.

Drew Gummerson is the author of The Lodger and Me and Mickie James. He is a Lambda Award finalist. His short fiction has featured on BBC Radio 4. Find him @drewgum.