This picture by Teikoku Shounen/Imperial Boy’s reminded me of something. – Obachuka
Soldier Zilafe stood casually at his post, his face calm and his freezing hands in his pockets. He wore a uniform, and on his right side carried a baton, and on his left he carried a loaded handgun. Zalife never fired the gun in his entire career. He yawned, and his breath condensed into fog in the cold, winter air. Occasionally, a commanding officer would roll by with his tank, and Zilafe snapped perfectly straight to attention.
Zilafe’s friend Daniel, still dressed in a uniform, strolled up to him. “Hey, what’s up?” Daniel said, leaning against the wire fence next to Zilafe.
“What do you think I’m up to?” Zilafe replied. “Is your shift up?”
“Yeah, my shift ended not too long ago.” Daniel rubbed his hands together and breathed on them. “Goddamn it’s cold!”
“Heh. Yeah it is. They say it might snow.”
“Well ain’t that something.”
“Jane loves snow. She’s been yapping about how she wishes it would snow the whole day earlier,” Zilafe said. “She’s really cute when she’s excited.
Daniel laughed, “Ha! I’ll bet. How’s that girl of your’s doing?”
Zilafe beamed. “She’s doing fine. She said she’s coming to see me some time during my shift.”
“Aw that’s nice.” The two of them fell silent, and stared down at the people below.
The crowd bustled about with their Christmas shopping. They talked excitedly amongst themselves, salesmen shouted their deals, and happy children sang corals. The people looked warm under the glow of neon signs, and the heated stores provided shelter.
Zilafe shivered, and wished he was down there with the laughing shoppers.
Daniel sighed, “It sucks to stand out here in the cold.”
Zilafe silently agreed, but smiled and said, “Aw, don’t complain. It’s our job.”
“Do you like this job? I don’t. We’ve been here over a year now, and nothing ever happens.”
Zilafe laughed and said, “I suppose not. But our country wants us to escort tanks and whatnot, and besides. I wouldn’t have met Jane if I hadn’t come here. Besides, your shift is up, you can just leave.”
“Hahaha, yeah I guess I’ll abandon you then, since your sweetheart’s gonna visit you anyways,” Daniel said as he walked away.
“Hey!” a bratty teenager yelled from a few meters away. He had a group of his friends with him, some young adults, some little kids, mostly teenagers. Daniel turned around.
“Yeah you, you stupid soldiers! Get out of our city!” the teenager shouted. His friends threw small pebbles at us, and missed horribly.
Daniel turned red in the face and shouted back at them. “Who the hell you guys think you are?! You bastards should be grateful we didn’t level your city down!” Daniel brandished his baton angrily.
The group of adolescents erupted with screams of, “What did you just call us?! Level our city down?! Why you pig! Jerk-face! Get out of here!”
Zilafe sighed. “Daniel, do you always have to be like this everytime they do this? They’re just kids, ignore them.”
“There! Finished!” Jane sang out, holding her red and blue striped scarf for her friends, Claurice and Danielle to see.
“Awww, that’s so cute!” Claurice squealed. The three of them sat on the soft couch in Claurice’s apartment, watching tv. A Christmas tree dressed in ornaments resided in the corner, and its pine smell wafted through the air. The fireplace on the opposite gave a warm light, and crackled and popped as the logs burned.
“Are you going to give that to Zilafe?” Claurice asked.
“Yup!” Jane nodded, as she put away her knitting utensils.
Danielle looked up from the tv and asked Jane, “Wait, are you still going out with him?”
“Um, yeah? Is there a problem?” Jane asked.
“No, nothing,” Danielle said. She looked around, checking if anyone else was there, then leaned in and whispered to her two friends, “Well it’s just that…he’s with the enemy!”
“Danielle!” Claurice said crossly.
“Well it’s true!” Danielle defended.
Jane folded up her scarf, and proceeded to wrap it in festive paper. “The ‘enemy’ hasn’t done anything bad to us. In fact, they’ve protected us on multiple occasions from Riverend’s attacks to conquer us back. Besides, it’s not like it matters to us which country owns us.”
Danielle leaned back into the beige sofa and crossed her arms. “I don’t get the appeal of our city anyways.”
Jane smiled at her two friends as she put on her coat and fluffy hat. “Well I’ll be leaving! See you later.”
“Have fun!” Claurice called. Jane opened the door, which sounded a little ding from a pair of bells tied to the handle. Jane pulled her hat tighter, and walked outside, shutting the door behind her. Street vendors lined the streets, shouting for people to buy.
Jane’s stomach grumbled, and she took a detour to a food stand. She stood in line behind five people, which shortened in a moment or so.
“Hi! Can I have four of…your dumpling things?” Jane said cheerfully, and put six mones on the counter. She giggled, “Sorry, I forgot what they were called.”
“Sure thing!” an old man with curly gray hair said behind the counter. In the back of his small stand, pots and pans sizzled as the old man simultaneously took orders and cooked. He placed four white dumplings into a small box, and wrapped the box in an oriental looking wrap and handed it to Jane.
“Thank you for your money!” the old man said bluntly.
Jane laughed and walked away, saying “No, thank you for your dumpling things!”
Wow this is turning out longer than I expected. I’ll probably continue this. Probably. I can’t decide though whether or not- whoops, removed, minor spoilers lol -Obachuka