For your Winter Olympics reading pleasure in the short breaks between episodes of The Curling (not a Laird Barron novel), why not read my story with a title that threatens to break the Twitter character limit, “The murder of Father Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin considered as the single men’s Olympics Luge final“? A story that manages to bring St Petersburg and Beijing together. Murder, intrigue, religious fanaticism, sportscasting and The Luge – who could ask for more?
Father Grigori, his hour come round at last, slouches towards the starting gate. His breath clouds the air. Look into his eyes, caught in ultra-high definition. They shine with the purpose of the elite athlete. They glint with obsession. A mono-mania permitted only at this level. He is an amateur in the best sense of the term. Hear the clear crunch of ice crystals beneath his poorly constructed boots. Ah! The romance of an earlier era. The big man advances in his straight legged manner. He eschews the aerodynamic skin hugging artificial fibres of modern competitors. See his rough street clothes. Mostly though, catch the stink on that cold evening air. Here is a secret seldom mentioned, but caught by our technology: everyone and everything stinks. Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy and Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky may have revealed the beauty and darkness of the human heart at great bloody length, but they failed to convey the stench of humanity.The murder of Father Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin considered as the single men’s Olympics Luge final by David Stevens in Sein und Werden