Here's my first foray into drama in nearly 11 years. A few notes before we get going:
This story occurs during WWII and thus assumes a few differences from the comic: Russia was the Soviet Union (but for ease of access, I'll still refer to him as Russia) and Iceland was one of Denmark's colonies.
I'm pulling from a lot of historical events and I'm not going to explain them. That's what Wikipedia's for. 100% accuracy isn't the goal here. I'm telling a story, not writing a textbook. If I wrote something you take issue with, by all means let me know and we'll figure it out. This also comes with a soundtrack! Yay!
That being said, I cannot slap enough warnings on this. Again, it's WWII-which means racism, genocide, Nazi philosophy, torture, and pro-Soviet moments to top it off. It's ideologically sensitive with very intense themes and situations. My previous stuff has been very fluffy and silly. This is not.
Reader discretion is advised.
They talked about it since 1933 following a war that left all of Europe in shambles. Rumors floated from the south of more fighting and of Germany's brother planning a world takeover. All of it too absurd to take seriously. The Scandinavians entertained it in hypothetical 'what would you do' scenarios, and unequivocally concluded that should something like that actually happen, they'd declare themselves neutral and just keep out of the trouble. Perhaps go in hiding until the paranoia blew over.
It wasn't until they heard Poland's cries from the east that the deep credence of the situation set in. Nazi Germany carved out a new world order with himself set at the top. This superpower, the Scandinavians heard, lacked all the benevolence demonstrated by England, America, and Russia but still promised a better Europe could emerge from the rubble of the First World War. But before the utopia was established, Nazi Germany sought wounded solace in destroying them all.
In 1940, the rata-tat-tat of machine guns and blaring horns signaling an air attack came to seem normal. As did Sweden's tense and snappish attitude, as did Denmark's constant crying. When Norway tried to relax, he gripped the arms of the chair so hard that his knuckles turned white. They had implored and pleaded America, England, and Russia for help that couldn't come fast enough.
Denmark already went through the motions of declaring neutrality. He traded off his weapons and tried to keep quiet and out of the way. He was already tired of the fighting before the second round began. Initially, Nazi Germany showed zero interest in his tiny neighbor to the north, but for reasons never made clear he focused a concentrated beam of attention northward. Like an ant under the magnifying glass, Denmark writhed under the burn.
As in any other moment of panic, Denmark scrambled for assistance from his fellow Scandinavians. Sweden coldly reminded him that he himself declared neutrality that he wouldn't break this early on, that he also and to worry about Russia mobilizing on Finland. When Denmark pressed the issue, Sweden told him that all his resources and energies were tied up and Denmark would do well to defend his own territory- alone. Norway tended to him briefly, but even his ministrations were lukewarm at best.
Norway paced nervously while Denmark curled like an overcooked prawn and let the words flow- how the concept of killing off groups of people wholesale was both bewildering and absurd. Where was Germany who used to be their friend? The whispers of bombs that could raze whole cities in mere seconds frightened him most of all. And why? Why again? Why now? Why did Nazi Germany pull him from the line of countries as a target for early takeover?
"Stop." Norway said. He sounded tepid and worn out. As if someone flipped a switch, Denmark shut up, just as desperate for reassurance as answers. Norway sat next to him and gave his shoulder a light squeeze, but never looked back. "You're on the way to me. That's why. Use what time you have left to get your head on straight and be ready to defend yourself."
"What's your plan?" Denmark asked. "Are you still staying neutral?"
"I told England I'd side with him and he needs time to get here," Norway drew a sharp breath and picked his next words indiscriminately. "And you could buy us some by stalling Nazi Germany."
"I…" Denmark froze and blinked out another wave of tears. He had already traded his decent bits of artillery to Nazi Germany in the vain hope he'd see a Danish conquest as a loud-sounding nothing, as a waste of a superpower's time. A kitchen knife would serve as a better weapon than anything remaining in his arsenal and that too served as poor defense against a tank. Deep down, Denmark faced the realization that he capitulated years ago. That the only possible way to save his own life was to welcome in his fearsome new master.
"I see. I need to go fortify, then." Norway's hand dropped off his shoulder and automatically Denmark reached out and cleaved to his sweater. Denmark sensed the sheer amount of distress radiating off Norway. Norway, who was supposed to be his best friend. Norway, who saw him as the Judas Iscariot of the continent. "Let. Go." He said it slowly and emphatically. His patience too, had worn to a nub.
Then came the distinct and sticky sound of heavy boots sloshing through the mud nearby.
Denmark did as he was bidden and sat dumbly. There was no time to be hurt by Norway's callousness; no time to even say goodbye let alone make amends. Denmark buried his face in his hands to make it all go away and stayed like that until he could disassociate no longer.
Knocks punctuated every syllable. "Little pig little pig let me in. If you don't I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in."
When he located the will to move once again, he attempted one final appeal to Norway but he had left him to face the Big Bad Wolf solo. Only when the ice cracks do you learn who your true friends are.
Denmark didn't open up; so the superpower let himself in. "Shall I assume you surrender or would you like to try something?"
"Why are you here? You said you wouldn't attack me." Denmark sniffled some more.
Nazi Germany strode over and lifted the other nation's chin with his crop to regard him with limited interest. "But you're so near," he said aghast. "It would be very unneighborly of me if I didn't stop in to get acquainted. Besides, dear boy, you have my motives all mixed up. I've come to protect you."
"From what?" He made a useless effort to reclaim his head.
"From the Allies, of course. If I didn't step up to take care of you, you'd be forced into a life of indentured servitude to that inferior cur, England. Who would I be to allow that for a fellow Aryan?"
"England? He's been my friend for centuries, all the Allies have been!" Denmark retorted.
"They've been feeding you with propaganda, my boy. By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise." Nazi Germany said.
"What if I tell you to leave?"
Nazi Germany tapped his head smartly with the crop. "Then I'll bomb Copenhagen and we can repeat this conversation after."
Upon a few more of Denmark's feeble whimpers of despair, he adopted a new approach. "Why the tears? This is a day of celebration. You will be part of history. Norway too, once I liberate him."
Denmark cried all the harder.
With that, Nazi Germany patted his head condescendingly, the way one would a house pet, causing Denmark to bristle and tense under the touch. He handed Denmark a Swastika armband so that he might advertise his new allegiance and then took his leave, announcing his full intention to visit Norway before England could.
Denmark sat unmoving, just as he had before Nazi Germany's arrival. He wished the planet would halt for him to get off, but the world never stopped for one person's grief. When he found himself again, Denmark rose and planted both hands against a wall, hunched over a trashcan, waiting to vomit.
More to come...
Also, the reviews for this section is deplorable. Don't make me beg for feedback.