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News & Features » July 2018 » “Operation Bastard” by Karina Bush

“Operation Bastard” by Karina Bush

Mondays Are Murder features brand-new noir fiction modeled after our award-winning Noir Series. Each story is an original one, and each takes place in a distinct location. Our web model for the series has one more restraint: a 750-word limit. Sound like murder? It is. But so are Mondays.

This week, a young girl in Northern Ireland seeks revenge for British occupation.

Operation Bastard 
by Karina Bush
Banbridge, Northern Ireland 


Me and my best friend hung out every night on the streets, smoking cigarettes and talking to older boys in cars. She lived in a children’s home and was a bad influence but I wanted that. I was sick of being treated like a child. I understood things—I wasn’t a child, I was an adult—and I’d do whatever the fuck I wanted.

Operation Banner it was called. The British army presence in Northern Ireland. They patrolled the town all the time, because the town was a target for bombs. 

“What are you girls doing?”

I hated their accents.

“None of your business.”

“Everything that happens here is my business.”

“Yeah, right. Fuck off British bastard.”

“You walk up there. You stay here.”

He used his gun to point. Direct me. It wasn’t a request. It was a SA80 or something like that. Huge big thing. It looked about a meter long to me, I was still small in height, I was only thirteen. There was another alley inside this alley, a dead-end. 

He walked me into the corner. Pointing his gun at me. Just a few inches away from me. From my belly. 

“Do you have a boyfriend?”

I couldn’t speak. 

“You’re pretty when your mouth is shut.”

I was scared but I didn’t piss myself or anything, I wasn’t a baby. I don’t know what I was scared of more. His gun or his penis. 

A long silence. He wasn’t much older than me. The size of a man but he was young. The cocky look on his face because he knew I couldn’t do a thing about it. 

He was growing taller. 

Another soldier came up the alley and called him away. Holy fuck. 


I couldn’t get it out of my head. 

Soldiers aren’t real people.

My friend had a new boyfriend, he was much older than us, he was 28 and a lunatic. He set off a firework in his car with the windows shut and just sat there calmly while the thing exploded. There was a massive hole in the back seat after. He always drank vodka when he was driving and he was just out of jail for beating the life out of a Brit in another town. He’d be useful to me. 

Soldiers aren’t real people. 

First thing I’m going for is his tongue. I hate their fucking accents. I don’t ever want to hear an English accent again. 

Soldiers aren’t real people. 

My friend wasn’t even Catholic so I couldn’t have her involved. The plan was to lure a Brit away from his patrol. Drive into the countryside and kill the bastard. Didn’t have to be the one that did that to me. Anyone would do. 

Soldiers aren’t real people. 

The Brits know about traps, they’re trained to be aware of that stuff, he told me. I couldn’t pretend I needed help or anything, they’d see through that. So it had to be about sex. They obviously like young girls. I could do it.  

I was dressed up like I was 18. Like a slut. If my Ma or Da had seen me they’d have knocked the shite out of me. I was nervous. Loads of them walked past and didn’t stop. One did. 

I knew what to do. I could do it. 

I told him I liked his uniform.

I walked backwards.

Took thirty seconds. I hadn’t realized you could make men do things so easily. 

He was waiting there with his face covered and he had three other men with him, faces covered. I didn’t expect that. They ambushed him and knocked him out. He told me to go the fuck home and I wanted to go in the car with them but I did what I was told and I got changed in the public toilets and I went home. I cut a boy’s name into my leg with a compass. 

It felt good. School felt good the next day. No remorse. 

Soldiers aren’t real people. 

On the news it said a soldier had gone missing, suspected kidnapped. It jeopardized the peace process. It seemed like a big deal. He told me that if the pigs or anyone else ever called to my house I had to say I was with him that night, that we were racing cars in the countryside. 

The pigs never called. But I wasn’t even worried. Everyone would blame him. 

I was just a child.


KARINA BUSH is an Irish writer, born in Belfast, and now living in Asia. She is the author of three books, Maiden, 50 EURO, and Brain Lace, a poetry collection published in 2018. She also works in visual media and is releasing a set of video poems to accompany the new book. Bush is currently finishing up a collection of short stories set in Belfast and writing her first novel, which is set in Southeast Asia. For more visit her website karinabush.com.


Would you like to submit a story to the Mondays Are Murder series? Here are the guidelines:

—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your story should be set in a distinct location of any neighborhood in any city, anywhere in the world, but it should be a story that could only be set in the neighborhood you chose.
—Include the neighborhood, city, state, and country next to your byline.
—Your story should be Noir. What is Noir? We’ll know it when we see it.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—Accepted submissions are typically published 6–8 months after their notification date and will be edited for cohesion and to conform to our house style.
—E-mail your submission to info@akashicbooks.com. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.

Posted: Jul 16, 2018

Category: Original Fiction, Mondays Are Murder, Original Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,