Author: Arto Salminen

The business of war

Issue 3/2004 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

Extracts from the novel Lahti (‘Slaughter’, WSOY 2004). Introduction by Jarmo Papinniemi

Major Tuppervaara put his plate down on a tree stump and walked over towards us. He had long legs and walked with a spring in his step. Twigs crunched beneath every step.

‘Okay, boys,’ he said. ‘Peckish?’


‘Take your time and listen carefully to what I’m about to tell you. The training exercise will begin soon. Your job is to help out here, you’ll be doing the medical officers’ jobs, all things you’re familiar with. During the course of this drill you will see things you have never seen before. You must not tell anyone about them. I repeat: no one. Not your father, not your mother’ not your girlfriend or your mates, not even the staff at your divisions. No one. That’s an order. Is that clear?’

‘Yes, Sir,’ said Äyräpää. Hiitola and I nodded. More…