“the bloodletter”

The war seems to have inspired a new short story by Helen Simpson and the Guardian has it in its entirety.
“Sun slid early over the curtains and woke her still smiling from their victorious photo finish of the night before. They had been together for a year and together was the word. She saw now that without this private truthful allying in powerful pairs all over the globe, without this nothing would work and the world would come to an end.
Then came the tide of unease like a body blush, the flush of dismay. What had they done in the night? She flicked on the radio and he moaned in his sleep beside her.
“Sorry,” she whispered, remembering he was on a late, and slipped off to the kitchen with her work clothes. She put some toast on and filled the kettle. “Has he killed as many people as Stalin?” came the voice from the radio, keen as mustard, “proportionately, that is?”
How eager they had all been to step out of the blood-boltered 20th century, she thought as she pulled on her tights; how sick to the back teeth of the fangs of history and misery they all were. Now look. Some belle epoque. Not even one prelapsarian decade this time; not even one paltry year of peace.”
Read the full short story.