The Wild

By Matt Whyman


Alexi and his little brother Misha have grown up in the shadow of the nuclear arms race - indeed they make a living from it. Living in a bleak and increasingly destitute town next to the old Aral Sea in Kazahkstan, the boys and their 'crew' are the first to spot the rocket and missile testing out in the nearby desert, and first to scavenge for nuclear debris, from which they can make a good living on the black market. But when Misha starts to suffer seizures of a sinister and familiar kind, the local medical centre tell Alexi that his only hope of saving Misha's life is to take him to the nearest city where he can receive proper treatment. Taking Misha away means the brothers leave behind their family and their liveliehood, and when the boys arrive in Moscow - a city that held so much hope from a distance - they are hit by plummeting temperatures and ruthless beaurocracy. The medics there can't help Misha without the right papers, and the right money, and the brothers are left to live rough behind a deserted sports stadium. Misha's condition worsens, and when packs of wild dogs discover their hideout, he turns to them, rather than Alexi, for comfort and companionship. Slowly shut out of his brother's life, Alexi cannot pentrate Misha's guard of dogs, and has no choice but to watch him die...