and I traipse through in the black of night. Aman lies sleeping in the
street, face down in a dark ring of wet. God forgive them for their
whispers. We stop outside a grey building I recognise as
works in. Wait here,
says. Quiet. She disappears
inside and them re-emerges a few minutes later,
kisses her on both cheeks and hands her a bag. We continue
down the street, more sleeping bodies on either side of us. There is
a light on in Jacob’s window. Inside it is warm but his eyes are cold.
Mrs Rosenheim pulls on a second coat and heads out into the
falling snow. I can hear a low humming, and then a kind of guttural
spurt, mechanic. The cat meows and spreads out by the fire, though
the flames are starting to sputter and die. I retrieve more wood and
add it to the blackening pile. The dog continues to bark.
man’s voice calls. I peer outside the window. A car has pulled up
beside the cottage and a man steps down to hand something to Mrs
Rosenheim. His face is grim and he does not say anything else. Mrs
Rosenheim waits until the car has disappeared around the bend
before she comes back inside. It is for you, she says, as she passes me
the letter. Her hands are lined with age.
says. Quietly. I carry a bag of my belongings, leather
handles flaking in my sweaty palms. Jacob leads the way to the
railway tracks, slinking down back alleys and avoiding low lit
streetlamps. Be quick. Be quiet. The tracks are slick with ice and
Jacob holds my hand as we cross and wait on the other side. His
palms are warm but when a train pulls up in the darkness he has to
let go. Steady now. He lifts me up into a wide crate of dust and animal
smells. A man I do not know is there to help me to my feet once I’m
inside. He does not smile but nods at Jacob. You’ll be safe with the
says, fingers clutching atmine. I do not understand.
I want to be safe with you.
face is wet with tears and snow.
The letter is bulky in my hands and when I shake it there is a
slunk sound. The paper is soggy and poorly sealed. Slowly I prise it
badge is shiny against his coat as
collar. Tonight, we will celebrate.
face is bright with hope.
I run my fingers over the dented metal. Dark red splotches half
cover the symbol.
Beneath the badge is
finest hair pin
of jade and silver, wrapped in a yellow cloth. I do not understand. I
pull the pin away. The cloth is cut into the Star of David. A word is
printed in the centre, black ink smudged at the edges.
Seig Heil 2