I took the stairs, two at a time, stuffing my gun into its holster as I tried to ignore the heavy strap digging into my shoulder. It was early, and I prayed as I approached her apartment.
“Please, be awake.”
Closing the door softly, I listened. Someone was in the kitchen. Relief washed over me as I peered around the doorjamb. Her small, frail frame bent over the sink. The housedress hung on her like a worn rag, and white nurse shoes appeared too big for her thin legs to move. It was an illusion I didn’t take for granted. She possessed formidable strength.
“Yanya, we must go.”
She turned, and the butcher knife’s point kissed my neck. Her steady gaze locked with mine, then the corner of her lip curled into a smile.
“How many times have I told you not to sneak up on me?” she asked, as she dropped the knife to punch my arm.
“They’re coming again, aren’t they?” Her gnarled fingers trembled as she covered her mouth.
“Solders,” she said, spitting the word.
She wiped her hands on a towel and I followed her to her bedroom. Under the bed was her bugout bag. She paused, stroking the oak box on the bedside table. She lifted the lid and caressed the pictures inside.
“You sure we can’t take my memories? Did I tell you about the time your grandfather…?”
“I have heard it all before, Yanya,” I interrupted.
“So have I. So. Have. I.”
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer