The last day I saw my sister alive, I lost my position. It hadn’t been much of a job, just sweeping out our landlady’s flower shop, but it had paid part of my school fees, and I didn’t look forward to telling Edwina.
“I’ll not have the likes of you working here,” Mrs. Hudson had said loudly, to impress her Protestant customers.
I dawdled on the way home, trying not to drag my foot, stopping to check the names on the neighborhood’s makeshift war memorial. No new names, but I crossed myself, just a quick wave of the hand.
As I turned to cross the street, someone shouted, “Look out!” and I stumbled back to let three students rush by on their bicycles. One of them lost his hat, and I grabbed it up and sailed it after him. The grocer’s horse shied, and the old man shouted at me.
Two years into the war, the university had a dearth of students, only ashamed young men not suited for service and arrogant future officers waiting to be called and sent to the trenches. They were all just as cheeky as ever.
The hat missed its mark, and slicing neatly through the war memorial flew towards Mrs. Hudson's flower shop. It shattered the glass, and cleanly decapitated the old Protestant and her customers. Finally it embedded itself in the grocer's horse, and I retrieved it from the frightened animal.
It seemed I would have to return it to its craven owner myself. Turning it over, I read the name of the cheeky student who so carelessly lost it:
Opening: Susan Hall-Balduf .....Continuation: khazarkhum