We’d been told to leave our pets behind. They were moving us to the countryside.
“But Kaja is only a puppy,” Gittel wailed.
“We will smuggle her,” Papa said, hammering holes into the bottom of Gittel’s small valise.
People were leaving their cases in a pile on the platform. Gittel screamed as a soldier wrenched her valise from her tiny hand and threw it high into the air. It turned over and over against the sky before landing on the heap with a thump.
“Kaja is a good dog,” Papa said, taking Gittel’s hand. “She has learned to be silent.”
Chris Cottom lives in the north of England and was once an insurance copywriter. He won the 2021 Retreat West Flash Fiction Prize and was the people’s choice winner of the 2022 LoveReading Very Short Story Award. He’s had further stories published by Anansi Archive, Apricot Press, The Bournemouth Writing Prize, Cranked Anvil, London Lit Lab, National Flash Fiction Day, On The Premises, The Parracombe Prize, Shooter Flash, Story Nook, and Streetcake; and broadcast on BBC Radio Leeds. Twitter: @chris_cottom1.
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