“One. Two. Three.” I counted in the dark.
People huddled in the crowded subway tunnel smelling of damp wool coats, black-market cigarettes, coal dust and fear. Momma held my hand squeezing it tight to calm us both. Papa was upside fighting the fires that followed the explosions of Hitler’s rockets. People shifted uncomfortably on the floor as the shelter shook. Everyone counted the time between the engine’s death and the detonation above. Momma picked me up holding me tight in her lap.
“Let’s count together.”
I nodded in the dark leaning on Momma’s salty cheek. We waited together.

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