Stowaway

For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #112, where we write about this photo from the Google Photo Frame.

“One more time”, said the gnarled voice.

An impish smile on her young face, she reached under the blanket. A stern hand slapped it back.

“Focus!”, said the voice. “One more time.”

She looked at him sheepishly. “But Gregor, we have been through this so many times already. Can’t we just… ”

“Enough!”, he interrupted. “One more time.”

Submissive now, she looked into his serious eyes. Her expression became deadpan.

“At the end of work…”, he started for her.

“At the end of work”, she continued, obediently, “I queue up to exit, as normal. I make sure I am last. At the front of the queue, you will distract Frau Hoffstedtler.” Frau Hoffstedtler was the housekeeper at the house in which they both worked, Gregor as a waiter and Natalya as a maid. The house belonged to the district administrator, the most important party official thereabouts.

“I am to use the distraction to head for the wine cellar”, continued Natalya.

“Frau Hoffstedtler will return, find me gone, and assume that I returned home for the night.

“Once in the cellar, I am to empty a bottle of wine. If they come looking, the scent will distract the dogs. Then, I am to hide until you call me.

“We will go out into the garden, together.”

She hesitated. “You are sure that the train will come tonight?”

“It passes every night”, came Gregor’s response. “It leaves the main station at 11:15 and passes this way to the border.” Satisfied with his own answer, Gregor added, “Continue.”

“In the garden, we head for the footbridge. We should not expect any guards – because they patrol the perimeter, they do not patrol the garden.

“We meet Stephan at the bridge. Is Stephan still going to help us, Gregor?”

“Stephan will be there. He is being well paid for this evening.” Again, “Continue.”

“Stephan will make the train stop for us?”

“That’s right”, finished Gregor. “Stephan will mask the signal for us, and the train will stop under the footbridge. We will have just a 2 metre drop onto its roof. The train starts moving again, and carries us to the border.”

For the first time allowing himself to dream, he added, “Just think, Natalya, tonight we will cross the border. Tomorrow, we can lie together for the rest of our lives. We will be free.”

Natalya beamed back at him, enjoying his smile. Her hand fluttered under the blanket once again. This time, there was no attempt to prevent her. “Now”, she whispered, assuming control, “where were we?”

High Spirits

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 29 March 2021, method.

At the seance, his ability clear,
As participants flocked to draw near,
With his methods imperious,
He then sent them delerious,
When he made William Shakespeare appear