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Under Amber Skies Excerpt:
I’m jolted from my memories by two men who block my view. One look at their black suits, fedoras, and dour faces and I know they’re from the government. Problem is, which one. Germany’s or Poland’s?
The thin-faced man on the left says in German, "Miss Zosia Nowak, we’d like a word with you." The language isn’t a clue as most people around here speak both German and Polish.
The suit on the right touches my elbow. He gestures to a side street and I catch a glimpse of a Luger holstered on his belt. "In private," he says. His hand remains on my arm.
Now my heart is thumping for a whole other reason. There’s nothing I can do as the men guide me to a quieter place. Then I catch a whiff of machine oil and fear rolls inside me.
Thin-face asks, "Where is your father, Miss Nowak?"
Surprised by the question, I reply in German, "At home."
They exchange a glance.
The man holding my elbow says, "No one is at your house. Where are the Poles hiding him?"
Cold sweat drips down my back. "My mother—"
Unable to comprehend, I stare at Thin-face. "But, they were there this morning."
His expression softens a tiny bit. "Did you see your father today?"
"When’s the last time you saw your father Miss Nowak?"
He sees the answer in my face.
"Two, maybe three months ago," I say.
Elbow-man swears. His fingers tighten around my arm, digging into my skin. "Now what?" he asks his partner.
Thin-face studies me. His gaze lingers on my wrist watch. "We have his daughter. Perhaps we can use her to lure her father from his hiding place." He grabs my watch, ripping it from the leather strap.
"Hey," I say in response to his actions and words. It’s all I can manage before Elbow-man cuffs me, ordering me to be quiet. Pain radiates through my ear.
Holding my sixteenth birthday present on his palm, Thin-face says, "This will provide the necessary proof."
From CORSETS & CLOCKWORK,
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EDITED BY: TRISHA TELEP, RUNNING PRESS, APRIL 2011