Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Astronomical Clock by Sophie Farrington

This entry came sixth in our ultra-short story competition earlier this year. The judges’ comments included ‘a sense of drama’, ‘this held me’ and ‘seems like part of a long story’.

There were only a few minutes left to wait when there was an explosion, followed by several loud bangs and everyone around me started screaming and running off in all directions.
Men in uniform had appeared and were shouting commands at us, waving their guns around and lining the men up, rounding up everyone else.
My mother grabbed my wrist and held on to it so tightly it hurt, but she didn’t seem to hear me when I tried to tell her.
All around me, people were screaming, shouting and crying, the women mostly. The queuing men were silent and their faces still. One man grabbed my hand and pulled me into a narrow alley, barely visible from the street.
He bent down to my height and  put his forefinger to his lips, a signal I took to mean to remain silent. He led my mother and I down the darkened path with five or six others in front of us. I looked for my father but couldn’t see him through the darkness and my own tears.
We were shown through a small wooden door and down some steps, into another corridor where the walls were stone and cold and felt gritty to the touch as I ran my hand along it.
The man opened another door and led us into a small, but crowded room. I caught only snippets of the conversation with the strange man and my father.
“This attack was unexpected, many lives have been lost today and it is neither the first time, nor the last.” “May God be with you Rabbi.” 


by Doug Harcourt

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