It is six past eleven. At this time Grandfather would have been snoring happily while his favourite watch minds the time inside his coat’s pocket. Grandfather is not here anymore but his watch remains faithful to the family despite being tossed aside on a neglected corner of the closet. Its relentless ticking often scares the little mice away who dare to poke and play with the little lion perched on the chain. Even though the golden chain has turned rusty, the “Made in England” signature on its body boasts of an aristocratic past.
What a glorious past it was! The watch was a fascination for two generations; the young children and grandchildren who marvelled at the small second watch inside the big watch, locking up the second-hand. Now ticking away each of those seconds, the watch bides its time to join the master.
Henry, the sombre local postman, is always to be spotted on his bicycle as he goes about his business in a nonchalant fashion day after day. His dark brows cast a deep shadow on his stubbly cheeks that makes him look older than his juvenile twenty-four. One Sunday, as he rides past a hardware store, the postman catches a momentary reflection on the mirror left outside; that of a blond man with Aryan features wearing a starkly contrasting woeful face and a tattered uniform.
Henry puckers his forehead, clearly disgusted by his handsome look that makes it difficult for him to blend into the busy Berlin crowd of 1940’s. Lost in his thought, he suddenly finds himself crashing to the ground as a German convoy zooms past, blaring harsh siren. As he lies on the road, Henry notices the passport that flew out from his pocket. Now lying three meters away on the pavement, its pages flutter revealingly. As the postman attempts to crawl towards it, a passer-by turns around. The stride of a pair of red heels makes Henry break into a cold sweat. Continue reading →