Anja was cleaning her kitchen when she heard people yelling and noises of motors near her door, ruining her solitary and peaceful life.

Everybody out! Commanded a deep voice loudly.

She quickly removed a mat and opened a hatch in the floor. She climbed down a wooden ladder, pushed back the mat to conceal her hiding place, and closed the wooden lid.

Down there, she had a room with a cot, food, and a sink. She remained very still on the bed, clutching her knees, while she heard the sound of boots kicking at her humble cabin and merciless arms throwing everything on the table and in the cupboard to the floor.

-Get out everyone, we’ve taken this town!

Anja had heard that phrase many times in her life, but she had decided that no one was going to move her from her home by the border. There her dear husband had lived, there lived his parents and his grandparents and countless generations. He built the basement shelter.

-There is no one here, said one of the soldiers.

And when everyone started to leave the cabin, the dust that had risen in the shelter made Anja sneeze.

She froze.

-Have you heard that? Let’s review this in a little more detail.

At that moment, a cat jumped out from behind the cupboard and disappeared through the window.

The soldiers laughed

-Let’s go, that cat is not going to make us work for nothing.

Anja didn’t know how long she was in the shelter, probably three days, until calm returned and everything was quiet.

So she ventured out of his hiding place.

She shook her head resignedly when she saw the damage in the kitchen and went out onto the porch to get some air and get fresh water.

There was waiting for him Mifu, his cat, who greeted him effusively.

The two celebrated that once again they had survived the passage of the invading troops together.

What part were they from this time?

Neither Anja nor Mifu knew, nor did they care. All they wanted was to live in peace in their house on the border.

FFFC 223

Author: Olga Brajnović

Journalist and writer. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Author of a biography. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.

2 thoughts on “On the border

    1. Olga Brajnović says:

      Yeah, I like hope. But I’m not naïf. I know there are many people hopeless in those situations, and that makes bleed my heart. By writing, we can heal somehow our wounds.


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