GENRE: YA Historical Fantasy
Noises where there should've been silence. I sucked in a breath, fear closing my throat, holding it there. I listened until the sounds faded away outside, but I didn't breathe until Papa did.
"Papa?" I whispered. I was answered by stillness. I slumped down against the wall, the splintered fibers of the wood tugging at my cardigan. The fire in the woodstove popped like the static on a phonograph and I wished that we had one. I hadn't brought my records, though. I hadn't brought anything.
Papa dropped his gaze from the door and stared down at his hands. "We'll head out again as soon as Simon is well," he said. "The Germans won't make it to Siberia. I feel it."
"Josef," Mama whispered. Papa twisted to face her. They shared a quiet moment, a conversation held without words. Mama rested her cheek on Simon's shoulder. Simon's too bright eyes held mine, a knowing smile on his lips.
Papa's feelings were something we didn't talk about. My grandmother said that he was gifted, special like her. Even if he was right, and he usually was, if the German army couldn't make it to Siberia, neither could our exhausted little family.
Papa twisted the gold medallion hanging from his neck, something he did when his nerves were stretched too thin. He slipped the chain over his head. Between his fingers he flipped the pendant, rolling it across his knuckles like a coin, the chain trailing behind.