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"I did everything I could sir, but it wasn't enough." My heart thuds.

"Idiot." Meyerhöfer flicks ash, inhales, licking his thumb as he pages through the file, snapshots and reams of scrawled notes spilling onto his lap. He pulls a photo, shoves it across the desk.

"Unauthorized gatherings, subversion, seen entering the flat of a known dissident... You took the photo yourself, Steiner. Am I to understand that you just let the Fräulein get away?"

"Well, no," I stammer, palms moist.

Meyerhöfer's chair screeches.

"You know how I feel about worms, Comrade Steiner." He stands, grinds the butt under his heel.

Story by:

Clara Ray Rusinek Klein

2 August 2014