A Feather on the Water by Lindsay Jayne Ashford EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Author: Lindsay Jayne Ashford
- Language: English
- Genre: Historical German Fiction
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Size: 2 MB
- Price: Free
Williamsburg, Brooklyn: June 1945
Martha sneaked into the hallway in stocking feet and stood for a
moment, listening. The snoring had a steady rhythm, like waves
breaking on pebbles. So long as he stayed asleep, she was safe.
door as gently as she could, she tiptoed across the cracked linoleum and made
her way down the stairs, hugging the suitcase to her body to stop it from
catching on the banister. Only when she reached the front door did she slip
her feet into her shoes.
The linden trees on South First Street were heavy with blossom, their
honey scent tainted by the stink of garbage as she passed the alley that ran
alongside the grocery store. Ahead of her, on the corner of Wythe Avenue, a
young man in paint-spattered pants was doing pull-ups on a bar of
scaffolding. As she passed by, he whistled. She dug her chin into the collar of
her blouse, dodging past him.
She headed downhill, toward the welcome black shadow of the Domino
sugar refinery. Pausing to catch her breath, she tasted a sweetness mingled
with fumes from the factory chimney. From where she stood, she could see
the East River. The water was smoky quartz beneath a clear blue sky. Great
barges and motorboats glided past. And on the other side, glinting in the
morning sunshine, was the towering glory of Manhattan.
It was too early to get the subway to Queens. She set her suitcase down
next to a low wall by the river’s edge. It was as good a place as any to kill
time. He’d never think of coming to look for her here. Reaching into her bag,
she pulled out a newspaper cutting and unfolded it. There was a stain over the
first couple of paragraphs, from when he’d thrown an empty bottle of Jack
Daniel’s across the kitchen, and the dregs from the smashed remains had
spattered the front page.
She smoothed out the scrap of paper and laid it on her knee. WAR
LEAVES 4 MILLION HOMELESS IN EUROPE. Under the headline was a
photograph of a hollow-eyed woman standing outside a makeshift shelter, a
baby in her arms and a frightened child peeping out from beneath her skirts.
It was impossible to look at those faces without something tightening under
her ribs—as if some invisible thread were tugging at her heart. She’d read the
report so many times, she could almost have repeated it with her eyes closed.
And at the end was an appeal for recruits: a few short sentences that had set
her mind reeling. “Must be free to travel at short notice. No dependents.”
The interview had been easier than she’d expected. She’d felt foolish at
first, when they’d asked her if she spoke any foreign languages. How could
she not have realized that they’d want that? She’d mumbled something about
knowing a little Louisiana French Creole, courtesy of her New Orleans
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