The setting: we are in a town called Ganja [real name of the town], during a recent war that lasted a couple of months. Much of the short story is fact.

“A stray?”

“Well, they now deny ever firing a missile.”

“Wasn’t a missile,” the voice behind them said: “was a cluster bomb.”

“Not the first,” the second man, called Fuad, cut in, lighting a cigarette.

“Careful, if they used phosphorus as well…” said the man behind him. He lifted his hand, in a gesture the small group recognised as flames.

“Just a teenager, most of her family killed too,” the first man said, staring vaguely at the empty space and splatters of blood under the shattered tree.

“I know,” said the man still behind them. “I am from the Israeli embassy. I came to give her family their travel documents so they could emigrate to Israel.”



A.H. Starlingsson🌲

—Playwright, writer, editor, theatre director, 🇺🇦 fighter, aforestbather Substack podcast Churchill was also a druid🌳