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No-one Cares


Written for a flash fiction challenge – word limit of 350 words, title “No-one Cares”.

“Did you hear the news?”
“About the assassination?”
Attemptedassassination.”
“I heard about it on the radio. Terrible, isn’t it?”
“Awful.”
“I can barely believe it.”
“Did you hear how they did it?”
“They planted a bomb, didn’t they?”
“They planted a bomb in a briefcase.”
“Oh, a briefcase, yes. I heard. Would you pass the potatoes?”
“What else did you hear?”
“What do you mean?”
“Did you hear anything else?”
“I suppose…the names of the people who did it. That they’re being arrested.”
“Nothing else?”
“No…why?”
“It was one of mine.”
“What?”
“The briefcase – it was one of mine.”
“You don’t know that, surely.”
“I sold a briefcase to the Oberstleutnant last week. The one who planted it.”
“Oh…”
“You don’t sound concerned.”
“Should I be?”
“Of course! Everyone will hear about it! ‘The briefcase that nearly killed the Führer’, that’s what they’ll say.”
“I’m sure they won’t.”
“I’ll be ruined. Everyone will know.”
“It won’t be that bad. No-one gives a fig about the make of …what I mean is that the bomb is what people will remember. The bomb and the plot.”
“I can hear Glessner now. ‘The traitor’s choice!’ he’ll say. And he’ll do that laugh.”
“Don’t let him get to you.”
‘Killed any leaders lately?’ he’ll say. The swine.”
“He’s just jealous because you’re doing well.”
“I should denounce him as a traitor. See if he laughs then!”
“Erich! Don’t even joke about such things.”
“I shouldn’t be surprised if he’s part Jew.”
“He is not!”
“I know, I know. It’s just this assassination business…”
“I don’t think you should worry about it. The Soviets—”
“I might write to the Führer, offer him a briefcase as a gesture of goodwill. My finest briefcase.”
“He’s far too busy to think about briefcases.”
“All the same, I’ve got my reputation to consider.”
“The Soviets are coming, you know.”
“So?”
“So we should get out. Frau Bieber said they’ll be in Berlin by Christmas.”
“It’s just talk. Ignore it.”
“Only…I don’t think the Soviets will be interested in briefcases.”
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