Photo Story: Defector

photo prompt April 2015BThe postcards came creased, tobacco-stained, stamped Minsk, Irkutsk, and Krasnoyarsk. Ink bloomed in clouding steam as I stirred bubbling beets, hand on my belly, squinting at Yuri’s scrawl. He was studying, translating for the Ministry of Information. What, he wouldn’t say, or couldn’t. Outside, leaves shriveled, crunching. My belly filled. Postcards trickled, then stopped. Kiev. Moscow. Nothing. I rubbed my belly, wrapped myself in scarves. Scanning frequencies, I huddled by the radio, shivering. Then two weeks later, tucked in a shipment of sardines: a card. An office with balloons, marked New York. Arrived, he’d scrawled. Declared myself. Knelt, kissed earth.


Clara Ray Rusinek Klein is the founder-editor of A Quiet Courage, publishing microfiction and poetry 100 words or less. Her 100-word story “Ostdeutschland” was Editor’s Pick on Postcard Shorts. For more, see

Photo Credit: Jonathan Boeke

8 Responses to “Photo Story: Defector”

  1. Patricia Bindert says:

    This is heartbreakingly beautiful. I ache for your speaker.

  2. Maeve Arthur says:

    Beautiful. Very interesting interpretation. Really nice, very creative!!

  3. Bill Love says:

    Very colorful. Lots of life in those few words. Well done.

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