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She saw him in the fruit aisle of the supermarket. At first glance, he was just another old man doing his shopping, but then she looked again. There was something familiar about him. Something that froze her to the spot and grabbed at her heart.

She shook her head, trying to tell herself that it couldn’t possibly be him, but she simply couldn’t shake the idea that it could be him, it might be him. She had to find out.

She watched him slowly walking towards the oranges, and she walked over there herself. Trying to remain inconspicuous, she picked up an orange as if testing it for freshness. He was right there, standing next to her. All she had to do was turn and look at him and she would know.

She put the orange down with a slightly shaky hand, gripping the edge of the shelf with her other hand to steady herself as she turned.

He looked straight at her. His eyes met hers and she knew.

The uniform was long gone, his back was no longer straight and his features had blurred with age, but there was no mistaking those cold blue eyes. He had looked straight at her when she was a little girl, getting off the train with her parents. He had stared straight into her soul before sending her right, separating her from her family. They were sent left, to their death, and the memory had stayed with her for decades.

She fainted, and oranges rolled across the floor as the monster who had haunted her nightmares disappeared into the crowds.

© Kari Fay