All I had were distant, drowsy childhood memories of stories; dust motes in a beam of light that didn’t quite touch my bed yet, but would as the morning wore on. I had his voice, and I had the only images a grandchild of an unbeaten and unbroken generation could conjure: Watermelon shattered on the cobbles, kicked off the back of a government food truck by a soldier who couldn’t bear seeing young ribs beneath sallow skin; fingers sticky with dirt of the hot summer; rinds chewed for days, and days, after the juice evaporated from the street.
Val Prozorova was born in Kiev and moved to New Zealand with her family twenty years ago. She writes as often as possible, and has recently started to collect more and more stories from her grandparents, as they age. She hopes to start an anthology of memories that more generations – including her own – can fill.