This is a reprint of flash fiction I did from a few years back. It was a challenge..the prompt was to write something including a goldfish bowl, a train, and a man in black. And to push myself harder, I wrote one each day for five days. Here is one of my favorites, from day three.
The train bound for the work camp rumbled through the night. Shem leaned back against someone, grateful for that person's warmth and for the counterbalance that provided his aching legs relief. He wished he could eat; the Nazis had promised to feed them at the next large town. Instead, the door was thrown open and more Jews were herded in as a black jacketed S.S. officer good-naturedly called out instruction.
"Shem?" The voice belonged to Ari, a neighbor who hated Communists more than he hated Nazis. "Do you remember Anna's goldfish?"
Shem didn't respond.
"You want to hear something funny?" Ari continued. "I remember every little detail about them. It's uncanny. But Shem, I can't remember my Anna's face. It's a blur. Why? Why do you think that is?"
It seemed several people held their breaths to catch his response, as if his answer would give them something to cling to. The burden was unforgiving.
"You remember because the goldfish don't matter," said Shem. "Later, when this nightmare ends, you'll remember."
"And if the rumors about the camp are true?"
"Then someone else will have to remember."