A House on the Volga – Filip Wiltgren

The kalanchoes are blooming, a dusting of tiny pink flowers on dark jade leaves.

“Please, grandmama, hurry up,” says Darius, voice tiny, his heart carried on the radio from the ship.

He is a good boy, caring for his grandmother. His heart was in his house, but he is grown, a young man, and the house is no more. It is good that he leave.

The kalanchoe spins in my hands, as I cover it in plastic, round and round, like a tiny asteroid around a distant sun, pink flowers turning.

Darius’ voice is tiny as a single flower.

“Atmospheric impact in twelve minutes,” he says, hints of panic in his voice.

“I know,” I say. My hands are clumsy around the kalanchoes, wet soil crumbling from wet pots, seen through wet eyes. It is not good, being last.

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