Magda turned away from the notice and almost collided with someone. A young man, in his early twenties, was standing beside her, reading the notice.
“Excuse me,” she said. He looked up. He had a strange facial expression. Magda had seen something like it once before. In Afghanistan, when visiting one of her colleagues in hospital. The man in the next bed had had the same wild stare as this guy. A mixture of determination, satisfaction, and… hunger. It had scared her. And she wasn’t easily spooked.
The door of the bar, across the road opened, drawing her attention away from the strange young man. The military guy walked out. A General, if she was not mistaken. She saw him remove his weapon as the door closed behind him. There was a flash of something green – a trick of the light? – and then he closed the barrel and the gun was back in his holster.
She weighed up her options: follow him, or introduce herself? Their eyes made contact, as he glanced over to the notice board. Her decision was made. She cleared her throat, and crossed the street, aware of the eyes of the man by the Town Hall burning into her back as she did so.
“Excuse me, Sir?” Magda said.
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