by James Glazebrook
It was now, not then – not during the war we shouldn’t be mentioning – and it was the same city in which Zoë and I now live, but only recognisable in that twisted, transitory way of dreams. The ubiquitous graffiti was sprayed across foreign surfaces, and the now-familiar snow lay on hitherto unmapped streets. If it wasn’t for my narrator’s certainty that this was undoubtedly Berlin, I would have sworn it was Baghdad, pieced together from the grainy footage of a thousand news reports.
Despite our bewilderment at having been dropped into this situation without explanation, despite the language barrier feeling as tangible as the concrete walls of our barricade, as locals gave up the pretense of speaking English in favour of efficient communication with their comrades, Zoë and I seemed an integral part of some kind of resistance. What or who we were fighting against, we never found out, but trapped in that cold, starkly floodlit blockade, waiting for death, The Resistance felt all too real.