Andrei thought they were strange as far as Americans went. He'd picked them up in his cab outside the Kaliningrad airport to drive them over the border to Reszel, Poland. They resembled the basic unit of family, one man and woman in their early twenties and an eight- or nine-year-old girl. But that was all. The woman seemed too young to be a mother, and the man seemed too old, somehow, to be a young man.
Stanley Polensky and Calvin Johnson serve in Germany during World War II. Calvin, near death after being shelled, is given a bewitched herb by Stanley but then left for dead. Each soldier returns from the war and years pass. Calvin, discovering that he cannot age and cannot die, searches for Stanley to get answers.
Jen Michalski is the author of a collection of novellas from Dzanc Books, two collections of fiction, Close Encounters (So New, 2007) and From Here (Aqueous Books, 2013), and the editor of the anthology City Sages: Baltimore (CityLit Press, 2010), which won a 2010 “Best of Baltimore” award from Baltimore Magazine. She is the founding editor of the literary quarterly jmww, a co-host of the monthly reading series The 510 Readings and the biannual Lit Show in Baltimore, and interviews writers at The Nervous Breakdown.