I must have been asleep for about half an hour when the music I had dozed off to ceased suddenly, replaced by the menacing peal of gunshots, followed by a jumbled chorus of howling dogs, crying babies, and shouting neighbors. I could hardly move in the bed from the fearful, almost choking, embrace of my younger brother, Panos.

“What’s happening?” he cried.

“I don’t know.”

“Mama! Baba!” I called, unable to calm my quavering voice. “What’s going on?”

My parents didn’t answer, although I could hear them hurriedly dressing in their room.

“The bastard has killed her,” Thanasis muttered angrily before rushing outside with Polyxeni.

Who? I wondered fearfully. Who is the bastard? And who has he killed?