The soldiers marched down the cobbled streets, like clockwork. Their badges gleamed in the dim morning light, piercing Abrianna’s deep, brown eyes. She pulled her winter coat tight around her narrow shoulders and peered up at her mother, in line beside her. She opened her mouth to speak, but before she could utter a word her mother’s eyes looked warningly at her, as she raised her hand and began patting down Abrianna’s thick, frizzy curls. The woman were the first to move. The soldiers steered them like sheep, shouting vicious German at them. Familiar faces flashed passed Abrianna as she was pushed along with the crowd, her heart slammed against her rib cage. She tried to turn, glancing around for her mother but she was pulled against her will, in the sea of Jews. They made their way through the streets of the Ghetto, their feet crunching on the snow lined concrete.
Their suitcases were taken from them and they were herded on to the train. Bodies squashed together from corner to corner. Abrianna watched the platform slowly disappear, apprehensively. Her small hand rested on the paneless window frame. The chill of the cold wood felt familiar against her skin, she welcomed it, relieving some of the humidity from the train. She felt as though she were suffocating. Her chest grew tight and she struggled for air. Her hand slid across the window frame and fell to her side. A silent cry grew in her chest, but she refused to lose control of herself. She remembered what her mother always said, “Life never gives us more than we can handle”. She grabbed at the silver pendant around her neck and repeated the words over and over in her head until the train came to an abrupt stop. The wheels screeched on the cool, metal track, like a tortured animal. All of the passengers tilted backwards like dominoes, attempting to regain their balance. The doors were heaved open and people proceeded to get dragged out of the carriage by the collars of their heavy coats.
Abrianna stumbled towards the enclosure. A huge archway stretched above her reading, “Arbeit Macht Frei- Work Makes You Free”. What was this place? Her eyes grew. Barbed wire fences stretched around her for miles. The train platform ran the length of the area and on each side of her were hundreds of narrow, wooden sheds. A soldier approached her, staring down at her face. “I said, get in line!” he spat. Abrianna was snapped out of her nightmare and jumped backwards.
"S..s..sorry," she stuttered, but before she could finish the soldier’s anger grew. He shoved her back with the end of his rifle, hard. She flinched, grabbing her shoulder and hitting into the line of women beginning to assemble all around her. Each face was struck with terror. A few women down, stood a soldier with a crease between his thick, eyebrows, staring into a woman’s face. It was her mother. She wanted to run to her, but she didn’t dare move. "Give me that necklace right now!" the soldier roared into her mother’s face. His bright, blue eyes were scorching and his lip curled threateningly. Her mother held the necklace in her thin, worn hands and simply stared at the ground. The soldier’s eyes bulged out of his head as he screamed, "What is your name you ignorant swine?"
"Josepha Adelman," she breathed.
"Okay, Ms. Adelman, I’m going to ask you one more time…Give me that necklace," he snarled, grabbing her face between his thumb and fore finger. She pulled her face away and continued to stare at the ground. The soldier glared at her, his hands shook with anger. He raised his gun without hesitation and shot her in the head. The crowd separated, screaming. Blood spattered the soldier’s face, he didn’t even flinch. "Back in line or you will end up like Josepha here!" he barked. He kicked the lifeless body, crumpled on the concrete and paced away from it, shouting at the others, scrambling to get back in line. Abrianna’s face was frozen in pain, she stared at her mother’s body. A crimson river spread around her, staining the hems of the the other women’s dresses, too afraid to move. Her legs shook and a strangled cry was the only sound she could make. This was too much, she was cracking, bursting at the seams.
The rest of the day came as a blur, she was shafted into a small room where they shoved her into a seat. A buzzing sound filled her ears and hair fell around her feet. She sat unmoving, her body was numb. She was then stripped of all her belongings. Her dead, unfocused eyes only shifting as they snatched the silver chain from her neck, identical to her mothers. She was marched single file back out to the cold, winter air. She scanned the crowd of people, Each wore the same blue and white striped, uniform as her. Some still had shoes, some didn’t. She did not recognize one person in the hairless mound of gaunt faces.
The Jewish people were sorted into rows again. Each shivered in the blistering cold, clinging to the thin material of their new suits. A young soldier with gleaming, white blonde hair, a pointed nose and broad shoulders marched up and down, targeting random people in the crowd. He approached Abrianna, looked her up and down, opened his mouth to speak but his head snapped around to the elderly woman beside her. “Name?” he simply, muttered.
"Berkoff," she croaked, "Ingrid Berkoff."
"It says here you are seventy-three," he inquired, glancing down at his list of names.
"That’s right," she fidgeted.
"Great, great," he smiled, pleasantly at her. His face then suddenly grew serious, leaning in closer to her as if he was trying to see inside her. His teeth clenched together and his jaw tensed. "…and what good is a seventy-three year old, hag, in a work camp, hmmm?" he whispered, dangerously.
The woman fumbled for words, trying to catch her breath. She grabbed her chest, her heart racing at an enormous speed, she rasped but no words came out.
"Exactly," he stated to no one in particular and shot her in the chest. She collapsed instantly, with a thump. Abrianna squealed, snapping her eyes shut. The woman’s blood was a startling shade of scarlet, against the pure, white snow. She raised her head, careful not to look down. The smell of salt and a metallic assaulted her mouth. Her lip shook and she tensed her stomach, holding in her sobs. A cloud of smoke caught her eye at the back of the camp. It was a thick, grey cloud. An odd smell accompanied it, Abrianna wrinkled her nose. She looked around and everyone seemed to have the same reaction. She then glanced at the soldier’s faces, some looked as though they had achieved something great, other’s wore a grim mask of confliction. Abrianna searched for the source of the smoke. Two stone huts lay at the very back gate. Each had a huge, stone chimney on top. They are probably burning all our belongings, she guessed.
The day was ending and darkness was closing in on the prison. Abrianna was driven inside one of the long, wooden cabins. They contained a small furnace in the center and the walls were lined with hundreds of stone compartments, each has a bundle of hay spread across them. The soldiers assigned three women to each of the minuscule sections. Abrianna climbed on to hers and lay down. A heavy-set woman, with a round, flushed face joined her and another woman with narrow eyes and thin, chapped lips. They all collapsed on to the bed. Abrianna lay, stiffly and watched the light spill out of the room. She heard soldiers laughing, a hearty laugh. She couldn’t remember what that felt like. Happiness seemed so far away now. She thought back to her mother stroking her hard and became painfully aware that she had neither of those things anymore. Her heart felt heavy. How long am I going to be in this hell for? When will I wake up from this night mare? There was no warmth left in her. She began so sob uncontrollably. No one reached out to tell her it was going to be okay, no one tried to comfort her. Her sobs grew softer but they did not cease. She wasn’t going to fall asleep tonight. That was a luxury these women would not be rewarded. Her small body shook and she held herself, trying not to fall apart. She lay like that for what felt like forever.
I seem to have a disorder where no matter what people say I always hear a food reference. My friend said something like, ‘This is a really nice car,’ and I was like, ‘Did you say birthday cake?’ It sounded nothing like birthday cake but that’s what I heard. Actually, I wouldn’t mind some birthday cake. Or a slice of pizza, for that matter.
the joker got his scars from trying to put a whole pringle in his mouth at once
im gonna be hot in a few years i swear