Erich could feel the warmth in the air. A slight breeze washed along his cheek. He could smell the grass and the faint hint of roses nearby. He smiled and thought about how great this day was. He felt something brush his cheek. Reaching up, he absently swiped at whatever it was. He once again returned to his enjoyment of the summer day. He felt something brush his cheek again. He reached up and felt something move away. He was starting to get annoyed that something was ruining his good feelings, probably a fly or other bug. He decided to ignore it. After a few moments he again felt something brush his nose and cheek. He quickly reached up and grabbed at the thing. He felt a slight resistance and then whatever it was came free in his hand. He opened his eyes and looked at his hand. He saw that he now held a long thick blade of grass. He furrowed his brow, trying to figure where it came from when he heard a giggle. He slowly turned and saw a younger boy crouched nearby. He quickly lunged toward the boy. The boy skipped back, giggling.
"Sammy. I'm going to get you."
The boy backed up, still giggling. Erich gave the boy an evil smile and sprang up from the ground as he gave chase. Sammy darted away, getting a good head start on Erich. Erich chased him toward a small stand of trees. Sammy darted back and forth among the trees. Sometimes he would stop behind a tree and tried to keep a tree or two between him and Erich. He would look around the tree and giggle. When Erich lunged at him to catch him, he would squeal and run off again. After having Erich chase him around the trees and nearly tripping on a few roots, Sammy next ran out towards the open park area, changing directions as he ran like a champion running back. Just as Erich would close on him, he would dart in a different direction. Erich kept zagging when Sammy zigged. Erich kept being faked out by the moves of the younger boy. Part of the problem was that he was laughing and giggling just as much as Sammy, which made it hard for him to run. Finally Erich zigged when Sammy zigged and he was able to bring the boy down to the ground with a gentle tackle. He sat on top of him and started tickling him, starting at his neck and then down to this sides. When Sammy raised his arms as he tried to fend off the tickle attack, Erich attacked his underarms as well. This caused his screams to climb into the highest registers.
"Erich" giggle, "please…" giggle "stop…" giggle "please... I'm gonna pee… giggle "my pants..." giggle.
Erich continued the attack for a few more moments before he stopped and flopped onto the ground next to Sammy, both of them taking in deep breaths to catch their breath. From time to time, they would look at each other and giggle again. Erich finally stood up and put his hand down for Sammy to grab. Sammy sat up and took the hand. Erich hauled him up and draped his arm on Sammy's shoulders. Sammy turned to him and gave him a quick hug, before returning to his initial position beside Erich. He reached up with his outside hand and held Erich's hand. Erich smiled down at him and ruffled his hair with his free hand.
"BOYS! COME HERE AND EAT!"
The boys looked up and saw their parents sitting on a blanket spread out under a tree. Their father was smiling and motioning for them to hurry up. He had his jacket off and his hat was lying on top of it on the blanket. The boys' mother was taking several covered dishes of food out of a large basket and spreading them out on the blanket. The boys smiled and waved to their parents and quickly hurried over and sat down on the blanket. Soon the family was laughing as they enjoyed the meal and each other's company. After lunch, the boys wanted to go kick their ball around, but their parents made them wait. While they waited, they talked about going to visit their grandparents next week in Salzburg for a few days. Finally their mother allowed them to get up and go play. The boys picked up their ball and ran a little distance away to play. Their mother leaned against her husband as they watched the boys enjoy themselves. A few minutes later, their father got up and ran out to join his sons in kicking the ball back and forth and running around. After an hour of doing this, the boys tackled their father to the ground and piled on him. He started tickling them both, causing them to squirm away and squeal loudly. Their dad called a halt to the game and had the boys return with him back to the blanket. They sat back on the blanket and had some lemonade as they talked some more. After a while, Erich lay down with his head in his father's lap and Sammy did the same with their mother. The two boys reached out and held hands as their parents gazed down on their sons and gently stroked their hair. Erich looked up at his father's face and saw love and happiness flowing from it to him. It made him feel warm and he closed his eyes as he dozed off, still feeling his father gently stroking his hair.
The two fifteen-year-olds stood watching over the large group of children running around, having fun. From time to time one of the younger children would come over to them and gave one or both of them a hug. Sometimes the hug also involved the child dragging them over to join a game of some kind. The two boys always allowed themselves to be dragged into a game, and for a little while ran around and acted just like any of the other children, laughing, giggling, yelling and tickling. When that happened, they almost seemed to appear the same age as the children they played with, or they at least acted that way. When it was time to eat, they made sure every child had plenty to eat. After the food was finished they made all of them lie down to rest before allowing them to go back out to play. They were talking about how much fun the kids were having, when one of them fell silent. Thomas looked over at Jeremiah and saw the sad look on his face. Jeremiah looked at Thomas.
"Time to go, Jer?"
"Yeah. I'm so torn about this. I hate it, but I'm also glad, because... .well, you know."
"Yeah, I know. I'll see you later?"
"Yep, see you."
The two boys came together in a hug. Their eyes were a little moist when they pulled away. Thomas let go and Jeremiah nodded before he turned and walked away to the edge of the park and disappeared into the trees.
Twelve year old Erich opened his eyes smiling, expecting to look up into the kind loving face of his father. What he saw instead was the wooden planks of the bunk above him, with bits of straw sticking through the gaps between the planks. He closed his eyes and made a wish. He slowly opened them in anticipation and hope. He saw that the planks were still there. Then the smells assaulted him. Urine, feces, vomit, unwashed bodies and over everything was the smell of death. Erich couldn't define it, but it was there just the same. He looked to his left side and saw the rows of three tiered wooden bunks, holding two to four young men and boys. The light barely filtered in through the narrow windows to the outside or through the gaps in the walls and roof. He felt the thin layer of fetid straw shift under him, and some of it poked him as he shifted to look to his right. In front of him he saw the sleeping face of his best friend Max. In his sleep, the worry lines that were normally seen on his face were smoothed out, and he looked like any sleeping twelve-year-old boy should look, only a bit dirtier. He gazed at his friend for a few minutes before he nudged him gently. Max slowly opened his brown eyes and gazed back into Erich's blue eyes. He yawned as he woke up and rubbed the sleep from his eyes.
Both of the boys sat up in the bunk as the others around them started to stir and once again wake to some semblance of existence. Erich and Max rubbed their shaved heads and scratched at the itching caused by the straw and the lice that ran rampant on their bodies. They both crawled out of the bunk and dropped to the floor. They took the caps out of the pockets of their blue and white striped uniforms and put them on their heads as they shuffled off to the latrine. The smell of the room was even worse than in the barracks, and many times they nearly puked just going in the room. As usual they held their breath and had their morning pee.
Outside once again in the relatively clearer air, they shuffled over to the large pots where the potato soup that was breakfast was being served, along with a small piece of hard bread and coffee. They found a place on the ground where they could sit against a barracks wall and eat. The bread was so hard that they had to put it into the soup or coffee to soak for a few minutes to make it chewable. The boys finished their breakfast and returned the metal bowls, cups and spoons to the small bags they carried with them. The boys made their way to the morning roll call and stood with the other prisoners as their numbers were called. It took over an hour to call all the numbers. At least it was summer time still so they weren't standing in the cold rain or snow. Erich was not looking forward to winter time. He knew that he would be cold then. The warmth of the sun reminded him of his dream. It still felt as if it were real, as he spent a beautiful day with his parents and younger brother in Linz where his family had lived before all of this happened to them, before the war. A tear slipped down his cheek as he remembered how he felt during the dream.
He was so lost in his remembering that he nearly did not hear his number called, but Max elbowed him and he answered the call before his number had to be called again. He had seen what happened to those who had to have their numbers called twice. The Kapos would wade into the packed prisoners, hitting and pushing prisoners out of the way and drag the offending prisoner out in front of everyone. Several of the soldiers would start hitting and kicking the prisoner for several minutes; sometimes the prisoner did not get up again. If he did not get up, one of the soldiers would pull out his pistol and shoot the prisoner on the spot. Now the only ones who did not answer were usually found dead back in the barracks.
After the roll call they were put into labor groups. Erich and Max were in the group marched over to the brick making factory. Today their job was to stack the bricks on wooden pallets and help clean out the molds after the finished bricks were removed. After working continuously for five hours, they were allowed to have a short break for water and lunch. After lunch the boys went back to stacking bricks and cleaning molds. Five hours later the workday was done. Erich and Max were covered in brick dust. Back at their barracks, they once again stood for roll call and it took over an hour again. This time a couple of prisoners did not answer to their numbers. A Kapo informed the officer in charge that they had died during the day. The prisoners were then allowed to eat supper; it was similar to breakfast: potato soup, this time many of them actually found a small piece of potato in the soup, the hard bread and coffee. They were exhausted as usual, but stayed outside looking at the sky as the sun set.
"Maxie, do you dream... you know about... your family?"
Max sat quietly for a few moments. "Yeah I do."
"Me too. Last night I dreamed it was summer like it is now and we were at a park in Linz, my hometown. My brother Sammy and I were playing and running around. We had a big picnic lunch and we talked about going to visit my grandparents in Salzburg. After lunch we played some more and our father played with us. We went back to the blanket and I lay down with my head in my father's lap and dozed off. I woke up back here."
A tear started down his cheek, like at roll call that morning. Max noticed it and leaned against his friend and put his arm around him. He shed a few tears in sympathy with his friend and for himself as he remembered happier times with his family. The two boys leaned against each other and gave as much comfort as they could. While sitting there they thanked God for each other's friendship; it was what kept them going day after day in the months since they had been here.
They both thought back to how they met. Both of them arrived at the train station on the same day. There were shouting men dressed in white and blue striped uniforms and carrying clubs standing outside the boxcars. They quickly got everyone out of the boxcars and into what resembled something between a line and a mob. Erich saw all the luggage that had been in the cars thrown into a pile. Anyone who came out of the car holding luggage or purses had them ripped out of their hands and thrown in the pile. There were soldiers armed with rifles and machine pistols; many of them were barely holding onto barking and snarling dogs. Many of the soldiers were watching with either indifference or cruel smiles as the people were herded forward.
As they reached the front of the mob line, an officer with a peaked cap stood and pointed to the right or the left. Erich was holding on to his father's and his little brother's hand; his mother had Sammy's other hand. As Erich's family came before the officer he pointed at Erich's mother and younger brother and pointed to the left; Erich and his dad were sent to the right. Sammy and his mother cried out and Sammy clutched desperately to Erich's hand, but one of the men in the blue and white striped uniform, carrying a club, came up and ripped Sammy's hand out of Erich's grip. Erich cried loudly for his mother; she did her best to comfort Sammy as his father did the same with him as they followed the line of men and boys. Erich kept trying to look back and see his mother and brother as they walked away. Only his father's strong grip prevented him from running to them. He looked up and saw the tears running down his father's face as he guided Erich along with the other men. Erich eventually stopped looking and put his arm around his father's waist. His father clutched him to his side as they continued the long walk.
They went through a gate and into a long building. The first room they went to had benches with hooks above them. More men in striped uniforms walked up and down yelling at them.
"TAKE YOUR CLOTHES OFF, EVERYTHING, AND HANG THEM ON THE HOOKS BEHIND YOU! PUT YOUR SHOES UNDER THE BENCHES. QUICKLY NOW AND MOVE INTO THE NEXT ROOM!"
Erich stood shocked at the words. He didn't know what to think; they wanted him to be naked in here with all these people that could see him. He was brought out of his shock by his father tapping him on the shoulder.
"Come, son, do what they said."
"But father, they'll see me...."
"Forget about that, Liebchen, do as they say. We have no choice."
Erich continued to watch as his father started removing his clothes. With a nervous sigh, he started to get undressed and his father helped him hang his clothes on the hooks.
Once they were naked, they were pushed along to the next room. In that room there were long tables with bins on them. They watched as the men and boys removed watches and rings and put them in a bin. Spectacles were also removed and tossed into another bin. At another table, a man forced Erich to open his mouth wide and directed a torch inside while he stuck a dirty finger inside and moved it around roughly. He found out why they did that when someone behind him screamed. He looked back and saw one of the men in the striped uniforms holding pliers with a gold tooth in it. The tooth was dropped in a bin and a man, with blood running down his chin, was pushed along. When the man was done checking Erich's mouth, he was pushed along to another table where two men were waiting. One of the men lifted Erich up and slammed him face-down on the table and then jammed a finger inside his butt. Erich screamed at the intrusion and tried to get back up, but the man pushed him back down hard against the table. Tears of pain and embarrassment flowed down Erich's cheeks. When the man finished his search, he let Erich up and pushed him toward the next room. Erich looked around and could not see his father. One of the men gave him a rough shove that almost sent him to the floor. In the next room Erich was directed to stand in front of a man, who quickly shaved all his hair off, including his eyebrows. He saw that on the men and older boys, they shaved every bit of hair off of their bodies, head, underarms, chest, back, groin, until there was no hair anywhere. Those few who protested were hit with a club and told it was for sanitary reasons. When they were done, Erich was pushed into the next room.
In the next room there were more tables and people stood in line in front of them. Erich could see one of the uniformed men bend over the arm of the naked man in front of him, and it looked like he was taking a pen and writing something. When Erich reached the front of the line, the man grabbed his arm in a hard grip and looked down at a paper on the table, then he dipped what looked like a pen into a bottle of ink, and Erich gasped when the ink filled needle jabbed his arm. The man held tightly onto his arm as he quickly tattooed the number 79057 into Erich's inner left forearm. He winced as the man jabbed the needle in and out of his arm, leaving behind the crude bluish tattoo. He glanced at the man when he finished, and the man gave him an apologetic look as he motioned the boy along to the next room.
He went into the room with the others. He looked around trying to find his father. After the room was filled, the doors behind them were closed and latched from the outside. Erich looked around the room again, trying to see his father. It was a room with a bare concrete floor with shower heads hanging from exposed steel pipes above them everywhere in the room, no faucet handles, just the shower heads. His father found him and they clung tightly to each other. His father looked down at him.
"I love you, son, always remember that."
"I love you too, father."
Throughout the room, they could hear prayers and crying. Looking around Erich saw many fathers and sons doing the same thing as he and his father were doing. Right next to him, he saw another boy about his age doing the same thing. The two boys' eyes met and then cold water came out of the shower heads, causing everyone to scream. Erich was confused and couldn't understand why so many men, including his father, were giving out prayers to God in thanks. Why would you need to give thanks for a shower? The water started to turn a little warmer and the screaming died down. Some of the people were actually smiling now. His father released him and Erich found himself facing the other boy. He smiled at the boy and held out his hand. "Hi, I'm Erich."
The boys smiled shyly as they shook hands. As they showered the boys talked a little bit. He found out that Max was from Vienna. They continued talking as the water flowed. When the water stopped, doors at the opposite end of the room were flung open and more of the men in striped uniforms came in and pushed, hit and shoved everyone into the next room.
Erich, Max and their fathers were together as they entered the room. Rough striped uniforms like the other men were wearing and boots were thrown at them.
"PUT THESE ON AND GO OUTSIDE! NOW! QUICKLY, QUICKLY, MOVE!"
The yells were punctuated by more blows from hands, feet and clubs. They all quickly dressed. There were caps with the uniforms also. The assembled mob of men and boys ran outside and the men with clubs pushed and shoved them into lines. It was almost dark by this time now. Nearby an officer stood before them. The skull on his peaked hat and on his right collar point looked ominous to the two boys, as it did to everyone else. The officer waited until the men with clubs were done and everyone was quiet before he spoke.
"This is a labor camp. You are here to work for the greater good of the Fatherland, so that it can stand against its enemies. As long as you work, you will eat. If you refuse to work...."
He had walked to the end of the front line and started down the side of the line as he spoke. When he left the last sentence hanging, he quickly drew his pistol and shot a young teenaged boy in the head, causing him to fall forward. The boy's father who stood beside screamed in shock and knelt down beside the boy. The officer shot him as well. Next to the man an older teenager, kept his head down with his lips tightly pressed together, tears running down his face as he looked upon his dead father and younger brother, lying face down in the dirt, thankful that he could not see their faces. The officer looked at the teenager with a cruel smile and then re-holstered his pistol as he walked to the front of the group.
"Now you understand. That is the fate of the ones who refuse to work."
Erich could hear some whimpers in the group. The officer glared around and drew his pistol.
"SHUT UP! YOU WORTHLESS PIECES OF SHIT! No you are less than that! I wouldn't want to soil my boots by stepping on you! You will obey any order given to you by any German that you see and by the Kapos. When a German approaches you or gives you an order, you will remove your cap and bow your head, until they pass by or finish giving you an order. Is that understood?"
There were scattered acknowledgements. The Kapos started wielding their clubs, fists and feet.
"IS THAT UNDERSTOOD?"
This time everyone yelled. "Ja Wohl, mein herr!"
"Good, very good. Follow the rules and you will live."
The officer looked at them with satisfaction, before he turned and walked away, followed by the soldiers that were with him.
The Kapos started pushing the group to a long wooden building nearby; this time they were much gentler in their actions. One of them went over to the grieving teenager and led him away from the bodies of his family. The building had narrow shuttered windows along the sides of it. Some of the windows were open and gaunt faces looked out at the new arrivals. Inside the building they saw rows of wooden straw filled bunk beds, three tiers high. They could see that the others that were already in the building were laying two and three to a bunk. The Kapos told them to find a place to sleep. Erich, Max and their fathers moved down a row until they found a couple of empty bunks next to each other. They helped their sons up into the bunk and climbed in afterward. Their fathers held them in their arms, trying to comfort their scared boys and soothing them to sleep. Erich's last thoughts were of his mother and brother. Tears slipped down his cheeks and splashed on his father's arm. His father held him closer when he felt the tears and the slight shudders of his grieving son.
Max and Erich looked at each other as the sun went below the trees and they got up. They held hands as they walked back into their barracks. The barracks, once full, now was about two-thirds full. Many men who had once been there were now dead, either by sickness, injury or were killed by the camp guards. Both of their fathers had succumbed to sickness a few weeks earlier, leaving the two boys alone. The boys made their way to their bunk. Once they had climbed into it, they cuddled up together to share each other's warmth and they quickly fell into an exhausted sleep.
The next morning was like any other, get up, pee, eat, roll call, go to work. The boys were once again stacking bricks today. At the end of the day, they marched back to the barracks covered in brick dust. Erich looked up and saw the group turning in a different direction than the direction of their barracks. He and Max looked at each other with fear. There were murmurs throughout the group as the others realized they were not heading back to the barracks. They started to look around and noticed there were a lot of soldiers around them as well. Some started to whimper quietly as they stumbled along. The Kapos looked at them with sympathy as they marched the men and boys along. The fear started to grow in the two boys, when they felt a hand on each of their shoulders. They looked behind them and saw an older teenage boy walking behind them. He squeezed their shoulders reassuringly. When they looked in his eyes, they felt reassured and the fear subsided a little. Some of those in the group who had been whimpering had by now been subdued by blows, so that they were now crying silently as the stumbled numbly along. They could see the black smoke coming from the chimneys ahead of them. Some of them looked behind and saw another group of prisoners following them. They arrived at a low concrete structure. There was a ramp going down into the ground. Outside, concrete stairs led up to the roof where several pipes could be seen sticking up.
The group was directed down the ramp to a large room similar to what they had seen when they first arrived, long benches with hooks behind them. Without being told, they started removing their shoes and clothes. The teenager stayed right beside the two boys the whole time. Whenever they felt the fear grow, he would reach out and his touch calmed them. They returned his sad smile with one of their own. Once everyone was naked, they were ushered into the next room. It was a shower room like before. Some felt hope rise in them as they went in and the doors were closed and latched behind them. The teenager guided the two boys to a corner and sat down with each one cuddled up to his side. He looked at the two frightened boys and smiled.
"There, there, my young friends. I am here. You are safe in my arms. Nothing will harm you."
"Who... who are you?"
"A friend. Now close your eyes and rest against me. I will protect you."
The boys leaned against the teenager's chest and closed their eyes as he stroked their backs. The lights went out and the screaming and wailing began. The teenager's face was covered in tears as he watched those in the room as the acrid gas started to fill it. Many fell to their knees praying to God, others just collapsed in despair, because they had no more strength to fight. The coughing continued as the teenager looked down on his charges. They looked like they had fallen asleep. All the care and worry that marked their faces was completely erased. The darkness finally claimed everyone and the sounds were silenced.
A few minutes later, fifteen minutes total since the group of men and boys went into the room, the back doors were opened and the Sonderkommando entered and started pulling the bodies out and loaded them on carts to be put into the furnaces. They wore makeshift cloth masks to cover the smell. They worked quickly clearing the room out. There was one pile over near a corner and one man named Solomon went over to the corner to start hauling the bodies out. What he saw caused him to gasp.
"My God. Avram, you must come and see this."
"What have you found Solly, some hidden gold?"
Avram turned around and walked over to the corner that he had seen Solomon heading toward. As he neared the corner, he saw Solomon fall to his knees as he faced the corner. Avram became concerned as he drew nearer. When he saw what Solomon was looking at, he too dropped to his knees. More of the Sonderkommando noticed that the two men were not working, and the lead went over to them with a scowl on his face, followed by the others.
"What do you..."
The sight that greeted the rest of the men caused all of them to fall to their knees, tears making tracks down their faces. The pulled the masks from their faces as they gazed at the sight. There cuddled up together were two ten-year-old boys. Their bodies and the walls and floor surrounding them looked like they had been scrubbed clean. There was not a mark on the boys; they were perfect, rosy cheeks and unblemished skin. They looked like they were only asleep, except there was no movement of their chests. What's more, the boys sported full heads of curly hair; one was blond and the other was a brown. The men wept at the sight. Solomon started to pray.
"Yis-ga-dal, v'yis-ka-dash sh'may ra-ho..."
The other men clasped hands and joined him in the Kaddish. All of them were strengthened by the sight, which showed them that God had not forsaken them. Normally someone would have looked in to find out what was taking so long, but no one did. When they finished, Avram and Solomon gently lifted the two boys and put them on a cart. They all carefully piled other bodies on top of them. When they got to the furnaces they took the other bodies out and fed them to the flames, but they hid the two boys' bodies under a canvas tarp in a corner. When their shift was done, the other members of their Sonderkommando nodded to Avram and Solomon, who went over to the corner and gently lifted the bodies of the two boys and folded them in large prison jackets. The rest of the Sonderkommando solemnly bowed their heads as they walked by; one of them handed a shovel to Avram, who took it with a grateful smile and nod. They walked around to the back side of the crematorium and laid the boys down. They took turns digging a grave. Once the grave was deep enough they picked up the boys and gently laid them in the bottom. They uncovered their faces once last time and kissed each boy on the cheeks, before they covered their faces. They entwined the boys' hands together and filled in the grave, sobbing all the while. When they were done, they looked to the heavens and said another short prayer of thanks and went back to work.
The warm air and the smells of spring greeted Erich and Max as they opened their eyes on a beautiful sight. It was a huge parkland surrounded by trees, with tall mountains in the far distance. There were kids of all ages running around laughing and playing. They could also see families sitting around on blankets having picnic lunches. They felt a hand on their shoulders and looked back smiling. There was an older teenager with long sandy hair smiling down on them. They returned his smile.
"Who are you?"
"My name is Jeremiah."
"Where are we?"
"You are where you are meant to be now."
The boys were still puzzled until they heard a couple of shouts.
The boys quickly spun around and tears of happiness filled their eyes to overflowing. Running toward Erich was his little brother Sammy, followed closely by his parents. Also running toward them was a young girl and a man and a woman. Sammy slammed into Erich and hugged him just as Leti grabbed her brother Max. Only Jeremiah's steadying hands kept them upright. The parents enfolded the boys in their arms, crying in happiness. Jeremiah backed away and was stopped when a hand touched his back. He turned and fell into Thomas' arms. He cried as he felt the love and happiness flowing from the reunited families. Thomas held him and stroked his back, and told him how much he loved him. After a few minutes, he felt two sets of arms wrap around his waist. He let go of Thomas and looked down into the happy faces of Erich and Max. He turned away from Thomas and hugged both of the boys tightly. They were soon joined by the rest of the family in a group hug.
"Thank you, Jeremiah, for saving us and bringing us back to our families. That was you with us, wasn't it?"
"Yes it was. That is one of my jobs, mine and Thomas'."
The boys nodded and let him go. They waved to Jeremiah and Thomas as the walked away with their families. The two teenagers watched them find a tree and sit down while the boys went to play with some of the other kids. Thomas reached around Jeremiah's waist and hugged him, setting his chin on Jeremiah's right shoulder.
"Excellent work, Jer."
"I'm glad this is almost over."
"Yeah, this is the worst yet."
"I know. Well, next one's mine."
"Good luck, I wish there were no more."
"Me too, but even after this is over, there will be other times when our services will be needed."
"Yep. Well, until its time, let's go play."
They grinned at each other and the two boys started running to where a large group of younger boys were kicking a ball around. As they ran they slowly reversed their ages until they were about the same age as the boys who were playing and were quickly accepted into the group.
Last night I watched a movie called: The Boy in Striped Pajamas. The ending was so powerful to me, and hit me so hard that I could only sit for a few minutes, feeling a little stunned and thought about how the approximately 1.5 million children who died in the camps felt in those last moments, hoping that there was an angel beside them to comfort them in their last moments on earth. I almost hesitate to encourage people to see the movie, but I think everyone should. If you are not affected in some way, I would be surprised.
At about 4 am this morning, I woke up with this story running around in my head begging to be told. I tossed and turned for more than an hour until I finally got up and got ready for the day. I started writing the story at about 8 or 830 that morning and it was finished before 4 pm. I did not write continuously for the time period, but it was probably 6 of those hours that I wrote.
This story is dedicated to the 1.5 million children.
© by author Eric Aune 9/2/2009