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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)

TITLE: Spring at Last
By Kaylee Blake
07/29/09
~2nd Place


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“Nehmen Sie das Tempo! Legen Sie los!”

March. Keep marching.

How long had she been marching? How long had this been going on? As if the hell named Stuhoff wasn’t bad enough. Rumors of the Allied forces had crept past the barbed wire and the stern guards. Could it be? The end was in sight? Perhaps this was it…perhaps it wasn’t. What did they have to lose by hoping? Only hope itself…and they had lost that so many times before.

Would spring ever come?

Cold. So cold.

Not that she knew what it meant to be warm anymore. Even when the commandment called for her during the night, she felt cold. Despite his skin against hers, she was numb with a bitter frost that lived heavy within her chest. She would lie there, wondering what it would feel like to be warm, laying in the arms of her husband again…and she would cry.

Would spring ever come?

Tikvah. Precious jewel.

A moan threatened to free itself from the lump in her throat. Oh, she could just hear her father whisper her name in her ear…how’d she’d always be his Tikvah, his precious jewel…what was the last thing he had said to her? Things would be better come spring…everything was always better in the spring.

That was 2 years ago.

Would spring ever come?

Another shot rang. Another body dropped. Closer this time.

Pain. Ignore the pain.

Recently, the prisoners had begun to notice the guards whispering more. No longer laughing at their suffering, but they continued the persecution with renewed vigor. Not that it mattered. They had hope again. They’d get through this awful winter…they’d survived thus far.

But that was before this Death March.

Would spring ever come?

Dead. So many dead.

How many had started from the camp? Thousands…how many had survived these days of marching to…well, to wherever they were going? Were the guards going to literally just march them into the ground? With so little food and water, she wondered how she had managed to make these 10 days already. Was it 10? Yes, 10 days of marching…it had to be…give or take a few.

Would spring ever come?

Suddenly, the women in front of her managed to cry out, and then disappear. When she tried to pull up and stop, the guards started screaming to keep marching, whoever stopped would be shot.

It was a cliff. She had little time to take it in, before she was forced over the small overhang, but it did look out over the Baltic Sea. She knew it had to the sea.

She stumbled down the sea cliff, all the while struggling to stay on her feet as much as possible. Oh, no…it couldn’t be…they were to keep marching? Into the sea?

She felt nothing but cold as her feet reached the water. All the hope she had clung to desperately, in the depths of her heart, was now rolling down her face. Tears.

Spring wasn’t coming.

She turned to face the shore, to face her captors, watching them herd the remainder of the prisoners into the sea. Like sheep. Being led to the slaughter.

Warmth suddenly flooded her entire being. Where it came from, she knew not, but it coursed from her head to her toes. It was anger, righteous anger. Did not YHWH Himself call them His sheep? What authority did this group of wolves have to choose her demise? No, she would not give them the satisfaction…

Without giving herself enough time to convince herself to abandon her newfound courage, she began walking through the throng of women, back towards the shore. Towards death.

A few women reached out to stop her, but quickly withdrew at the look of determination on her face. She briefly noted how they gazed at her with eyes shimmering of admiration.

Spring would come.

“Stoppen Sie es! Komm nicht näher! Holen Sie sich zurück, jüdische Hund!” they screamed. Always screaming.

But she did not care. She would force their hand. If she was to die, let it be with some small dignity...she would not wait for death.

She felt the pain almost before she heard the gun. It swiftly faded from piercing, throbbing to a dull ache, and her vision went with it.

More shots. Women screaming. Dogs barking. Guards screaming. Water splashing.

Chaos.

Then she heard nothing, saw nothing but white light before it gave way to darkness.

Finally. Her spring had come.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Anita Vander Elst07/31/09
This well written story is heart-breaking. I'm glad the MC chose to face her executioners but so sad that she was put into that horrendous situation.
Connie Dixon08/01/09
God gave the determination she needed to face her enemies. Her spring was ultimately the best season she could have received. Loved this, great writing.
Allison Egley 08/04/09
Oh, this was VERY good. I like it. Such a sad ending though. I had hoped spring would come for her on earth. But an eternal spring is better. :)
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/05/09
Awesome!
Amy Michelle Wiley 08/06/09
Wow, powerful story. I find this time in history facinating, with so many stories of courage. Well done.
Catrina Bradley 08/06/09
Wow! Powerful, and emotionally wrenching. Love it. :)
Eliza Evans 08/06/09
Congratulations! Awesome piece.
Seema Bagai 08/06/09
Excellent writing. I think this piece will stay with me for a long time. Congrats on the win.
Eileen Knowles08/06/09
Yes, an extremely powerful piece. Great job!