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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Shhh. (02/18/10)

TITLE: Shhh, Shhh Kleine Maus
By Ruth Neilson


Rows of shiny black boots marched past the little window as David watched intrigued. Left, right, left, right, they moved with graceful precision. Always accompanied by a signal shout and shadows that danced on the alley walls; arms extended into a pose, hand saluting the Führer.

"Heil Hitler!"

David always thought that they were playing some sort of game. A game he didn't want to play with them—because their game was scary. His parents were taken away because of this game and now he had to hide Herr Baumann's cellar to be able to win the game.

The shiny boots came closer, and David scrambled away from the window, into the dark corners. He didn't like this part of the game. Frau Baumann had taught him the game. She called it, "Still as a Mouse," and even though David thought it was a funny name for a game, it was really boring.

He had to sit in a dark corner in a box with a blanket over his head and not make a sound. She taught him to put his finger over his lips and think to himself, "'Shhhh, Shhh,' said the little mouse hiding from the barn cat."

So, off to the little box where the Little Mouse game was played, David ran. He crawled in, just at the sound of the banging on the door upstairs echoed through Herr Baumann's home. He could hear the harsh voices demanding to search the house.

David curled up tighter, his blanket covering his head. He could only pray that there were no dogs with the soldiers. He didn't want to be found.

He pressed his finger to his lips, hearing the heavy boots move around the upstairs, and finally descending into the cellar.

Shhhh...Shhhh. Be quiet little mouse. The cats are around; don't make a sound and you won't be found. Shhhh...Shhhh, little mouse. The sound of boxes being moved filled the cellar and David cringed, squeezing his eyes shut, waiting... Shhhh...Shhhh. Be quiet little mouse. The cats are around; don't make a sound and you won't be found.

The heavy boots squeaked as the soldier grunted and walked back up the stairs. David had to wonder, was the little mouse safe?

Thud, thud, thud

The boots walked out the door and David let out a quiet sigh. Now he just had to wait for Frau Baumann to come and get him once again.

* Kleine Maus is German for "Little Mouse"

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This article has been read 774 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 02/25/10
This is so good. I was so scared for the little boy and happy to hear the soldiers leave without finding him. I love your rhyme, too. Good job!
Charla Diehl 02/26/10
I felt the fear, tension and relief of your little boy. Great job of bringing a horrible part of history alive to your reader.
Maria Kana Santos02/26/10
I enjoyed this story very much. My children would love to hear me read this to them.
Thank you.
Patricia Turner02/27/10
Absolutely chilling...and excellently written. It captures very well a very evil time through the eyes of innocence.
Donna Wolther02/27/10
So believable, like I was right there too. What a terrible time in our modern history.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/01/10
I enjoyed your story very much. I'm always horrified when I read about this era. I could easily see this becoming a book for young teens. Good job.
Catrina Bradley 03/01/10
Heart-racing suspense. I love the POV of the innocent child. I wonder if he knows deep down that this is no game. Terrifyingly good fiction.
Gregory Kane03/02/10
Nicely done. I wonder whether it would have helped us get inside David's head if we had known how old he was.
Noel Mitaxa 03/02/10
Powerful in its simplicity; innocence arrayed against insane hatred; beautifully expressed.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/02/10
Excellent story of suspense
Rachel Phelps03/02/10
Excellently done. Gripping, terrifying and wonderful.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/04/10
Congratulations on your EC. I knew this superb piece would be at the top. You writing gives me the best kind of chills.
Rachel Phelps03/04/10
Congrats on the EC! This story is special. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Ruth Stromquist03/04/10
You made me feel like I was sitting right next to the kid, hiding with him. Awesomely done. Congrats!