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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Hmph! (03/04/10)

TITLE: Shattered Plans
By Ruth Neilson


His lips curled into a sneer as Johanna stared him down. She wanted to flee upstairs into the apartment, to escape his piercing grayish-blue eyes.

The SS officer glared at her and repeated his question, "Fraulein, where is Herr Hueber?"

Johanna swallowed and lifted her head boldly, "Herr, I don't know. My uncle went on a business trip. He doesn't tell me where he goes."

The officer looked around. He made a low sound deep in his throat as his lip curled higher, his eyes searching around the shop for something. Johanna found herself wondering if the officer's lip would vanish if he curled it any more.

His eyes focused on the glass display case and his hand reached for the gun holster on his hip. He unsnapped it and rested his hand on the butt of the gun.

Johanna spoke up again, "Herr, my uncle is a simple watchmaker. He goes away on business on a regular basis. Perhaps I can help you find a watch?"

He growled, let out a distasteful hmph, and drew his weapon, smashing the butt of the handgun against the glass.

Johanna screamed, knowing that a protest against the SS would be futile. He swung his arm the gun butt moving down on another display case.

"Fraulein, my patience is wearing thin. Where is Herr Hueber?"

"Herr, I told you, I don't know!" Johanna flinched as the butt came down again, shattering another case.

The officer sneered at her, before finally asking in a silky voice, "Tell me, Fraulein, are you a Juden?"

Johanna flinched, staring at the SS officer as if he were dense. Her hand flew up, palm forward, singing through the air to strike his cheek at such a suggestion. Only with the sound of flesh meeting flesh, did Johanna realize exactly what she had done.

A red hand print was blooming on the soldier's cheek and she gasped. Johanna closed her eyes, hearing the low growl in the back of his throat followed by a low chuckle.

She dipped her head, trembling as his hand touched her chin. His voice becoming smoother with each passing word, "Ach, now that is how I had hoped you would react; would be a pity to arrest such a pretty young lady because of being a possible Juden."

Johanna took several deep breaths, forcing herself not to be repelled by the man's touch.

Without saying another word, he spun on his heels and left the shop. Johanna let out her own soft growl. That was too close. She waited several moments, working on cleaning the shop before finally checking out the door and securing it as she worked her way upstairs. The shop was closed until she could replace the display cases anyways.

Plans had to be modified. Johanna knew for sure, that the shop wasn't a safe place to hide anyone now. The SS officer was confirmation of that—the question now lingered, where would they hide them?

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This article has been read 540 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jackie Wilson03/12/10
Very engaging story, well-written, left me wanting more!
AnneRene' Capp03/13/10
This captivated me. Can't wait for more!
Sarah Elisabeth 03/14/10
Engaging, hold-your-breath story of a frightening situation.
Connie Dixon03/14/10
Lots of emotion in this piece. Very intriguing, great writing.
Lyn Churchyard03/14/10
I enjoyed this different POV of the story of Ruth. Well done. The attitude and reactions were very easy to see in my minds eye.
Lyn Churchyard03/14/10
How did that happen? Why did my comment appear on the wrong story?

This entry had me holding my breath wondering what would happen next. There is definitely a longer story in this one... well done!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/14/10
This is outstanding, even more suspenseful than the last one, again I could easily see this turn into an entire novel.
Carol Slider 03/14/10
Great job of building suspense here. I definitely want to know what happens next!
Barbara Lynn Culler03/14/10
Wow, that was close! What happens next?
Melanie Kerr 03/15/10
It reminded me of the story of Corrie Ten Boom. You built the tension well. I would have liked to see less use of obvious cliches - the curling lip etc.
Bryan Ridenour03/15/10
Great writing. Left me wanting more of the story. Well done.
william price03/15/10
This read like part II to another story. Very engaging. I like the part where she slapped him. Built up good tension. Great job. God bless.
Pamela Kliewer03/15/10
I was reminded of Corrie Ten Boom also. You certainly drew me in and I wanted to read more!
Catrina Bradley 03/15/10
I found my self flinching when he broke the last case, and tensing up when he touched her - whew! That was close. Super suspense writing! And I love the historical setting, too.
Beth LaBuff 03/17/10
This is great historical writing. I was captivated throughout. Your title is perfect, in symbolism and foreshadowing. Wow!