TITLE: The Slaughter
By Sarah Dirk
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“You must, Esther,” my father gripped my arms, “Our Jewish nation is at stake. If you do not talk to him, he will surely slaughter us all.”
I shook my head stubbornly, “He will kill me! I have not seen him for many days.”
The terror in my father’s eyes told me that I was speaking the truth. My lover just might put me to death once he learned of my Jewish heritage. “You must try, Esther,” he begged, “Who knows but that the Lord might have put you in such a position for a time like this!”
I swallowed hard and moistened my lips, terrified. My mind reeled with emotions but slowly I nodded, “All right, Papa,” I took a deep breath, willing for myself to calm down.
Looking at my father in the eyes I went on, “You and whoever can, must pray for me for several days,” I was planning my tactic, remembering my upbringing. “And then I will…” my voice caught in my throat and I couldn’t go on, fright shaking my slight frame.
My father understood, offered a feeble smile, gave me a final nod, and left.
I stayed in my room for the rest of the day, pacing up and down, trying to calm my nerves enough to pray. Finally I escaped out to the gardens, where I paced the paths. Guards stood around and saluted me respectfully as I walked by.
Suddenly, across the garden I heard shout. Spinning around I saw my lover at the other end of the garden, yelling at a man cowering in front of him. Terrified I watched as he mercilessly sentenced the man to death, before I turned and fled back to my room.
Shutting the door behind me, I leaned up against it, sobs shaking my whole body, and my face pale with fear.
It did not take long to reach my decision.
“Henri!” I spun around and called for the doorman. As he appeared I started to give my frightened order. “Take this note down to the candle shop on 2nd Street and give it to a man named David.” As he nodded at my directions, I was hastily scribbling down the note.
I can not do this. What you have asked of me is impossible.
Adolf does not love me near enough to spare me life once he would learn of my race. He will not only kill me, but anyone involved with me, including you.
I am sorry.
Sealing the note, I handed it to Henri and as he hurried of, my shoulders slumped in defeat.
I was Esther of Germany, not Esther of Susa.
I was not willing to perish.
Author’s note: The title begins the end of the story.
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