Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cousin(s) (05/22/08)
TITLE: "German in the Dark"
By Marlene Austin
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Where is it? That small space I found earlier, knowing I would be able to fit. Hm-m-m, I guess there is some advantage to being so tiny after all, isn’t there. I must find it.
Ah-h, the wall! The rough, coolness of the concrete wall. Well, at least, I know I’m going in the right direction, now. If I follow the wall, I can find it. Quickly, now. He will be coming soon!
What is this? Metal? Yes, the metal box-shaped thing. Here it is! Just feel my way around it. Then squeeze through the space between it and the wall. It’s tall and wide. It will hide me. Man, this space is tight! He will never find me here, I’m sure of it.
Did you find a safe place to hide, Stevie? You sent me in the opposite direction. I know it was because you thought I would hide too close to you and, then, we would both get caught. I’m too young. I always make too much noise to please you, but I hope you are safe.
E-u-w-h! What’s that? Oh, no! It’s a spider web. My fingers are touching a spider web! (shudder) Yuck, I bet they’re all getting in my hair! I’m smashed between the wall and this metal thing and I can’t move my head away. There’s nothing I can do, except stay here or give myself up.
I hadn’t thought about that! The spiders and the bugs. This wall is moist. I bet there are huge, shiny, black waterbugs all around me! This space is so tight I can’t even pick my feet up to smash one. And, I’m so afraid of bugs! (another shudder)
Footsteps. He’s trying to walk quietly, but I’m sure I heard them – footsteps. Yes! There it was again. Stay very still, don’t make a sound, no matter what! Oh, he’s right beside this thing. Hold my breath! Don’t breathe. He might hear me if I breathe.
There, he’s moving away. Thank goodness. Watch out, Stevie, wherever you are.
“German in the Dar-r-rk! I found Stevie!”
“All of this is just the memory of a game. The game a five year-old girl was taught by her two, older, male cousins back in the 1950’s. Little did these children understand that the game in which they took such delight- the chills of hiding in the dark, being sought by a lurking enemy, and facing the challenge of fears- was, in reality, born of actual events from only a decade before. It was an infamous history they were re-enacting. Those children, an ocean away, had no choice in whether or not to ‘play’ this game. When caught by their seekers they suffered much greater consequences than just being tagged with calls of, ‘German in the Dark!’”
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