Targets of the Hit-men: The 'Mock-Holocaust'

I remember it. I remember it all. Every moment of those horrendous days that the four hit-men held us hostage. I remember them stopping the Suburban, and all but throwing the four of us out of the car. I remember my hands being tied behind my back. I stood between Micah, on my left, and my friend Reid on my right. Collins, Micah’s best friend who was also Reid’s older brother, was to the right of Reid. We were slammed against a white van. I remember the tallest hit-man grabbing Collins by the collar of his shirt, and dragging him to the middle of the deserted field, about 5 miles from the high way. That’s when they grabbed Micah. I screamed for them to let him go, but one of the other two men held a gun to my head: I shut up. Reid was shaking, I could tell, because his breathing was staggered. He was worried for his brother’s life. As I was worried for Micah’s.

The hit-man who grabbed Micah, had a son who had been one of my dad’s emergency patients about four years previous to the incident. The boy was seventeen when he died on the operating table. He had been stabbed, and the knife went cleanly through his chest, piercing his aorta. He was pretty much dead on arrival to the OR, but the father, who was the stabber, has blamed my father ever since his son, (who did I mention he STABBED) died on the table. Under my father’s watch. Now that Micah was seventeen, he wanted my father to feel the same way. But instead of a knife, he had a gun. With bullets, that at close range, could kill instantly with a shot to the head, temple, or aorta.

The date was June 17, during the summer before my Junior year of High School. I was 16.
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Micah sat at the kitchen table, fiddling with the napkin holder sitting in front of him. His little sister, Jude, was dancing to the music playing on her iPod, while cooking pasta. The sixteen year old occasionally belting out a verse of a Beatles song, or a random selection from Rent. If you asked Micah, he’d tell you that when she sings anything by Adam Pascal (or Roger) in the movie or original Broadway version of Rent, yeah, she could pass on the rich tenor sound. I swear if she were to go to an audition for the role of Roger Davis, dressed as a man, and pretending she was a songwriter with AIDS, she’d get the part on the spot! She would also make a good John Lennon. Jude’s a nut. Micah looked down at his wrist. There was a tattoo of a serial number going about three inches down his wrist in blue ink. The numbers (and letters) B-2158, along with Never Forget and the star of David, were all printed on the left wrists of himself, Jude, and their Father. The serial number had belonged to their grandmother, who was, and still is a German Survivor of the Auschwitz Nazi Death Camp during the Holocaust. Considering their family is Jewish, they felt it was the correct thing to do. Micah ran his finger over the blue symbols. Remembering his grandmother, and the legacy that she had to offer. Jude was still cooking the pasta on the stove, her phone buzzed, and played the chorus of ‘One Song Glory’ from Rent. It was their father. A new text message. She picked up the iPhone, unlocked it, and read over the message, then tapped away on the screen. Hurriedly typing out a message. Then she put the phone in the pocket of her jeans, and turned down the heat of the burner holding the pasta, all while singing ‘Take Me or Leave Me’ then as she walked past, she always joked with me by brushing her fingers under my chin, tickling her fingers on the blonde whiskers sprouting under Micah’s skin. Jude hated it when Micah didn’t shave for a couple days, then she giggled and walked up the stairs to the loft, where her bedroom was located, and went into her room, and shut the door.

Just them. Micah’s phone buzzed. A new message from his dad. He opened the message. Expecting it to just say something like, ‘Be home in about an hour. Just need to finish some paper work. What do you want for dinner?’ But today, it said something completely different. The message frightened Micah a bit. It read,
Son, I want you and your sister to pack some clothes, food, blankets, pillows, and all of the money in the emergency fund, so that you can possibly live in the Suburban for the next few days. Someone’s tracking us. It’s the father of a patient of mine that died four years ago. He’s mainly tracking you. He’s been sending my photos of you for the last few weeks. Photos of you at home, at the near by Starbucks, and other places around town. They’re all of you in your car, so whatever you do, DON’T TAKE THE BUG! Get out of the house as quickly as you can, and he’s also tracked your friends Reid and Collins, so pick them up on your way out of town. I’ve already informed them, their parents, and Jude about what’s going on. I’ll send Collins, Reid, and Jude information as your on the road, so you can drive. I love you son, and I’ll try to meet up with you as soon as I can. -Dad

Micah ran up to his room, which was next door to Jude’s. He threw t-shirts, shorts, a few pairs of jeans and long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, socks, under-wear, and about four different pairs of converse into his soccer bag. All while calling Collins to go over the situation with him. Jude heard the frightened tone in Micah’s voice, and came to his side in his room.

“Micah, are you okay?” she asked. Micah sensed fear in her eyes, which seemed more blue-violet then usual behind the black frames of her glasses. Micah looked down at his sister, who for only being a year younger then him, was a bout eight inches then himself. He sighed.

“Yeah, I’ll be fine. Go ahead and finish packing.” Micah added as he pulled her into a hug. Once his sister left the room, he walked over to his bathroom. Collecting his toothbrush, razor, and other random toiletries that he may need over the next few days. He looked at himself in the mirror. Noticing the increased amount of blonde stubble, which was accumulating on his chin, looking through his black and silver, Ray Ban glasses, which were his actual glasses he used to see with, they weren’t sunglasses. Jude washed his face vigorously. Then packed the soap in his bag. Once his bag was packed, and he had forced the zipper to close, he stripped his bed of it’s grey comforter, the accumulation of blankets that he used, (believe it or not, Chicago summers can be cold!) along with every pillow on the bed… and the stuffed dog he had owned since he was 4. Micah lugged everything out to the Suburban, and stuffed it all in the back. Jude following him close behind with her Coach duffel bag, polka-dotted comforter, pillows, and blankets. Stuffing them in the back. Her iPod, phone, laptop, and portable game system, along with all the necessary chargers, and the emergency fund money were all tucked away in her over-the-shoulder-mail-bag purse thingy, and went into the back seat with her. The two then quickly got into the black Suburban, and quickly sped out of the garage, to retrieve Collins and Reid, then attempt their flee to safety.

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The four had been on the road for two days. It was nine a.m. and Collins was snoring in the passenger seat. Reid and Jude were curled up together in the back. Micah was the only one awake. Micah drove into a McDonald’s drive through, and shook Collins awake. It was time for what had been considered ‘breakfast’ for the last two days.

“Whadda’ you want?” Micah asked him, as Collins slightly came too from his mini coma.

“I dunno. The same thing I always get, one of those awesome burrito things, and a large black coffee. Caffeinated. I feel dead!” Collins replied, still half asleep.

“How ‘bout your brother?” Micah asked.

“He’ll eat whatever. Just get him whatever you get Jude.” Collins drifted off.

Micah sighed, and put in their order. When he drove up to the window to retrieve the food, Jude smelled it as it entered through the driver’s side window. She instantly awoke, elbowing Reid in the chest.

“Ouch!” Reid yelped. Collins was startled awake. “Why’d you hit me?”

“It was an accident, love. I’m sorry!” Jude was such a suck up. And Reid loved every minute of it.

“I guess I forgive you then.” He said, as he kissed the top of her head, and reached between the seats to retrieve his egg, cheese, and bacon bagel. Along with a vanilla shake, and Jude’s breakfast, which was identical, but with a chocolate shake instead of vanilla. He handed the food to her, and she began by unwrapping the sandwich, and polishing it off in about twenty minutes. Collins and Micah ate the breakfast burritos in their record time of about two minutes, as they pulled out and turned back on the highway.

When turning on to the highway from the ramp, Micah read the signs, indicating about 200 miles they still needed to travel to get to their destination for the night. Little did he know, the white van behind him would send that plan down the drain.

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Micah looked in his rear view mirror. The huge white van, with the dark tinted windows had been following them for about eight hours. The sky was beginning to turn pink as the sun began to set. When the white van nudged the back of the Suburban. Micah pulled over to the side of the road, just as the white van did as well. A man walked up to the window. Jude, Reid, and Collins, all looked to the tall blonde boy in the drivers seat, as to an answer, as to why they had stopped. Then they looked out the window. A man had walked up to Micah’s window, and asked if everyone in the car was ok. When Micah replied that no one was hurt, he opened his door, and walked to the back of the Suburban to make sure that nothing had been damaged. Collins quickly followed. Along with the man from the white van. Micah confirmed that there was no damage, just a chip in the paint. Jude and Reid could hear the whole conversation from where they were sitting in the car. They watched as Micah stood up and turned around, to a gun in his face. The man in from the van held a black pistol against Micah’s forehead. Micah stood, frozen. His eyes locked with the gunman’s. Three more men got out of the van, all armed. One going up to Collins, who stood in shock, watching his friend as a gun was held to his head. The other two yanked open the door on the back of each side of the car, and yanked Jude and Reid from their seats. Holding an identical pistol to their heads. Jude’s blue-violet eyes wide in shock, as the man shoved her against the Suburban, and tied her hands behind her back. They did the same to the three boys. Reid stood to her right, tears falling down his cheeks, and Micah was to her left, trying to hold himself together. Collins was attempting to look macho, by pretending he wasn’t scared at all. But when they grabbed him by the collar of his shirt, we knew the bravery wasn’t there. It was an act to mask the fear he was attempting to hold back. Soon, Micah was dragged along with Collins. Two of the men herded Micah and Collins, at gunpoint, about two miles from the highway. The other two hit-men pushed Reid and Jude behind the two older boys, all four trembling with fear. Two of the men pushed Collins and Micah into a bare patch of land, about 20 feet wide, and then held Reid and Jude back about 30 feet away. The bigger two of the four gun-men, walked into the bare patch of land as well. They beat Micah and Collins. The two teenagers groaned in pain. Reid whispered that he couldn’t watch, and Jude kept her eyes on her brother. His blonde hair in his eyes. His cheeks red, and skin bruised, from the beating. Collins was then hit in the stomach, hard. He vomited up blood, three times. Reid collapsed on the ground, shivering in fear, just as one of the gun-man in the bare patch held up their gun, about 10 feet from where Collins was hunched over. As Collins stood, the sound of a gun shot pierced the air. Collins screamed in pain, as his arm began to leak of red blood. He grasped his left shoulder, and screamed in pain, wincing periodically. Micah hollered at the hit-men.

“Why don’t you just kill me! Leave my sister, and her friend alone! We’ve done nothing to hurt you! Just please, if you want to hurt anyone else, let it be me!” Micah yelled. A gunman had lifted Reid off the ground and held his pistol to Reid’s back. Reid tried to keep his composure, but it was failing behind the course of new sobs, that were coming from the sight of his brother in pain. The hit-man dropped the limp Reid to the ground, where he shuddered, and began to choke on his own spit, I hit him on the back to make him stop. Then the two gun-men, the one who had just dropped Reid, and the “ring leader” closed in on Micah, I heard two gunshots, and a scream from Micah, that I had never heard in my life. It made my spine tingle, and my eyes burn with tears. Micah fell to the ground, clutching his stomach with his hands, his body violently convulsed with pain, as he screamed. There was another bullet wound coming from his leg. When the gunmen left the four of us alone, in the middle of a field. I managed to get my hands untied, and I ran over to my brother, and applied pressure to the wound on his leg. Reid called police to inform them that we needed medical help immediately. Micah was still screaming in pain, Collins was holding his arm tightly, and breathing heavily. When Reid informed him that help would be there soon, I sensed that some of his pain was relived.
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Help arrived quickly. Both Collins and Micah were air lifted to the nearest hospital, and rushed into the O.R. Our dad found us, and was at the hospital when Micah and Collins awoke. Both of them made a smooth recovery. Reid and I were both fine. A few scratches here and there, but we were unharmed for the most part. We all survived! Micah now has two scars from the bullet holes. He wears them proudly. The bullet that pierced his abdomen was about 2 millimeters from nicking his aorta, he’s lucky to be alive!

About two months after the incident, the hit-men were tracked down, and were convicted of attempted man slaughter. The four of them will never again see the light of day. They all received the death penalty. As for myself, and my brother, we’ve gone on to live normal lives. The four of us occasionally tell our story at medical conferences, and safety presentations and such. Police have our testimonies recorded, and they will use them as references when attempting to solve similar crimes.

Micah and I are Jewish. We refer to the incident we endured, as our Holocaust. We survived our ‘death march’ and Micah and Collins survived the execution. So, I guess, we can look at our grandmother’s serial number, tattooed upon our wrists, B-2158 and know the extent of the pain, and torture, that not just our Oma, but the other Jews during the holocaust, endured. How? We survived the mock-holocaust, because we survived the torture of the hit-men.





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