Two Girls And A Pot

June 25, 2011
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The cold winds howled outside of the old house. A hunched over old woman sat in an armchair, glowing by the flickering fireplace. Her pale skin, wrinkled and powdery glowed eerily as she stroked the orange tabby that lay purring in her lap. A single enamel pot was all that decorated this room. Looking at it, the old woman smiled wistfully and remembered the story of that old banged up, rusty pot.
Odette dashed up the pebbled pathway towards the textile factory. Her jacket, rugged and dirty clung to her as she gripped it tightly. The bells chimed as she whipped around the corner, ramming into the cabbage seller’s cart. Stumbling up she waved her apologies and continued to run down the neighborhood’s paths. There, grey and smoke billowing from the smokestacks, lay the factory. The boss tapped his foot angrily outside of the doors. Odette smiled nervously and was harshly waved inside. Heat and humidity smacked her in the face and sounds of coughing and machines whirring blasted into her ears. Henceforth, the day began. Looms lined the factory for as far as the eye could see. Her fingers flew over the threads, sweat now beginning to bead on her brow. The hours passed and Odette never stopped for a rest. Her fingers damp and soft thuds of fainting people echoed down the hall. Dust filled the air and it felt like knives were stabbing your throat as one breathed. The old man that sat hunched over his loom shot Odette a quick smile. Late that night, the workers were dismissed and Odette and the man walked home together. “Poppa, couldn’t there be another job somewhere? I can’t take that place anymore!” Poppa’s sad blue eyes blinked in thought and his face scrunched up. “No…I am sorry dearest. This is the only way to get money.” Odette rubbed her raw throat and tears welled up in her eyes. Quickly, his roughed callused fingers wiped the tears away and Odette hugged him. “I just want things to be the way they used to.” That was when seriousness set into his eyes. “Odette, we must go home, quickly. I know a way to keep hope alive.” We ran home, Odette’s long skirt whipping around her ankles. They burst into the home, greeted by the gurgling one month old, little Henri. Suzanne was bouncing him up and down on her knee when we came in. Kissing her head, Odette then swooped up Henri and kissed his rosy cheeks. Poppa then grabbed Momma’s enamel soup pot and sliced open a slit in the handle. “Poppa, what exactly are you doing?” Suzanne stared at Poppa curiously and walked over towards him. Suddenly, Poppa pulled out 200 dollars and swiftly wrapped it in silk paper. Poppa then arose. “My family, let us make our survival a little bit more…interesting.” He smiled and showed us the pot. “The last person here gets this pot.” We smiled, a better reason to live, and why not everyone get the pot? I hugged Poppa and he chuckled. Ever since the Nazis took over Paris, out home as been dreary but now we laughed as Poppa put the pot away and we made the whole survival a little game for Henri and Suzanne. “If only Ada was here.” My momma sighed and sat down in her rocking chair, stroking our little cat, Rumpelstilskin. Ada was currently staying at a children’s home that was currently run by the Social Welfare. She had been staying there since before the Occupation of the Nazis and the family sincerely missed her. Then, came the rain.
July, 1943 was when the hunt began. Soldiers were everywhere and one day, they found Odette’s family. Odette had left for work earlier that day and that saved her life. She returned home to a ransacked house and the pot lying, banged up in the dead fireplace. Gone. Henri, Poppa, Momma, and Suzanne. All gone. Tears welled up and ran down her flushed face as she picked up the enamel pot, pulled on her coat and left for Ada. They would find a new home. They had to. Odette slowly trudged along, avoiding the gaze of the German soldiers. The warm sun shined down upon her as the tears slowly crawled down her face. On the other side of Paris, Odette found her Aunt Miriam where she stayed.
The rain pattered softly on her window as Ada played with the lovely little doll, Ginger. The other little girls hustled about, talking and getting ready for the day. Ada pulled out her gingham calico dress that had white lace surrounding the bottom. She brushed her blonde hair and tied her hair up into a braid. She carefully made her bed and walked quietly downstairs to breakfast. “Ada dear, you have a visitor.” Ada eagerly jumped up and followed the teacher into the waiting room. Ada stared at the sober 15 year old that sat in front of her. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a tight bun. She smiled, but pain was obvious in her blue eyes. She stood up. “Ada, I’ve got something terrible to tell you. Your parents…they were.” The girl scrunched up her face and looked away. “They’re dead.” Ada stood, staring at who she now recognized her sister. “Odette, they are…dead?” Odette stared. “Might as well be, they were taken away from us, taken to a concentration camp.” Ada shook her head and grabbed Odette’s shoulders. Tears ran down her face and she turned away. “Come on.” Odette grabbed Ada’s hand and they walked outside of the children’s home.
Ada slowly trudged through the cold snow that covered the forest floor. “Odette, will you just throw that pot out? Its slowing us down.” Ada pouted, her lips curling into a thin, pressed frown. She pulled her ragged jacket closer to her thin body. Odette, her face serious and pale turned towards Ada. “Ada, this pot is all we have left from home. We must keep it, it is ours now.” Ada rolled her eyes and trudged on. Then she saw the rickety old log cabin. Odette smiled and ran towards it. “Come on Ada, you must meet your Uncle Abraham.” Ada stopped for a second and then followed, curiosity pushing her on. Odette knocked on the door and a large, burly man answered with a brown beard and troubled green eyes. “Odette! I was worried you wouldn’t make it!” He hustled the two children inside the house and shut the door. Ada and Odette were given new clothes and they hustled to get them on. “Hurry, hurry. The smugglers will be here soon.” As soon as he said those words, a rapid knocking was heard. Uncle Abraham quickly ran towards the door and ushered five men inside. Ada slowly walked outside of her room and was greeted by curt nods. “These are the girls?” Uncle Abraham nodded. Before Ada knew it, she found herself being tugged along by Odette, following the smugglers to freedom.

“Shut up Ada, I am not throwing this away!” “Throw it away or I will and you will never see that…that pot again!” Ada whipped around and stopped off, leaving Odette behind. The smugglers rolled their eyes and ran after Ada. Odette sat down and held the pot tightly. It had followed them everywhere, and now that they had crossed the border, she could tell Ada the secret that lay inside. “Odette!” Ada was running towards her, only to be swept up by a dark silhouette. “Ada!” Odette’s mouth was covered by rough callused hands and soon, the two sisters were in a train on their way to a Swiss detention camp. On board the train, Odette held Ada close to her. Tears ran down her face and dripped onto Ada’s head. “Will you stop crying? Your making my hair wet.” Ada smiled up at Odette and Odette stroked her head. Suddenly the train stopped and Odette was thrown against the wall of the train car. “All of you Jewish swine, get out, now!” The club the soldier was holding began to rain down upon the heads off the doomed passengers. Odette gripped Ada’s hand and tugged her along. Ignoring the shouts of soldiers, Odette duck and dodged and clubs that fell like rocks upon heads of innocent people. Odette bent down and whispered into her sister’s ear, “Ada, we must get out!” Ada nodded and Odette, satisfied slightly loosened her grip on Ada’s hand. Days, months went by until Odette and Ada found themselves in a crowded truck. Odette gripped her precious pot and prayed that they would escape soon. It would be another two detention camps before the sisters managed to get free.
Odette scooped her soup into the pot and pulled Ada close. “Eat sister, it is the only way to survive.” Cupping her bony hands, Ada scooped up the watery soup. Odette kissed Ada’s forehead and glanced at the other prisoners. All were bones, like Ada and herself. The death toll was large here and fear took over everyone’s minds. Most had abandoned their relatives but Odette refused to allow Ada out of her sight. Odetet slowly stood up in her ragged prison uniform and walked towards the gate. She looked out at the forest and noticed the guards tense up on their grip on the guns. Odette sighed and stepped away, glancing back and sending up another prayer for escape. Her prayer was answered the very next day. “Odette and Ada! You are to be taken to a police station in Basel!” Odette smiled and took Ada’s hand. Uncle Abraham came and picked them up from the station. As soon as they were home, Odette grabbed Ada and opened the pots handle. Uncle Abraham smiled and tears sparkled in his eyes. “That is exactly what my brother would do. May he rest in peace.” Odette smiled sadly and put the pot away. Uncle Abraham took the sisters to the bank were they deposited the money. 5 days later, Odette was sitting in front of the fire and she smiled, hugged Ada and got up to prepare dinner.
Slowly, the old woman arose and looked at the engraving that was hung above the pot. "No vision and you perish; No Ideal, and you're lost; Your heart must ever cherish Some faith at any cost. Some hope, some dream to cling to, Some rainbow in the sky, Some melody to sing to, Some service that is high." The old woman smiled wistfully and fingered the pot’s rim. “Thank you Odette, for keeping hope alive.” Ada then turned to go up to bed and slept peacefully, a smile on her lips.

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Gereldine5 said...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm
I want everyone to know that this is actually based off of a true stroy :D There really was a girl named Odette who owned a pot that she carried all the way to Sweden all due to the money in it. Her sister, Ada also went along with her.
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