Family Affair

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As I lie next to my little sister Abiella and my older brother Aaron underneath the floor boards of my home the darkness surrounded us. For weeks my mother had warned us that we may have to take this action, or we would be killed. I had grown accustomed to the words kill, shot, and terminated within the last six months. I had seen my best friend get shot by an SS guard for simply walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk. The word mercy didn’t seem to be in the Nazi’s vocabulary.
As we lie underneath the floor, we could hear my mother scream, then suddenly she went silent and the only sound that could be heard was the sound of the Nazi officers’ zippers and belts. Abiella began to cry. Immediately I mimicked her action as Aaron held us both in his arms. It took everything in me to fight the desire to run out and kill every one of the officers - mother had stressed how important it was for us to stay hidden no matter what happened. After what seemed like an eternity, the SS officers left. Even after they had gone, we were too stricken by fear and shock of what had just happened to move.
Aaron was the first of us to move, “Amyla, take Abiella to your room and stay there until I come for you.” I was about to object, “Do as I say.” Aaron said in a tone I knew better than to question.
Obediently, I took Abiella to my room where I tried to keep her occupied with gali’s. These dolls were the only things she had from life before war, and the only thing that she had from our father who had been beaten to death by Nazi’s after he had given water to an elderly Jewish man.

Abiella asked if I would play gali’s with her, I did so half heartedly as I listened to Aaron clean the living room where I could imagine my mother’s body lying. I began to cry again.

Suddenly, Aaron barged through the door. “We have to leave - now.” He could see the terror on my face. “The Nazi’s are making the second round through the houses; they knew we were still here – look.” He pulled a note from his pocket and handed it to me, my hands shook as I read the message: we’ll be back. I dropped it to the floor.

The next five minutes were a complete blur to me. Within that time, we had gathered the little food we had left in the house, clothes, and had ran out the back door into the woods. As we ran in silence, I replayed the escape plan in my head. Our aunt and uncle had a hidden basement two towns away; we would go there and stay underground until this hell was over. But how long would that be? Numerous questions rushed through my mind.

Suddenly Aaron stopped and looked at Abiella and myself. He pressed his forefinger to his lips and motioned for us to hide under the fallen tree nearby. We did as we were motioned, as we crouched under the tree we could see flashlights in the distance, fear ran up our backs as they drew nearer. Soon I could hear the Nazi’s speak in their German accents. “I know I saw three of those Jewish bastards, keep searching.” Tears streamed down my face. I knew this was it; they had taken my parent’s lives – why wouldn’t they take ours?





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