Black Velvet

November 10, 2008
By Nic Simpson, Copperas Cove, TX

For three days and three nights, I was trapped under thousands of dead bodies. It was beyond describing, the horrid smells and even worse sights of blood all around me. I was going to lose it all, my life and my liberty. If I knew that I would end up like this five years ago, I would have never believed in Hitler. But it was too late to think about that.

I became cannibalistic, and prayed everyday that I would get some deathly disease that would end me in that blood canal, but the day never came. I can’t remember much before they threw me into the deep valley with the others. The river always dries out in the summer, so the Nazis piled us into the empty riverbed and shot most of us. I was in so much pain that I just fell over and one of those who got shot plopped on top of me. That’s probably what saved me.

I believe I went blind after that, and then I just blacked out. When I awoke, I thought I was in hell, because the dead bodies just kept falling around me. It was a short moment after when I realized that I was in hell, and Adolf Hitler was the devil.

I would have moved and gotten out of the dead pile, but I was too tired. Also, the remaining Nazis probably would have shot me. I would have cried, but I ran out of tears months ago when they stripped me of my mind, body, and soul. I would have died, but apparently we can’t all get what we want.

After the second night, it started to rain. All of a sudden, and idea appeared in my head. Usually it was a long period of raining that fills the river with the water to supply the inhabitants near it. If the rain started pouring, then the river would be full, and the Nazis couldn’t drop any more dead bodies. Hopefully, they would leave and I could escape.

Sure enough, on the third day, I could hear cars starting and leaving the edge of the cliff that overviews the river that holds thousands of dead Jews. After a while, the noise faded away, and blood and rainwater started filling up the riverbed. It was here that I made the biggest decision in my life, and I will never regret making it.

When I could feel the bloody water reach my lips, I drank more than I have ever done. The water kept rising, and soon I was surrounded. It felt like forever, drowning in people’s blood, but I was willing to die. I was willing to end the madness. I was willing to perform Judgment Day.

But something gave me faith. I don’t know if it was the fact that I could leave the valley and survive without getting shot or maybe the Lord himself changed my mind, but I didn’t have time to find out. I moved my arms for the first time in three days and I felt as if I were on fire. I paddled harder and harder and lost breathe at every stroke I made. Finally, I grabbed the dead body that was on top of me and pulled myself out of the water.

I took in a breathe and kept on paddling. Body after body floated around me and I was too paralyzed to scream. I tried not to think of them as people that were once alive, but it was hard. If only I was already gone like them, and somebody else was paddling through the water like I was.

After about half an hour, I finally reached land. I threw myself on the ground and panted. My bones were aching and my head thumped, trying to circulate blood to keep me alive. I looked around and couldn’t tell where I was, not that it mattered. I lowered my head and continued to pant.

I awoke the next morning, and it was still raining. I felt better; the water must have helped my body, even though it was red water. My muscles still felt like stone, but I was finally out of the bloody pit.

I slowly stood up and turned around. The sight struck me so bad; I could have gone blind again. As I watched the rain fill up the river, I could no longer see the dead bodies. It was as if they were never there. The only hint that something tragic happened was the color of the water. It was a murky blackish-purple color that I have never seen before and hopefully I never will again.

The river looked like a giant sheet of black velvet, flying gracefully in the air. It was beautiful, yet ghastly. I can’t describe how I felt at the moment. It was difficult to bear what I was seeing, because it showed what I had just survived. All those people dead, and I was the only one who lived. How could I bear with that? But I was just thirteen, and I just lived through a series of life torturing and agonizing events that would haunt me for the rest of my life.

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