The Heart's Journey

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Germany 1933: When Peter returns home from being out in the sunny day, he sees flames dancing oh his childhood home. His father, mother and little sister are gone from the home. Peter sees tall men
in grey military jackets. He soon realizes that things are not as they seem.

Submitted: October 07, 2017

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Submitted: October 07, 2017

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The water glistened as the sun’s rays shone upon it. Peter sat on a rock and plunged his hands into the cool creek water below. A flow of dread washed through him as he began to slowly drag his hands out of the water. He remembered the time when his Dziadek took him to the waterfall that had just opened in old Wilanow Palace, Warsaw when he was 7. Peter was so dazed by the falls that he forgot to look where he was going and slipped on one of the rocks. But Dziadek, who was always there for him, caught him before he fell into the rushing water below. Afterward, Dziadek would look at Peter with a twinkle in his eye and chuckle.

 

Dziadek had always cherished Peter more than his little sister which was a bonus for him. But as Dziadek started to fall deathly ill the twinkle in his eyes faded into a cold black hole. His cheery chuckle was replaced by a series of coughs. The last time Peter got to see Dziadek, he held Peter’s hand and whispered in his ear “Your heart will set you free.” A tear dropped down his cheek as he smiled at Peter, then took a deep breath and fell into an everlasting sleep.

 

Tears ran down Peter’s cheeks as he tried to shake the memory out of his head. He dipped his hands and splashed the cool water on his face. He stood up and glazed at the water one last time and turned to the forest to see flames dancing on the trees.

 

Smoke rose above the clouds. Peter knew that he should start running but his legs wouldn’t budge so all he could do was stare in awe. Flames began to unite around him. One flame got too close and burnt a few hairs off the top of his head. Adrenaline began pumping through his veins and finally he snapped back to reality and began running from the fire.

 

Peter passed many shrubs and trees, almost running into them, until he saw ahead the squeaky wooden house which was his home. As he got closer to his home Peter saw men in long grey jackets with buttons on the front. A strange black spider like symbol was sewn on each of the arms on the men’s jackets. Peter’s vision became clearer and he saw his little sister’s curly black hair waving in the wind between the men. He soon spotted his mother’s long flowing blue gown and his father’s beautiful leather suit. He spirited toward them to ask what was going on but before he could a man with the black spider symbol ran up to him and tackled him on his side. Peter tried to get up but his eyelids started to get heavy and he passed out.

 

Peter awoke to an unpleasant rotten smell in the air (at least he hoped it was something rotten). He gazed around and saw kids 15 and 16, his age, sitting body to body in a small space staring at him with fear in their eyes. Peter blinked a few times to clear his vision. He noticed that the boys clothing were all the same, brown tattered and ragged shirt with small black pants that barely covered their knees. He looked down at his legs and noticed the same. One boy pushed through the crowd and stood before Peter. He was tall boy and had beautiful brown hair with a touch of gold shiny highlights. His hair was a little spiky in some directions but you could tell he tried to keep his hair well groomed. He certainly stood out in the crowd. Most of the kids’ hair was curly black just like sister’s and his own.

 

The boy frowned at Peter and mumbled “You're one of us now.”

 

Peter looked at him in confusion. What did “you’re one of us now” even mean? Peter had a million questions. Where was his family? How long untill he will find them? Are these kids safe to trust? Where am I? Peter had blurted out his questions without even realizing it.

 

“Whoa, whoa. One at a time please.” snorted the boy.

 

“Where am I?” stammered Peter.

 

“Well I am not quite sure but I think we are in a wooden train car of some sort.” said the boy as he pointed toward the slim planks of wood.

 

Peter glanced at the wooden planks. He noticed a thick wooden door with hinges that attached to the small walls of the car. He slowly got up and started walking toward the door. But as soon as he took a few steps a series of nausea swept over him and he vomited all over the wooden floor.

 

Peter throat kept burning and burning as he vomited. The boys watched in disgust as the vomit moved around the floor as the car lurched backward. As soon as the car stopped, the wooden door creaked open and two men stood there glaring at them with deceitful eyes. Peter finally stopped vomiting but his head started thumping and his body felt like jelly. He looked up.  Through his glazed eyes he saw the black spider symbol on both of the men’s jackets. The memories of his mother, father and sister’s faces flooded into his head. Because of these horrible men Peter might not ever see his loved ones again.

 

One man with blond hair that was shaved on either side grabbed one of the smaller boys and tossed him out of the car onto the hard pavement below. Then the other man with no hair at all joined in with the other man. The two grown men laughed hysterically as they shoved the boys onto the concrete. Peter stayed at the back so he could be the last one off and hopefully be nicely let off. But as soon as the men saw Peter they showed no mercy. They grinned and shoved Peter so hard that as soon he touched the ground his jaw made a cracking noise and blood oozed from his mouth. Peter lay there as both of the men jumped off the car and kicked him as hard as they could in his side. Peter wanted to scream and yell but with the pain in his jaw he just couldn’t.

 

Soon Peter had the strength to stand up. As he stood up he gazed at the site before him. Rows of small stretched out barn like buildings were a lined in the centre of the field. A metal electric fence surrounded the barns. Many people of his kind were wheeling wheelbarrows full of rocks from one side of the camp then dumping them into a large hole on the other side. Peter stared at the people and realized this was only the beginning.

 

Peter was sure that it had to be at least two months since he first arrived, if he could go by the number of nights he counted the moon. The routine was the same day after day.  It was always digging up rocks putting them in the wheelbarrow, Wheeling the wheelbarrow then dumping the rocks, digging up rocks putting them in the wheelbarrow and on and on. Peter had searched the camp forever to find his mother, father and sister.  But, alas the searching went on and they traveled further from his heart.

 

Peter made friends with a few other boys that arrived to the camp a month after he did. Jim and Jason. Even if he did have friends that could never make up for the broken heart he had and the whippings he took. Peter ribs and spine started become visible as he worked and worked every day. His stomach began to beg for food. He would do anything for one tiny breadcrumb.

 

One night when Peter went to his building to sleep everything began to change. The plan the friends had worked on began to fall into place.  Jim and Jason sneaked into Peter’s cabin. Peter, Jim, and Jason woke up everyone in the cabin to tell it was time. Jim blew the wooden horn that one boy had made out the splinters of wood that was left on the ground. Screams and yells echoed in the air as everyone scrambled out of bed, charged through the barns doors and overpowered some of the guards. Shots rang through the air as some of the guards tried to blast their way through the crowd. Peter along with the rest of the prisoners ran as fast as they could toward freedom.

 

Peter breathed heavily as he launched himself onto the electric fence. A surge of shocks rang through his body but even with the pain he wasn’t willing to give up just yet. He screamed and kept on going. As he made it to the other side he looked back to see hundreds no thousands making their way toward the fence including his friends. Peter felt free for the first time in his life. He zigged through the trees and reached a slow flowing creek. He heard his friends calling his name behind him and turned. As he turned he noticed a reflection in the water. A face of a man that was as pale and as ghost stared back at him. Suddenly he heard someone whisper in his ear “Your heart has set you free“.  Shivers went through Peter’s body as he realized this had to be the voice of his beloved Dziadek.  Peter felt the tears begin to run down his cheeks and felt a surge of energy.  Waiting for his friends to catch up he realized again that this was only the beginning of his next journey. 


© Copyright 2018 Crystal L. All rights reserved.

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