Silencing the Hungry

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The compromise of body and soul inside of the mind of a concentration camp prisoner, as well as the compromise of life and death under the eyes of God. A man questions his worth and ability to follow a God that he feels has abandoned him.

Submitted: April 24, 2014

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Submitted: April 24, 2014

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Every single night, I listen to the frogs. Not out of interest, or even curiosity. I know that if they leave, we will all be long gone. For some of us, it is strangely comforting, but I never wanted any of this. The sound of the frogs has never kept me from my weak sleep in the racks. With every crack, gurgle, and hum of the frogs, the wood on my back shakes me in my dreams, reminding me of the hunger we all share. The sound surrounds us, it surges from inside of us. Then, I will wake up, naked in a shed, surrounded by moaning stomachs. If I do not forget this too; and yet, remember to tell myself that I will never fast again - I will survive.

If they aren't looking, they always fight; sometimes they would do it anyway, even if the guards caught a mere glimpse of their confrontations. To our eyes, it's fluffy white bread, only turning to sand in our mouths; and yet, my brothers resist each other in a pathetic fury, just to have a mouthful of normality. Swinging their arms about like twigs blowing in the wind. I would pity them, but we are brothers in suffering.

We sway as we dig in the work field. When we worked, we hopped from side to side, snapping like static, our head bobble, and our vision is seasick. They closely watch us, always waiting to bash or shoot us for slowing our work. With every day, there is always one who gives in to death. Lying down in the dirt that will eventually become a pressed mud, soaked from the blood of the chosen ones. Even in death there will be no comfort here, for another frog has expired at the hands of the soldiers. The dead frogs will be replaced with new ones, even though I have never seen them - they are there. Suited, satanic, soldiers take them and bring them, letting them die from empty stomachs.

I know that if I could just stay asleep, I will not have to hear them. On some nights, the croaks are bathed in a blanket of fog; we are close to death, yet surrounded by nature’s glory, submersed in the mist. I awake at first light and breathe in the cold air with the stale smell of another dead night. My chest has become a taught cage of bones that squeezes the air out of me. The nights have become softer, and the sounds of the frogs echo from the night before, but they are long gone.

I never feared death before they brought us here, for I had trust in Him. Tonight, I will dream in silence, scraped against this wooden rack, in a northern camp, relinquished and forgotten. We are the martyrs, lulling our hungry cries for life in the night; we are the only soulful cries to a God who forgot about us, but He is the one who gave us the gift of death, the one escape that is the only gift to be had in this place.


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