"Run, Amelia, RUN! Out the back door, while you still have time!" Mother's eyes were bright and pleading, her voice rang out in a cry. I rushed towards her and took hold of her wrists, gripping them firmly. "Mother you know I could never leave you. How can you say that? Oh ma, we've got to get out! We mustn't end up as father did, dieing in a camp some were!"
She held me in her warm, safe embrace and it felt as if every thing was normal, that every thing was alright and that the Nazis were just a bad dream. But the Nazis, they did exist, and the world was in a big mess, and oh, it was ALL wrong. Tears filled my eyes, but I could not cry. I had to stay strong, for mother, for father. For me.
I gasped inwardly when suddenly all the memories of my childhood came flooding back to me in a wave. In my mind's eye I could see images of mother and I baking bread, Father and I laughing as we rolled down a hill, mother placing her own star of David necklace over my head, and the three of us walking to church on Sunday. They were all I ever had. They were my family. And now I was going to loose them. The thing I treasured over all else would be lost and the memories that tormented me so would forever remain.
She pulled away, and while sobbing, handed me the rest of what little money she had, along with a long shawl, a hunk of cheese and a loaf of bread, heavily rapped in a wool blanket. She then quickly kissed me and led me out the back door into the bleak dawn glow. "They are coming. I can feel it," she whispered, her voice shook slightly, "Run my darling. You must get out. I am older than you. I have lived a good life. But you, my sweet, are still young. Fourteen, still but only a child. I willnot let my only daughter die. Go through the black wood. There you will be safe." "No! I can't leave you! I won't!"
Suddenly a woman's scream filled the thick air, followed by a loud crash and a baby's wailing. Mother seemed desperate now. "Amelia, listen darling, if I came with you I would slow you down. They would be suspicious to find our house empty and would go looking for us. Theywould find us. And then we would both die. Hurry, you must get out of this terrifying place! Take care of yourself. I will always love you, Amelia! Now run!"
Oh, how I wanted to say goodbye, to say I loved her back, but my throat was choked with tears of devastation and I had to get out before the Green police came and found me too. But I knew that some how I would have to survive many nights homeless in this forest, and try to hide as best as I could . And so I ran through the forest like wind, fear driving me deeper into the heart of Germany's Black wood. I never looked back.
I soon finally slowed when I felt it was safe. The bitter pain of fear came rushing out of me instantly, and was replaced by the feeling of peace and safety. The beauty of this forest was exquisite and left me standing there in awe. Giant spruces, pines and larches rose up from the ground and seemed to be touching the heavens. The forest floor was covered in grass, mushrooms, moss and multicolored wild flowers which were sprinkled across the ground in
abundance. The gentle breeze carried the aroma of nectar and the hum of insects. So this is what the Black wood is like.
As I walked, my fingers fumbled around my star of David necklace. Other than my haunting memories, this was all I had left of home. I would wear it always and never take it off. As night fell I began to look for shelter. I came across a sturdy oak and began climbing. But what was I to do if I fell? I could die from this sort of fall. I decided to fasten the wool blanket I had took with me around both the large tree branch and my waist.
Sleep took me quickly and led my heart into the night, into my cold, lonely dreams.
I awoke to a dark, ashen sky and flecks of rain. The air was stiff and chilled; and so was I. I untied my blanket and gingerly rose up. Then, going as fast as I dared, I climbed down the old oak tree. After walking for quite some time I came upon a raging river. It was as dark as night, and must have been this deep because the last bit of snow had just melted into it. I gazed at my reflection and hadn't recognized myself at first. My usually smooth, soft chestnut hair was unkempt and wind blown, and my forest-green eyes had a strange glint to them, one that hadn't been there before. Not only had I changed on the inside, but on the outside as well.
I gazed up to see an old chamois wading into deep water. I could tell he was a male because of his sturdy, robust features. His coat was light and sleek for spring; he had just barely finished molting. His eyes held fear, as mine do. His white face markings were spectacular, but his face, as his eyes, held fear, and I soon figured out why.
A large pack of wolves were pacing the other side of the bank. There were at least seven of the beasts, there eyes gleamed with hunger. Should I save this poor creature, or let nature take it's course? It was certain: I would not go near him for I might scare him and he would run back to the other side, to his death. I crouched low through a tall cattail bush that I could still see out from.
As I watched him struggle, tears trickled from my eyes, for he was no different from me. It is not his fault he is prey to wolves. Nor is it my fault I am prey to Hitler's army. We are both on the run, him and I, but running to our deaths in the end. But we cannot hate, for hate eats at a soul until there is no love in the heart, only a painful hole were life once beat.
Father once told me forgiveness is the sweet fragrance the flower gives to the heel that had crushed it. I am that flower. Suddenly he tripped and fell under the current, but he never came back up. I waited and waited, but he was gone. Just like that. They way father was taken, the way I got here. Things can slip up in an instant, but we must keep fighting. I cannot end up like my poor old chamois.
Things could be worse. I could be like my father or like my mother, or like so many other people who have died. I am lucky, to still be alive. Maybe I might not be able to see the end of the war, but I will be alright. I might give up on the outside, but on the inside I will be forever more fighting.