Busted Knuckles

Sweat was caked on my hands, blood dribbling from a swollen lip. The sweat wasn't all mine, either.

I couldn't let myself slow down. I felt I'd either melt into fluids or shatter and grind into dust. My decadence has caught up with me, and I'm going out.

I'm turning the customary bang into an explosion.

"C'mon, Jew!" I hear them cry. I wipe my swollen lip.

Can she see me? Beating up Nazis for fun?

The blonde, sky-eyed man is trying to get up, and I, the dark-eyed Jew, stared at him.

In the back of my mind, she sang.

He scrambled to his feet and jerked toward me; and reflex demanded I meet his gut with my clenched fist.

Survival.

In the back of my mind, she blanched. A crushed flower fell from her clenched fist.

I let my own go.

The Nazi fell again. What world did I live in, where the Germans were cheering me on, and not the precious Nazi? He was born of their blood.

Why were they so in love with me?

The underdog. They always love the underdog.

The Nazi clumsily gained leverage again, trying to get out of the ring; but I felt thousands of Jews from the 1940s shove me in his direction, and when my fist connected with his cheek, a thousand blows rang out in the air. His cheekbone crumbled under the weight of a thousand Jewish fists, and countless cries of triumph crowded my mind.

In the back of my mind, she is silent.

She can see me.

She will not look at me.

She does not want to, but she can.

I realized why she died, then.

This world did not deserve her.

I shakily crumble to my knees and approach the Nazi, who is curled up on the ground, quivering at the sight of me. I offer him my hand, but he stares at me, as if I were a monster.

"Here, Nazi," I say, offering my hand. I forgive you. Let me help you.

She glances at me again.

"How do you even know what I am…?" he asks, and it's a croak, close to a dying breath. Blood leaks from his mouth. The right side of his face is bruised. He spits. The blood makes a swastika on the ground.

I ignore it and look at him, dumbfounded. "That's what they keep calling you."

He sits up shakily and looks at me, his blue eyes hooded by platinum hair. "I never hated you. I paid a price for you, too."

I see, now, the scars on his arms. He wears no shirt, and his scars seem to be bleeding into his skin like stains. Whip scars all over him, hands, feet, legs, back, neck… Everything but his face. On the ground, the swastika blood splotch smudges into something resembling a beating heart.

"I fed you. Five of you, in total, roomed in my basement. One at a time." His eyes said it all. I'm your friend. I bled to feed you. I was whipped to keep you safe.

I shook my head, and his eyes grew a little, surprised. "I'm not you. I'm Mikkel." I offered my hand again.

The Nazi—no, German… smiled. "I'm Harel." He grabbed my hand.

In the back of my mind, she smiled at me.

A/N: Hey, I know the Holocaust is a strange thing to write about, given the circumstances, but… I felt like I wanted to. This sort of shows a perspective on this thing that people usually don't see. What about the Germans posing as Nazis to keep the party out of their houses—where they're storing Jews? I felt like this is kind of avoided in these days. Some people took this ultimate risk. So, there it is. Enjoy.

PS: The Jew has a German name. The German has a Jewish name. *dances*