Man-Made Nature

Outside the barracks, bodies littered the ground, strewn about randomly. Puddles of blood marred the ground like rain after a storm. Inside, the remains of a small candle was lit, illuminating the space just enough for a young woman to write on the back of an old sheet of violin music, using what was left of her charcoal pencil. The paper was folded many times, crease lines showing how often it was folded and opened again and again.

Her fingers, turned black from the charcoal, marked by little holes made for health evaluation days, gripped the pencil tightly, as if to never let go. She wrote to her family, telling them of her condition and health, knowing full well the letters would never reach them. She quickly reached the bottom of the page, ending her letter and letting a stray tear fall. One of the many she has shed in her time at the camp.

She folded the paper into a small rectangle, following the crease patterns. The paper was tucked into her boot, where it would be safe from the prying eyes of the Nazi officers. The charcoal pencil was placed carefully under her thin, worn out pillow. She took one last look at the sleeping women around her before blowing out the candle and tucking it under the pillow as well.

The Nazi's may have taken her joy and enthusiastic spirit, but at least she was able to keep her sanity. The weight of the day was lifted from her shoulders once she had written everything on the paper. It wasn't much of a salvation, but it was enough for now. A momentary escape from the horrid reality she was in.

As she fell into a light, dreamless sleep, ash fell from the chimney of the crematorium, not unlike snow falling softly on a calm winter night. The puddles of blood rippled gently as the ash landed in them, staining red, imitating flakes of snow landing in ponds, yet to freeze over for the winter. Man-made nature through violence.