The acrid tang of smoke lingered in the air as I stumbled forward after my friend Gladis. They hadn't called my name –number– but I couldn't leave Gladis to die all alone. They didn't care. It was their job to kill us, each and every one of us. I reached Gladis and clutched her hand, gasping. "Don't leave me. We'll do even this together." I murmured, and received a vicious kick from one of them for my trouble. Gladis turned her fear-filled brown eyes onto me. She didn't need to say anything for me to get the message. I shouldn't have come; it was bad enough she was going to die without me dying, too. But it was too late now; we both understood that they would force me back. They pushed us onto the long line of pyres, tying us there with thick, wet ropes. I was put in the middle of our pyre, and I remember thinking, 'Oh God, I'll die first.' I surprised myself that I still believed in God, after everything they had done to us already. I could still feel the burning pain in my right arm where they had gouged a number into my skin –my new name, as it was– B8076. And when I had stumbled one night when we were walking, they had broken my other arm. They laughed as many people screamed and struggled and tried to run. They enjoyed our fear, our struggles, and our hopelessness. For hopeless we were. Even if we managed to get away, where would we run? Children cried; held by their desperate mothers, who were crying themselves. This time, it was mostly women and children going; a few younger boys who looked weak. Steven was on the same pyre as us. Steven, who wasn't even a Jew –well, neither was I. I was even the epitome of what they looked for in their armies: blond-haired, blue-eyed, non-Jew; but did they listen? My family hadn't been Jews since –I don't even know how long. But it was enough that we had once been Jews; they took us, and my family was killed before my eyes, screaming as the fire devoured their bodies. I had heard of camps where they killed us off by gas, or handing, for punishment, but here they burned us. Saved them and us the work of burying the bodies, but such a horrible way to die. By now, they had tied us all to the stakes, but the General came out and yelled at them, shouting about the right way to kill a Jew –burned in the position of Jesus Christ on the cross, so that they would be cleansed in death. What utter nonsense! He even had a demonstration shown; five bulls were tied to a stake; two of them in a V-formation on top, and the others below them. I nearly puked as I looked upon the 'demonstration.' Others did; and they laughed. To me, at least, the bulls on the cross made me thing of the devil, and rightfully so. The devil had possessed them, and turned them onto their own kind, made them monsters of a kind which the Earth had hardly seen before. So they rearranged us; most of us. But the pyres on the ends, one of which was mine and Gladis'; they left alone. Ironically, I thought, 'What, they don't want us cleansed?' But I should have seen it coming; they wanted to mess with us. They lit the embers of out pyre and moved on, the blaze getting bigger towards the center of the line of pyres. Of course! They didn't want us on the end to die; they wanted us frightened half to death and then have to watch our friends and family die. And that's how it happened; my hands got badly burned from keeping the fire away from Steven and Gladis; but nothing worse. But the fire ate up those at the center; I saw horrible things that I can barely bring myself to describe: flesh bubbling, melting off bodies; blood sizzling as it hit the embers of the fire; who people engulfed in flame and burned, charred beyond recognition. Many of us on the ends screamed and thrashed, trying to get away from the sight. All the while, they just laughed; laughed with the evilness of the devil; enjoying our pain and horror, eating it up like the demons they had become. After the flames had died down, and the ashes started to scatter on the wind; one of them cut me loose and ordered me to count the bodies. This, on top of everything else they had done, made me want to kill them, each and every one of them, but I knew I would not; could not. And so I bent my head, refusing them the sight of my tears, and slowly walked along the line, counting. Soon, I wasn't the only one counting. They had let some of the others go; the strongest-looking. Thus, they added insult to injury by making us count the bodies of our loved ones; very little was left of them, and some bodies were still burning or smoldering. They kept us at it all day, making sure of the numbers again and again. Over two hundred people gone, just like that. And to them, it was a victory. At the end of the day, I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Gladis on one side and Steven on the other. There were only about 20 of us left, out of the two hundred and fifty led to die this morning. We were marched to an empty cabin. We were the survivors, for now. Tomorrow new people would come, and we would be the veterans. Would I be as cold as the other ones had been to us? I hoped not. They locked us in, a first, if memory serves correctly. I lay next to Gladis and Steven, wondering if I would be able to sleep. As I lay there, listening to the others nod off, I saw their faces, and swore I would one day get revenge on them. They, the Nazis.