As today is Tuesday, it seemed a good idea to take part in this:
A noise woke me from a deep sleep, and it took me a moment to come round. When I did, the first thing I noticed was my bedroom. I didn’t recognise it. It was simple, with no personal touches. For a moment, I racked my brain. Was I on holiday?
A deep rumble vibrated the room, quickly followed by an explosion. I leapt from the bed, suddenly wide awake.
At the window, I hardly believed what I saw. Soldiers poured into the village firing guns and people ran, screaming in terror. They shot at anyone in their path. Smoke spread upwards from a burning building, and the apartment shook with another explosion.
I needed to get out fast. It was then I realised I’d been in bed, fully dressed. I stared down at my dark trousers and plain top. Spotting shoes slightly under the bed, I shoved my feet into the flat conventional style. All the time wondering where I was and how I’d arrived here.
Was this a dream?
Running out of the bedroom, I barely noticed the sparsely furnished lounge as I darted for the hallway. I threw open the apartment door and legged it to the stairs. The noise, and smell of burning, fed my fear.
It didn’t help when I stepped outside and saw an unfamiliar village.
What the hell was going on?
The buildings appeared old, built in a valley beneath the mountains. At any other time, it would be beautiful. The sky, a vibrant, clear blue, with not a cloud in sight as the morning heat rose.
Cows and goats, bewildered by the noise, wandered and scattered at the sounds of the frantic activity. I moved across to another building and kept close to the walls, my survival instinct on high alert. I did not want to die today.
As I turned the corner, I came across a woman on her knees and in her arms a dead child. Blood from his head pooled on the ground. The mother wailed, an awful bereft sound that tugged at my heart. She looked at me beseechingly, but what could I do? I kept on running, hiding, dodging.
With every nerve in my body on fire, my heart thudded uncontrollably, and I could hardly breathe. I was about to run into the open but saw a soldier aim a gun at a man on his knees. He fired. The man collapsed. His watching family screamed and cried in shock. I stopped dead in my tracks, stared with horror, before turning to vomit behind a wall.
Dropping to my knees, I retched and then crawled into a space between outbuildings. As the scene unfolded, tears streamed down my face.
Tanks rolled through the village, crashing into buildings, running over fences, and demolishing anything in their path. Some people died; others herded up like animals for slaughter. Fear fizzed in the air and the noise of terror was deafening.
Crouching down, I screwed my eyes shut. My hands covered my ears. I wanted no part of this, yet here I was. I had no idea what to do or where to go. I didn’t want to die.
“Sie!” an ugly voice, too close for comfort, yelled. “Hure!” It took a moment for the words to translate as I opened my eyes. “You! Whore!”
In front of me stood a German soldier in a World War II uniform. His gun aimed at me. My heart seemed to stop. My stomach hit the floor, and I thought I would vomit again.
Climbing out, I rose to my feet, my hands up in the surrender position. Please God, no. I didn’t want to die today.
Suddenly, his eyes flicked to the right, and he looked confused, and then scared. His rifle lowered. I turned to see what startled him. Standing there watching us… was me.
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2 thoughts on “Distant Time, and Excerpt from my Novella”
A great excerpt.
Thank you Darlene.