Friday, May 8, 2015

Dark Storm Rising--Part 14

These are the last two chapters in the book! I know this part is a bit shorter then usual, but I wanted to save the epilogue for next week. (Which will be shorter too, but I think it needs it's own post because it really wraps the whole book up.) Enjoy!

Chapter 9

Explanations
As soon as the shot rang out, Daniel and Fremont dived behind the car. Then seeing Finch was
hurt, Fremont hurried out and dragged him to the side of the car.
“That’s what I was talking about,” Finch gasped. “It’s Arnold and he has another man with him.”
Daniel grabbed a pistol, aimed at the two shadowy figures, and quickly fired two shots in close
succession, taking only seconds in between to change his aim.
“Wow, you actually got them both, Daniel.” Helena said in a whisper.
“Fremont, are you okay?”  Luisa asked as she opened the car door and hurried over to them.
“I’m alright, dear.” He answered as they met in a warm embrace.
“Helena, Helena?”
Helena turned, the wonder showing in her eyes. “Max? Oh Max!” She exclaimed as he threw his
arms around her.
“It sure is good to see you. But--how? Matthaus said he saw you with Major Ramond. I assumed
you got taken back to the garrison.”
“I was with Major Ramond, but he didn't take me back. I’ll tell you about it later.”
Max nodded, “Alright. I’m just glad you’re here--and that you’re safe.”
“You’re looking mighty fine, Max.” Daniel said as he walked over to them.
“Daniel, I’m so glad you’re alive! Matthaus told me about what happened while we were walking.”
At that moment Matthaus walked over. “Both of those men are dead. You have mighty good aim,
Daniel.”
“What about Finch?”
“He’ll be okay, the bullet just missed the bone and went straight through.”
“Do you have any idea who those men were?” Helena asked.
“I do, and so does Max, but we’ll tell you in the car. We’ve got to get going.” Daniel said as he
helped Helena stand, then Max helped her climb into the car.
***
“So,” Daniel began as the car started and they began to move, once again, toward the Austrian
border. “I met Arnold while I was in Vienna, about the same time I met the Autenburgs.”
“Arnold was courting Lesiel at the time, and they had gone to a Cafe for lunch.” Max broke in.
“And I was at the same Cafe,” Daniel continued. “They had just ordered their food, and were
sitting at the table sipping tea. Arnold reached across the table to take Lesiel's hand, and in
doing so bumped her cup and the hot liquid spilled all over her. She jumped up and frantically
pulled the fabric away from her skin, all the while trying to brush it off. I was sitting at the table
across from them, and I quickly snatched up a napkin; offering my assistance--I never could
stand to see a lady in distress.”
“And the fact that she was rather pretty didn’t hurt at all.” Max added in a teasing voice.
“That’s beside the fact. So anyway, that’s how we met. She invited me over to dinner with her
family, and I was happy to oblige. But here was something about Arnold that had bothered me. It
was as though I had seen him before. And from the look he gave me, I knew we must have met.”
“Daniel really hit it off with our family and he was around quite a bit of the time.” Max broke in once again.
“I was working in the Wehrmacht so I did some checking into Arnold. As it turns out, he was
running from the German government. I quickly went and told Max’s father what I knew. He
immediately forbade Arnold to ever see Lesiel again. That day, the Austrian police arrested him.
His last words to me were, ‘You’ll pay. If it takes me my whole life, you’ll regret you ever met the
Autenburgs.’”
“I was on my way to warn Daniel.” Finch said. “I had met both him and Arnold in Vienna. In fact,
I’ve been working with Daniel for quite a while now in helping the Jews over the border into
Switzerland. When I heard Arnold had escaped, I knew Wilhelm was in danger. In more ways
then one.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Daniel, he knew your secret.”
“What?” Daniel sat up with surprise. “But how could he have known? And how do you know he
knew?”
“I was with him. When I realized he had escaped, I knew you’d be in trouble, so I joined Arnold and Stevan in their quest to find you.”
“Wait, you were with them? How is that possible?”
“Calm down, Daniel. You know I’d never do anything to hurt you. I pretended to join them to figure
out what exactly he was up to. See, Daniel, he wasn't planning to hurt you. He had figured out,
somehow, who you were and what was going on; that you were helping Jews escape. Then he
learned about Max and Helena. So he wanted to get them. Then he was planning to tell the
General who you really were and about your involvement with the Jews. He didn't want to kill
you, no, that would have been to easy. He was planning to do exactly what he said he’d do;
make you suffer. I wasn’t able to get away until today to try to warn you. I guess I was a little
late.”
Everyone was quiet as Finch’s words sunk in.
“Well, we can be thankful things turned out the way they did.”  Fremont said, breaking the
silence.
“Yes, God was certainly protecting us.” Kareena added.
“So, Helena, what happened with Major Ramaond?” Max asked.
“You’ll have to hear the story later, Max. We’re about ten minutes from the border. We’ll walk from here.” Finch said as he opened the door and climbed out of the car.
“Wow, to think that in less than an hour we’ll see our parents.” Helena said as Max helped her out of the car.
Max grinned at her, “I know. I can’t wait.”
As Helena stepped out of the car, Matthaus turned to them. “We won’t go with you. Kareena,
Mom and I will wait here. Dad will help you over the border.”
“It was so good to be able to meet you both,” Kareena said as she gave Helena a hug.
“It was so good to meet you as well,” Helena said as she desperately tried to hold back the
tears. “I hope we can see you again sometime.”
Matthaus winked at her, “If we do, I’ll expect you to be up and around. You just about wore me
out!”
Helena managed a small smile, “Thanks for everything.”
Max nodded, “The reason we’ve gotten this far is because of you. Thank you.”
“Max, Helena, we need to get going.”  Fremont called.
Helena gave Karena one last hug, then reached out to shake Matthaus’s hand, but he pulled her
into a fierce hug instead. Then she turned as Max took a hold of her hand and helped her over
where Daniel, Finch and Fremont were waiting.

They turned and waved one last time, before turning and walking away from Austria, and towards Switzerland; toward freedom!

Chapter 10
The Road to Freedom
Major Ramond rode slowly back to the garrison. Major Ubel had rode on ahead of him, still
furious that they hadn’t found the children. The sun was peeking up over the mountains and he
knew that by now, Helena and Max would be nearly over the border. He smiled, and somehow he knew nothing would ever be the same. He wasn’t the same. He pushed his horse into a gallop. Right now it felt wonderful to be alive!
***
Fremont helped Helena as they stepped over the border. She paused and glanced back as tears
gathered in her eyes. Their journey was over and they were almost home. As the sun made it’s
way over the mountains, the tears began to fall unbidden down her cheeks. She was leaving the
only place she had ever called home to begin a life in a new country. Max walked over and put
his arm around her shoulders.  “It’ll be alright, Helena. Remember, home isn’t a place. It’s your
family and the people you’re with.”
“Do you know what Major Ramond did? He made this possible. He brought me safely to Daniel,
then he went and led Ubel away from there. I hated him, Max. I really did, I struggled to forgive
him. I finally did and now I can’t bear the thought that I’ll never see him again. I prayed that God
would take the bitterness out of my heart toward him and Major Ubel, and He has. I am finally
able to forgive even Major Ubel for all he did.” The tears continued to roll down her cheeks.
Fremont, Daniel and Finch stood off to the side, giving the cousins time to talk.
“But now, now I know what true freedom is. Even if we were still back at the garrison, behind
locked doors; my heart is free now, Max. Because God can give us the freedom that is found in forgiveness.”
“I know what you mean. True freedom is only found when we fully place our trust in God and
surrender our will to Him. When we understand what Jesus has done for us and what He has
forgiven us for, we can then forgive others and find the freedom only Christ can give.”
They stood there and watched the sun rise over the mountains until it shone bright on them in it’s
full splendor, then they turned, leaving Austria behind, as they walked toward Switzerland. . .and a new life.
***

3 comments:

  1. I looooooove it! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This story is awesome. B-) I'm sad it's over.
    Short story time! ;)
    I'm just kidding. Thanks for posting, Jesseca, and what a great story. I'm so glad you wrote it. I love all the characters. Mr. Finch was definitely a favorite for me, as well as the Majors. You did a great job on this!
    God bless and have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amazing story, jesseca!
    I'm sad it's over too! :) ;-)

    ReplyDelete

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