Hey everyone! I hope your having a great weekend so far! I've been working on a WWII story and Calamity Rene convinced me to start posting it on the blog. I hope y'all enjoy!
Dark Storm Rising
“Helena get down from there. We shouldn't be here. Especially tonight.”
Helena laughed as she continued climbing the large tree that stood next to a deserted country road. “Oh, Max, where’s your sense of adventure?”
“Where’s your sense?” He retorted. “You’re 14 but you act like a 3-year-old.”
“Remember, Max. You are only six months older than me.”
But I was also told to watch out for you. And we need to get going. It’s dangerous.”
Helena could hear the worry in his voice. he same worry she’d sensed in her parents. She sighed, Max could be annoying, but he was unfortunately never wrong. It was dangerous.
She paused in her climbing and looked out over the peaceful austrian countryside. “Max, you should see this!” she exclaimed “It’s--”
Suddenly she stopped. Straining her eyes she stared intently at the grove of trees near the meadow. Sure enough, once again a shadow separated itself from the trees and ran a few steps before once again darting back to the cover they provided.
“Helena, what’s wrong?”
Helena couldn’t answer. A sick feeling welled in her stomach. The moon had illuminated the man just long enough for her to see the uniform he wore. He was a Nazi.
As quietly as possible she hurried down the tree. As her foot touched the ground she grabbed Max’s arm.
“Nazi’s!” she whispered. “Just across the meadow in the trees.”
Max gave her an exasperated look. “Now you make up a crazy story like that and expect me to believe it? We don’t have time; we have to get going.”
“Max! I’m not lying. We have to get out of here!”
Seeing the terror in her eyes, Max realized this was no story. God, please don’t let them find us!
“We’re not going anywhere. We’ll stay here till daybreak.”
“But, Max, what if our parents come looking for us?”
Before he could answer a sudden rustling was heard in the dry leaves. Helena grabbed Max’s arm, her fear of the Nazi’s showing clearly in her eyes.
This can’t be happening! Max thought, I haven’t yet delivered the message to the captain. If the Nazis find us, they’ll find the note!
He put a finger to his lips signaling her to stay quiet. Taking a step back, he pulled her closer to the shadow of the tree. Another shadow separated itself from the trees, only this one was less than ten feet from them. Max felt a sudden horror as the realization dawned upon him. The man was taking his time moving from tree to tree but sooner or later he would come to their tree and here was nothing they could do about it.
The noise of an approaching car startled both of them. The sound grew louder until it stopped not fifteen feet from where they stood. Helena cringed as the headlights shone full on them. Well, we’re definitely not hiding now!
The car door opened and three men stepped out. One in the uniform of the Third Reich, the other two dressed as civilians.
“Vell, what do ve have here?” The man who had addressed them was tall and muscular with piercing, steel gray eyes. He was the one who wore the uniform of the third reich and also, Helena noticed, the insignia of a major. Helena swallowed hard, he may have been young, but there was no mistaking the hardness in his eyes.
“We’re sorry. sir.” Max exclaimed. “We didn’t mean to get in your way.”
The major stared unmoving, Never taking his eyes of Helena.
Helena took a step back, pressing herself into the rough bark of the tree.
“I vould not take another step if I vhere you.” Helena turned toward the new voice. As she did, she took another step to the side of the tree. Suddenly she let out a startled scream as she found herself falling. Then with a thud, she hit the ground.
Helena opened her eyes. Where am I? She started to sit up, but fell back hard on the bed as a searing pain tore through her back and down her right leg.
‘I vould not try that. It vill be quite some time before you can move yourself vithout help.”
Helena turned. The major sat at a desk across the room, his face a perfect mask, showing no emotion.
“Where's Max? Where am I?” the questions came almost before Helena could stop them.
“Do not speak unless I ask you a question!” the major snapped.
Helena fell silent. Once again she tried to sit, this time swinging her left leg unto the floor. As she straightened her back, the same searing pain shot through her. She desperately tried to keep her balance, but ended up in a heap on the floor.
She heard the major sigh as he slammed his paper down onto the desk and stood. In three strides he was across the room.
“Vhat? Did you not believe me? Vhatever you may think of me, I am not a liar. “ reaching down he roughly picked her up and set her back on the bed.
“Now,” he said after seating himself in a chair by her bedside. “Tell me vhat you know of our plans.”
A puzzled look crossed Helena’s face. “Plans? I don’t know of any plans.
At this the major let out a cruel laugh. “Ve find you and your friend climbing trees the same night and in the same voods vhere our spies were let off and you tell me you know nothing? Please, we’re beyond games now.”
“I’m telling the truth! I don’t know anything.”
The major narrowed his eyes. “That’s not vhat ve gathered from your friend.”
Helena’s heart beat faster. Could that be true? Could Max have known something that would be of importance to the Nazis? She thought back to that night. There had been some things going on that hadn’t quite made sense. Why had her father looked so worried as he called Max away from the table? Why had Max suddenly seemed solemn and no longer the teasing boy he usually was? And why had then been out last night off all nights? The night the anschluss was signed. She thought it was just to get fresh air as her mother had said. But that didn’t fit with with the piece of paper Max had so carefully put in his pocket or the worried look that hadn’t left his eyes. Yes, she decided. Max must have known something, something he hadn’t told her. A sudden anger flared up in her. That same secret had gotten both of them caught by the nazi spies. The same secret had also gotten her hurt.
At that moment the door opened and one of the Germans walked in, giving the major a crisp salute.“Peter just arrived, sir. He’s waiting for you in the front room.
“The major stood. “Thank you, Wilhelm.” He turned to Helena. “I’ll finish with you later. “ he followed Wilhelm out that door closing it firmly behind him. Helena could hear the key turn in the lock. “I can’t even move without help. Why does he think he needs to lock the door?” she muttered to herself.
She looked around the small room. The walls were bare except for one small window behind the Major’s desk, which she noticed was open, filling the air with a cool breeze. The bare wood floor had been scrubbed clean, and a small rug had been placed in front of the desk. The only furniture in the room consisted of the desk and the small chair behind it, the bed she was laying on, a small table with a lamp and a small riding whip, and the chair that the major had sat on next to her bed.
She focused her attention on the desk. There were papers spread out all over.. The majority of them were folded, except for the map which the Major had been intently studying. Suddenly a small gust of wind blew through the window causing the map to fall off the desk and onto the floor.
Helena stared at the map that was now only three feet from her bed. If only she could reach it!
She reached out her arm, but realized that was useless. Looking once more around the room her eyes spied the small riding whip on the table next to her bed. It must be the major’s. But why is it here? Unless he set it down before carrying me to the bed. But that doesn’t fit. they were in a car, not riding horses. Well, I guess that doesn’t matter.
Sh snatched it off the table and once again tried to reach the map.`This time it was long enough and slowly she pulled it closer. When it got within reach she gingerly reached down and picked it up. Turning it right side up, she examined it closely. It didn’t take long to realize it was a map of her hometown. Several houses had been marked off with X’s. As Helena looked closer, a sickening feeling washed over her. The houses that were marked were the houses of people who were against the anschluss with Germany, against Hitler, against the Nazi’s. Among the houses marked, she realized her and Max’s houses were marked as well. Turning her eyes to the bottom of the map, she read what was written in the margins. There was only one word. Exterminate. At that moment the key sounded in the lock. Frantically, Helena looked around for a place to hide the map. Opening the drawer in the table next to her, she stuffed it inside just as the door swung open.