10/06/2008

Survivor: A Short Story

Well thanks to lulu's comment, I dug up a short story I wrote a year ago, I won a prize at a short-story competition with this tale :)

SURVIVOR
It was 1939. He had been a young boy, barely 15, when the Germans invaded Poland and he was taken to the Auschwitz. Hea did not know what the name meant; he did not know what “extermination camp” mean. He only knew he would be going there alone; he had been taken away from his family, cruelly pulled away from his weeping parents and sisters. He had been rounded up with strangers and placed into cattle cars. He had wondered if he would ever see his family, his home again.
The heat, lack of food and water had brought death within the carriage, and he could only pray as the stench of dead bodies forced its way through his nostrils. The carriage traveled for 2 days without stopping. When they finally reached the Auschwitz, he crawled over corpses and hurried out for they were under orders. They lined up for selection. The officer would point either left or right; left would mean death in the gas chamber, right would mean a temporary stay from death. He went right.
He washed himself along with the others, immensely relieved that it was water, not gas that streamed from the faucets. Guards de-loused them, putting chemicals on their bodies and shaving their heads. He remembered trembling as they watched each prisoner with gleam and disgust in their eyes. The fear was huge and swallowed him from inside. They were then given prisoner clothes and wooden shoes; his had been far too large, but he had no choice. He was then sent to the work barracks. Work Makes Men Free. He read those words painted on the walls as they passed the crematorium and gas chamber. The smell of human bodies burning hung in the air.
Everyday he woke up and everyone lined up. They would stand there until it was lunchtime. Lunch was cold soup without anything to scoop up; dinner was a slice of bread. On Sundays, the bread would come with margarine and a slice of salami. He tried not to fall sick. Anyone who couldn’t rise from bed was taken away. During the winter, life was harsh. He would be ordered to carry steel beams. It would be so cold that the skin stuck to the beam and when he tried to free his hands, the skin would tear and he would bleed. The Germans forbade him from putting cloth on his hands. The next day, he must put the beam back in its original spot.
It was 1944 when he was moved to another camp because the Russians were coming. He felt relieved that there was no crematorium in the new place. He stayed there for a month, his hope for freedom growing with tales of Germany slowly losing the war. He was barely skin and bones when he was moved again, this time only to leave the very next day. He could hear the shouts from the officers and the sounds of machine guns and heavy artillery as they marched out of the camp. The Allies were coming, so they had to move out. He fell when he could no longer walk. Fatigue and hunger had finally brought him down. They had left him there. They killed those who continued walking. This was the death march. He survived because he fell.
Do comment, somehow I felt the story was lacking something but I can't pinpoint what it is :) I appreciate your time!

1 comment:

bebelulu said...

yeah! thanx to me ;p *claps*