A Break for Me and a Treat for You

Okay, so I’m taking a break from writing up ponderizations this week. So you get an excerpt instead! This is an excerpt from a science fiction novel of mine (The Rebel) that is currently in the beginning stages of construction. Enjoy!

 

~~~~~

The sun grudgingly peeked its head over the horizon, gingerly fingering the barbed wire coils that crowned the brooding black walls. Its rays winked and blinked as if the sunlight had pricked itself on the uninviting barbs. I shivered in the chill November breeze. If only I had just one sweater with me… But there had been no time to pack.

“Whatever you do, stay in line.” Dad whispered out of the corner of his mouth. I managed a stiff nod, glancing sideways at the stony-faced guards posted at twenty-foot intervals against the walls. Their guns were ready, I knew that.

“Stand straight.” Dad muttered, as Commander Jetties and a train of officers filed down the ranks, eying us, the prisoners. Every few steps, Commander Jetties would find someone not to his liking. Too old, or too young, and he would motion to an officer, who would yank that unfortunate individual out of the line and clamp cuffs on him. My heart smacked against my ribs as Jetties and his men came nearer. After all, Mother and Dad weren’t so very young themselves.

“Dad, where are they taking the—“ I shut my mouth quick as the commander pulled up short in front of me. My palms and forehead began to sweat, and my stomach felt like I had swallowed an explosive fireball. Jetties’ cold, gray eyes bored into me, and I cringed. He turned his gaze to Mother and Dad, and motioned to an officer, silently moving on. Mother’s face turned pale as the officer pulled her forward, but Dad kept beside her, quietly holding her hand. His face was gray and haggard.

“No!” I couldn’t stop myself, but the stranger who stood on my right clamped a hand over my mouth before I could say anything else.

“Don’t be stupid! Do you want killed too?” he hissed in my ear. Commander Jetties gave me a scornful look, but otherwise ignored me.

‘Oh God, please! Please don’t take them away from me!’ I begged silently. I couldn’t see, couldn’t think. The fireball in my stomach lurched and rolled about, and hot tears coursed down my dirty cheeks.

* * * *

Suddenly I awoke, shivering yet drenched in sweat. ‘It was just a dream, Ally. Calm down.’ I tried to reassure myself, but the dark brought back all sorts of terrifying thoughts to me. And then memories. And they didn’t march quietly in, either. They burst into my consciousness like a mob, each clamoring for my attention. Our arrest late Christmas Eve. The screams of the children as we were herded out on the street. The concentration camp. The death, the sickness, the dirt. The huge deportment ships.

Suddenly one memory exploded on me, drowning out the cries of the others as it splashed vivid details everywhere. I could almost have sworn that I was there all over again. The guards were prodding me into a freezing unit, just one in row upon row upon row of many identical devices. I could hear the exclamations of my fellow deportees as they too were being locked inside. The interior smelled horrible, like new rubber covered in toxic chemicals. My heart hammered against my ribcage, threatening to burst out at any moment, and as usual, tears of fear marked my cheeks. Not that I wasn’t used to them. Terror gripped me as I felt both my body and mind slowly succumbing to the freezing. Half numb, I prayed one last desperate prayer before I went completely under, “Oh God, save us somehow!”

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