She watched them, day after day – those ominous black smoke clouds billowing up over the horizon, they came in clusters, from different points around the city. She had heard rumors, horror stories really of what they were doing in the other cities far away from their quaint little town. The troops had arrived there a four days prior and that was when most of the Jews tried leaving – many were denied this right, and those that were allowed had found fake identities or some other loophole. There was no word from her aunt and uncle who had left the day prior, Aviva had no idea how they had gotten out of there, and who knew what that train ride had entail. Still she hoped they were safe.
Aviva sighed, as she turned away from the window and the questionable clouds and instead eyed her sickening mother. They had already instated that all Jews were to wear a star, and were issued food tickets. Two days prior her father hadn’t returned after he went to get his rations. It was the bare minimum and on some days the food was moldy – so aside from the worry woven into her about her father not returning, her stomach also grumbled crankily. Still they struggled through it, tearing off the rotted parts and devouring what they could of the good portions. Some part of Aviva thought maybe it was that which had caused her mother to fall ill to the bed.
After lifting a glass to her mother’s lips to give her water, Aviva grabbed their food tickets for the day, including her father’s – even if he wasn’t here, he would want them to have it. Aviva didn’t tell her mother she was leaving, but instead offered a small kiss on her forehead before she snuck out the door. The streets were busy with people, some bothering to glance at her, others not daring. Instead she hung her head, and quickly proceeded forward. There were hushed whispers off to the sides, and with a quick glance up she noticed a friendly face – another of her kind. At least that was how they wanted them to see it – a war between races, and so far their race was greatly outweighed.
“Rebekkah,” Aviva smiled softly, before turning her tawny eyes back to the ground.
“Hello, going for your rations?” she smiled softly, her head down as well as she trudged forward beside her friend. Rebekkah was taller, her brown locks in curls down her back – beautiful really, once the talk of the town, before her brown eyes and hazel hair was considered taboo. The girls had always been close, but this annilation of their kind seemed to further bond them.
“Yes, we should go together,” Aviva rounded a corner, her friend closest to the buildings. They walked for a time in quiet before Aviva spoke up again, “Father has been gone for too long.” Her friend paused in her tracks, before blinking dumbfounded at her friend, before latching onto Aviva in an embrace.
“I am sorry Avi,” she cooed, “He will return, they probably just have him working an odd job.”
The embrace was short lived, as they knew they couldn’t linger in the streets. The large clearing ahead was when they first saw the scene. Jews were lined up for their rations, though they moved slowly. The girls approached quickly, their heads still lowered for fear of attention – the drawback of this was that Rebekkah had been too careless. Simply following the steps of her friend, instead of looking up for herself caused her to run smack into a SS soldier. Aviva paused in her tracks, fear in her eyes as they trailed up past the boots, to the uniform. If she ran they would surely target her… She held her breath.
“Sorry sir,” Rebekkah said sincerely at the man without looking at him – that was a recipe for disaster.
“Sorry – sorry? You’re sorry?” the man said cynically a smirk plastered on his lips, his words were acidic, disgusted that she had dared touch him which caused him to latch onto her arm. They were still a little ways away from the lines, away from the shitty rations they offered the Jews. A gulp was given from Aviva, she didn’t want to watch this, but she was seen with the girl, and if she ran, or moved it could be motive for them to make an example out of her.
“Aye Markus,” he nodded to one man, before turning to another, “Alois, this bitch just ran into me, and said she was sorry, sorry,” his eyes winced shut slightly as he laughed cynically, “Let’s round some of the scum up, show them what happens when they don’t watch where they’re going.” He said it like she had meant to run into him, like she had intent to do it. Still her golden eyes flashed up at the man who had been deemed Markus. Aviva took a step back, her head swiveling slightly as if she was going to run – what would happen to her mother if she didn’t return… better yet what would happen to her? Her mind flashed to the billows of smoke.
The second man, Alois, had moved in and latched onto Aviva’s arm, before tossing her into the ground. Other Jews began looking, the men were yelling, latching onto any target they saw fit – regardless if they had done anything, or looked at them. Aviva though was too busy looking at her scraped hands, the dirt there thick but now covered with the reddish colored liquid. Her big almond shaped eyes glanced up at them. Rebekkah was still being held onto. Were they going to be shot? That was what she had heard happened in other cities. Were they going to beat Rebekkah? She didn't know if she could watch that.