In the Night
Dresden, Germany Date: February 13th, 1945 (Afternoon)
Emma’s little, porcelain figure hid quietly behind a half-way closed door to her bedroom, watching silently at her Mother and Aunt Johanna.
She was supposed to be packing her things, but she found their conversation more interesting than putting a nightgown in a suitcase.
The night before, her Mother told her she had to stay at Aunt Johanna’s house for a day, maybe two. Nine year old Emma was puzzled at this. Why meet Aunt Johanna now? They never met each other before. Why was Mother sending her to a stranger’s home? She asked her Mother millions of questions to at least solve some of the mystery. Emma’s answer, sadly, was only one simple sentence, “I just have to go away for a couple of days.”
Emma’s ears perked up when Mother mentioned her Papa, who was away at war. She didn’t care if she was caught listening on a conversation she was forbidden to hear. She had to know what they were saying about Papa!
“I just have to find Frederick, Johanna. He may be wounded at the hospital and how will I know either way if I don’t search the wards?” said Mother, stroking her rounded belly. Emma was going to have a sibling very soon.
“Clara, you’re about to go into labor anytime now . . . I don’t think you should be hiking through the hospital’s hallways, ” said Aunt Johanna worriedly.
“I WANT to know if my husband is still alive!” said Mother, raising her voice in emotional distress.
“Alright alright,” stated Aunt Johanna, rubbing Mother’s hands in her own. “Emma can stay with me . . . just be careful, please.”
It wasn’t long before Mother discovered Emma lurking in the shadows. A wave of sunny, golden curls was the give-away.
“Emma, come here, ” commanded Mother, surprisingly without an edge of anger.
Her daughter slowly ambled up to the pale figure that had her hands outstretched to embrace.
“Give your Mater a hug before I leave, ” she said. Mother picked Emma up and snuggled her in her arms. “Be a good girl for Aunt Johanna now. I should be back tonight . . . God willing.”
Then Mother stood up, gave Aunt Johanna a quick hug, and went out into the snowy cold.
Aunt Johanna turned her serious face to Emma and said, “Suitcase packed?”
Emma shyly nodded.
“Well go grab it and let us be off.”
The child did what she was told and came struggling back with the leather bag.
Aunt Johanna opened the front door, moving out of the way so Emma could go first.
They walked out into the frosty air of February. Thankfully, Aunt Johanna carried Emma’s suitcase down the narrow street instead of her.
End of Part 1
Part 2 will be posted on here shortly.
One Comment on “In the Night Part 1”
Nice job! I really enjoyed the imagery throughout this story. I felt like I could picture Emma hidden in the shadows eavesdropping. I’m excited to read the second part!
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