Echoes of Honor

Echoes of Honor Pt. 8

~ Sophie ~

Sophie paused, staring. Philippe had a hold on David’s arm, Karl had a hand firmly planted on Wilhelm’s chest, and Wilhelm was scowling at everyone.

She burst into tears.

“Sophie!” Karl ran forward, enveloping his sister in a hug. “You’re safe! You ever do something like that again, and I’ll lock you up.”

David touched her arm lightly. “I’m sorry Sophie.” His voice was low, and he glanced at Karl. “I should never have left you.”

“Don’t be silly.” She sniffled. “They would have taken you, prisoner.”

Petr pulled on Sophie’s skirt. “Who are dey Ophie?”

She bent down. “This is my brother, Karl.”

Petr looked at him warily. “Are you a soldier?”

Karl shook his head.

“Good,” Petr replied.

Karl shot Sophie a questioning look, and she shrugged.

“Woohim!” Petr shrieked, running towards Wilhelm, who Sophie noticed seemed to be watching Petr’s every move.

Sophie followed the boy.

“See Ophie! It’s Woohim! Woohim’s my brudder.” Petr tried to throw his little arms around Wilhelm, but the older boy brushed him off.

The little boy backed away, lip trembling. “Woohim. Don’t you ‘wov Petr?”

“Petr.” Sophie took his hand. “I don’t think this is your brother.”

Wilhelm glared at the boy, and Sophie pulled Petr away.

“But it’s Woohim.” The boy pointed at Wilhelm. “He’s my brudder.” Tears rolled down his cheeks, and he buried his face in Sophie’s skirt.

“Listen, Petr. Go with Philippe. He’ll get you a snack.”

Petr looked up at her with his big eyes. “But I want Woohim.”

“Hey!” Philippe said, bending down to Petr. “You like cookies?”

“Cookie?” Petr cocked his head.

“Come with me, and you can have one.” Philippe grabbed Petr around the waist and swung him up on his shoulder.

Petr giggled and waved at Sophie.

“What was that all about?” Karl asked Wilhelm.

Sophie put her hands on her hips. Petr had become like a little brother in a short time. How could Wilhelm be so mean?

“You have no idea,” Wilhelm said.

“Is he your brother?” Sophie asked, seeing for the first time that Wilhelm refused to meet their gaze.

He hesitated. “No. I don’t know who the kid is. My family is dead.”

“Sure…” David said. “Woohim, Wilhelm. Don’t sound the same at all to me.”

“David, please.” Karl gave him a warning look. “Wilhelm. Do you even know this little boy?”

“I already told you no. Drop it.”

Sophie shook her head. “You didn’t have to be so mean. He’s been through a lot. He just wanted a hug.”

She turned around and headed towards the room where Philippe and Petr went.

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Sophie brushed out her long hair with her fingers. She glanced in a small cracked mirror Karl had found for her, and she was surprised.

It has been months since she saw her reflection. She actually looked pretty.

“You finished primping?” Karl stood in the narrow doorway of the room given to her. “You’re only going to bed, not to a party.”

She glared at him. “You just be quiet Karl Hoffman. You didn’t have to sneak in here like that. A girl likes some time alone to herself.”

“To primp for bed?”

Sophie swatted his shoulder. “You’re bad.”

Karl sat down on the thin mattress that would serve as Sophie’s bed.

“I’m missing some pieces.”

Sophie started to braid her hair. “What pieces?”

“How did you escape those Germans? I was ready to kill David when he arrived without you.”

Sophie tied a piece of fabric around the end of her braid. “Mrs. Grey helped me.”

“What about the baby?”

Sophie looked away. “They took her, Karl. Somehow the man in charge knew she was a Jew.”

“Oh, Sophie. This is no place for you. You never asked for any of this.”

“Did any of us ask the Fuhrer to take over?”

“That doesn’t make it any easier. You’re not safe with us. We get into too many scrapes.”

Sophie sat next to him. “And where would I go? I want to be with you.”

“I wish we could get you to one of those farms where they hide people. You could live a normal life.”

“A normal life? Karl, nothing about life is normal, at least not anymore.”

Karl slipped an arm around his sister’s shoulders. “I should never have gotten mixed up in the resistance for your sake.”

Sophie rolled her eyes. “You live and breath adventure.”

“But you don’t. You are all quiet and tranquility.”

“Karl, I’ve been thinking.” From under a folded blanket, she pulled out the small leather Bible. “Remember when Mama used to sing hymns to us? They always made me feel better.”

Karl took the Bible from her. “Who gave you this?”

“Mrs. Grey.”

Karl sighed and handed the Bible back to her. “You know what I think about God, Sophie. It’s the one thing David, and I actually agree on.”

“But Karl…What if, what if this book could really help us?”

“How do you figure?”

“Each one of us has gone through hard times. Maybe the people in this book went through hard times too. Perhaps these stories can show us the way out of our hardships.”

Karl looked at her. “Sophie. I really don’t want anything to do with it. If you’re going to read it, that’s your choice. I won’t stand it your way. Just don’t expect me, or any of the others to read it.”

Sophie looked up at Karl with a pleading expression, but he stood and left the room.

“Sophie?”

Sophie looked up to see Philippe peeking his head around the corner.

“What is it, Philippe?”

Philippe threw his hands up. “Please come with me! Petr keeps bouncing around on his bed.”

Sophie tossed the Bible on her cot and sighed. Maybe reading it wasn’t such a good idea anymore. Karl was usually right.

“What’s that?” Philippe bent down and picked it up. “Is this a Bible?”

“Yeah.” Sophie shrugged. Philippe probably thought she was a silly girl too.

Philippe set the Bible down but kept his gaze on it. “We better get back to Petr.”

“Philippe. Did you want to look at the Bible a little more?”

Philippe glanced down. “I always wanted to read one.”

“Here Philippe.” Sophie handed it to him. “Maybe you can figure it out.”

Philippe smiled, holding the Bible close. “Maybe we can read it together.”

A wail from the other room made Sophie jump up. “Perhaps Petr would like to listen as well!”

The both laughed…

Until next time! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Laura G.