Hello all! Hope you are having a great Saturday. Sorry this is being posted a little later.
A few quick notes on what you are about to read –
- Today’s part is a bit intense. Before you all start getting concerned, no one gets hurt. One of the characters, (you’ll have to find out yourself), is struggling with some deep hurts and he is looking for help in the wrong places. He has an intense thirst for revenge, putting him slightly over the edge. I just wanted to warn you before you started reading and thinking, “did Laura hit her head?”
- I started naming my story parts. I thought it would be fun to do that—Don’t ask why. 😀
- The story plot might seem like it’s starting to get a little condensed. I want to finish up this serial story in the next few weeks. I tend to get tired of things that drag on and on and I don’t want you to feel that way!
- And as always, please comment! It’s very encouraging to read comments from my readers to know what they think of the story!
It was Sophie who heard David get up and go to the living area. For the last hour, she had endured listening to him mumble and cry out in his sleep from down the hallway. How no one else had heard him, she didn’t know, but he sounded so frightened.
When she heard him go into the kitchen, Sophie pulled her dress over her nightgown and went to join him.
“Want some company?” Sophie not only wanted to comfort him from what sounded like an awful dream, but she wanted to talk to him—without any interruptions.
“Wouldn’t be very good company right now.” David slumped in a chair, head in his hands.
“I’ll warm some canned milk. That will make you feel better.” Sophie went to the crate that had been dropped off by a member of another resistance group the day before. She grabbed a can of milk.
“Go to bed Sophie. It’s late.” David hadn’t sat up yet.
“No. I want to talk to you.” She pried the lid off the can, poured the contents into a pan, and started heating it on the stove. “Did you have a bad dream?”
His obstinate answer told Sophie he had.
“What’s wrong David?” She set a mug of warm milk beside him on the table.
“Nothing’s wrong.” David took a sip of milk.
Sophie poured herself a mug and sat down next to him. “You get angry at everyone these days. While at one time in your life you ate like a horse, you now push the food around your plate. Was tonight the first night you had a bad dream?”
“Sophie, please. I’m alright.” David’s hands trembled as he placed his mug on the table.
“I’m really worried about you David. You’re not alright.”
“I hate this place, Sophie,” David growled under his breath.
Sophie looked up at him, surprised. “Hate it?”
“I hate that everyone always agrees on everything, but leaves my ideas out.”
“That’s not true David.”
“Yes, it is. The whole Echoes of Honor business. I was against it, and no one asked me why. They decided everything without me and against me—and that Wilhelm character,”
“David you’re wrong about Wilhelm. He’s a resistance fighter just like you.” Sophie re-filled both their mugs with warm milk.
“I liked you, Sophie.”
“Liked?” Sophie wondered why he had suddenly used past tense.
“Yes liked. I thought that maybe after this stupid war was over, we could have a future together—I was a fool to dream about that. We’re not like each other at all.”
Sophie didn’t know what to think. She had liked David too, but not in that way.
“Doesn’t matter anyhow. Wilhelm,—Wilhelm’s sweet on you.” David looked like he was about to crush the handle of his mug between his fingers.
Sophie looked away. “David, don’t be silly.” Wilhelm always seemed to be yelling at her because of something.
“It’s true. I’ve seen the way he looks at you. He might treat you like a child, but he likes you.”
Sophie stared at the foam sticking to the side of her mug. “That’s not true David.”
“Shh. You’ll wake everyone.” She whispered.”
“I should’ve expected it. You’d never want me—a Jew.” David squeezed his mug so hard that the handle did crack off.
“That’s the most horrible thing I’ve ever heard come out of your mouth!” Sophie was tempted to leave him sitting there by himself, but this wasn’t about her, it was about him. She could still see the haunted look in his eyes.
“That isn’t the only thing bothering you is it?” Sophie wanted to pry deeper. She wanted to tear down the emotional walls he had built around himself.
“No—It’s this whole group.” David hissed between his teeth. “You’re all so weak.”
Sophie stared at him. She didn’t even know how to respond to that.
“If Karl had given me back my group when I reached eighteen I could’ve made us all freedom fighters.” David played with the broken handle from his mug.
“Your group?—I thought,—“
“Yes, Sophie.” David interrupted. “I was young. I didn’t know how to handle a group. I let Karl take over for a little while and then before I knew it, he was in charge of everything including me! Never even gave me any credit.”
“I’m sure if you’d talk to Karl he’d understand.” Sophie didn’t like the look in David’s eyes. She saw the thirst for revenge.
“Your brother is selfish. All he cares about is helping people. He doesn’t want to tear down Hitler’s regime!”
Ignoring the comment about her brother, Sophie slapped David’s shoulder. “David, stop it!”
“No Sophie! You and all your little goodies stop it! I despise the man that ordered his soldiers to kill my family. I want to bring him down, and all this group wants to do is babysit whiney kids!”
“Your family was killed?” Sophie felt sick to her stomach.
“Yes. I saw my little sister and mother die, one right after the other. The soldiers made me watch. They would have killed me too, but I got away.” David threw the mug he held on the floor, it shattered. “I vowed to destroy Hitler and his regime—Everyone has gotten in my way until now.”
Sophie shrunk back. There was something about David that was scaring her to death. A moment later he did something to make her fear come alive—He grabbed her arm and yanked hard.
“David!” She squealed, trying to tug her arm back.
“Where does Karl keep the money the other resistance groups gave him? I need it.”
“Why?” Sophie stopped tugging on her arm for a moment and stared at David. Was he talking about stealing money from Karl?
“None of your business!” David gave her arm another sharp jerk. “Where is it?”
“Why do you need it!” Sophie cried, tears spilling down her cheeks. Why was David acting like this? Would he hurt her if she didn’t tell him that Karl kept the money hidden in a chink in the wall nearby?
“To bring down Hitler’s regime!”
“The money isn’t your’s David. It’s all of ours. We agreed to spend it on the car that Wilhelm knows we can get.” Sophie tried to speak reason. Couldn’t David see that acting like this was going to end badly?
“Wilhelm doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He and his Echoes of Honor are going to get you all in trouble!”
Sophie whimpered. Because of the grip on her wrist, her hand was getting numb.
“Come with me Sophie—You can be a part of something bigger, something better than taking care of kids. There are a lot of other girls your age joining the group. You’d get to be around people your age. No more babysitting!”
“What group?” Sophie was over trying to be civil. If David didn’t let go of her arm, she was going to scream and wake everyone up.
“A group that is dedicated to tearing Hitler down!”
Sophie shook her head. She believed that there was something wrong with David deeper than his misguided thirst for adventure.
“I’m telling you for the last time, David Cohen—Let go of my arm!”
“Not until you tell me where Karl keeps the money!” David shook her.
“Karl!” Sophie screamed. “Karl, help!”
If Sophie hadn’t known that all the boys were deep sleepers, she would have wondered why they hadn’t heard David and her arguing earlier.
“I knew you’d call your big brother!” David flung Sophie’s arm away so hard that she stumbled back and landed in a heap on the floor. “I can take all of you on if I have to! I want that money.”
For the first time, Sophie saw the small pistol David had tucked into his belt beneath his coat. Surely he wouldn’t physically harm them—his friends.
Karl and the others came rushing into the room. Philippe stumbling over Sophie in the darkness.
“What is going on?” Karl thundered, looking from his sister crying on the floor, to David.
“Your sister is a fool, Karl!”
Karl pushed past the others to face David. “What are you talking about?”
“She had a chance to help with one of the greatest underground military movements on earth, and she refused!”
“He wanted to steal from us, Karl!” Sophie sobbed from where Wilhelm was helping her off the floor. “He wanted me to tell him where you kept the money.”
“This is bad,” Philippe said softly. “You wanted to steal from us, David?”
“I won’t have to now. I’ll make you give me the money!”
“Karl, he has a gun!” Sophie screamed, hiding her face in Wilhelm’s shoulder.
David pointed the weapon at his friends. “Get me the money or someone will get hurt. I’m tired of all of you sitting around doing nothing!”
“Give me that gun, David.” Karl’s voice shook. “You won’t steal from us.”
“Watch me.” David’s hand shook, and the gun wavered.
“Give me the gun and get out of here.” Karl took another step towards him. “You have just proved that you are unworthy to continue in the cause of freedom if you would threaten to kill your comrades in arms.”
David slowly lowered his hand. “You all are weak—Just like the children you want to help.”
Sophie watched Karl grab David’s hand, and pry the gun loose. He leaned forward, hissing in David’s ear. “Get out of here. You have broken the trust of every single member of this resistance. You are no longer a part of us.”
Though the gleam of intense anger still burned bright in David’s eyes, he looked sick as he stumbled back.
“I knew you’d all turn on me! Everyone has always turned on me!”
Without even stopping to grab his coat, David stormed out of the hideout, leaving the door wide open.
Sophie ran to the door, a mix of cold wind and snowflakes blowing against her face. She watched as David disappeared into the night, knowing that deep down, she would probably never see him again, and that she had failed to help him.
Hope that was coherent!
~ Laura 😀