Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the HISTORICAL genre (05/03/07)
TITLE: The Escape
By Mike VonFabian
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Katalin ran down the long road with her mother and son in tow. Her heart was pounding and she knew if she stopped, it was over, but she had to catch her breath. She found the shelter of an overturned wagon that had been abandoned and huddled close to what remained of her family. Wails of victims being shot were all around. Her 9 year old son was crying in her arms and she gently kissed his forehead and smiled at him to give him hope.
It had only been 3 days earlier that the German troops entered her city of Budapest. From the beginning of their occupations, they systematically removed citizens one by one. Katalin saw her friends taken by the Nazis to secured areas within the city. She knew it was only a matter of time until they came for her.
She stayed secluded from the troops. Now it was her time to make a move. She felt the net closing in around her as the Nazi leagues got closer and closer to her home. Tonight would be the night, she decided. She would either find freedom or die trying.
She packed some clothes and food and woke her mother and son. She opened the front door and scanned the street. It was safe. Katalin picked her son up in her arms and told her mother to grab the bag she had packed. They stayed close to the buildings and headed down the road towards hope.
Now, here she was, death nipping at her heels. The sound of soldiers was getting closer. She steeled herself and grabbed her sons hand and started off again.
Just as she headed down the road again, a horse drawn wagon raced toward her. There was a loud explosion and the horse reared in front of her. She knew she was going to be crushed by the frightened beast. She dropped down to her knees and shielded her son and mother from the animal’s hooves—ready to take the full brunt of the beasts attack.
She prayed—as hard as she had ever prayed in her life. “God, I know I have not followed you every day of my life, but I beg you now to spare us from death.” The horse’s blow missed them. The driver got the animal under control and got down from the carriage. “Get in! The soldiers are right behind us!” Katalin grabbed her mother and son and their meager belongings and piled quickly into the wagon.
She heard a shot ring out. Her son started to cry. She grabbed him close and tried to comfort him. There was something wrong. Her hand felt sticky when she touched her son’s face. In horror, she stared at the blood at the bridge of his nose. He had been shot. Tears poured down. She had failed.
“No, I’m not going to give up now!” she shouted. She tore a piece of her clothing and wiped the blood from her son’s face. As she exposed the wounded area, she noticed the bullet had only grazed him. She looked around the wagon and saw a slight shimmer of something metal in the back of the rider’s seat. She got closer. There, in the seat, was the bullet that was intended for them. She raised her eyes skyward and said, “Thank you!”
Their journey had just begun.
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