Junior 3rd Prize Winning Story
“To Hell and Back” by Akshay Ravindran, School-RCIS Dahisar, India, is the Third Prize winning story in the junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2019.
To Hell and Back
Every dark cloud has a silver lining. After every storm the sun will shine. This is my story of how I survived the holocaust.
I was living a happy good life with my parents and my elder sister. I had good education, I used to sing, I used to dance, I had many friends. I lived the life of an average 13year old boy. Everything was perfect until the year 1943. That was the year when the scene started changing. The Germans had come and invaded our town. Jews like my family weren’t allowed to public places like museums, supermarkets, parks and even the theatre. Day by day all my friends and neighbours started disappearing. Rumours were spread that the Germans took them away. Though my sister told us it was fake, I was scared. I was scared about the fact that they could take me away from my family. Nothing happened to us for a few months and I had forgotten about my terrible thought. Then one day came that dreadful knock on our door.
It was the German soldiers. They had come to take my father away! I wept as saw him being taken away into the far horizon. Then one by one, all the members of my family were taken away. The Germans took us to a place what they called “concentration camps”. They took us to the camp by a bus. My family and I were separated from each other. I was worried for myself but then I turned around and saw that the whole bus was filled kids mostly younger than me and I thought to myself, “What would happen to these kids?” The scary part about the concentration camps was that if weren’t rough and tough, they would kill you. They would put you in this place known as a gas chamber where they make you breathe a deadly gas that makes you suffocate. Luckily, I passed their fitness tests. I worked in a factory inside the camp which would make nuts and bolts. All my singing and dancing skills had come to good use as I was a good entertainment for the German soldiers. Everyday at night, I used think of my family. After some time, I had completely lost hope of meeting them again. Sometimes, I used to take care of the younger kids and used to calm down the children who missed their parents which would make me worry less about my mom and dad.
This went on for two years. I thought that we were going be stuck in this place forever. Just a few months later, we (when I say we, I mean the whole camp) heard some fighter jets zooming over our heads. Then all of a sudden, I heard the deafening sound of a siren that scared the daylights out of me. Apparently, the Russians had invaded Germany to come to free all the Jews in the concentration camps. I cried tears of joy as I saw the German soldiers flee for their lives as the Russians broke into our camp. We were taken to a refugee camp. I had no clue for what to do next. So I sat on a bench, lost in my thoughts, not noticing a man taking a seat next to me. In his soft, kind, voice, he took my name. Startled, I looked up at him. My happiness knew no bounds. At first I thought I was dreaming. He repeated my name again and I rushed into the arms of my loving dad. Today was the dawn of a new day.