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Greetings, all! In May 2013, believe it or not, neXus turned NINE YEARS OLD! That's nine years of STRAIGHT roleplay! Over the last month, you may have noticed the board has gone suddenly quiet. But worry not! We're still around. Click here to read this thread, and thanks for the amazing nine years!



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 Magneto: Testament, Solo
XxMagneto
Posted: Sep 7 2009, 11:13 PM


Master of Magnetism
*

Group: CRY_BROTHERHOOD
Posts: 273
Member No.: 63
Joined: 21-June 05



Scenes taken from Magneto Testament

“Ack!” A man said. Cords, tweezers and jeweled beads with ornate silver decorations tumbled from his wrinkled and pudgy hands. “I’m dropping more things than I’m fixing, Erich.”

Erich looked toward his big brother with a mocking smile, leaning against a plush chair with a large oak desk, stained red, in front of him. It was his working desk, where him and his brother would sit and make fine hand-crafted jewelry.

“Got too fat in the civil service, huh, big brother?” Erich smiled as the older man bent down to retrieve his dropped items. “Pudgy little hands can’t hold an honest man’s tools?”

The older man clucked his tongue against the roof of his mouth. “Psh. My fat fingers are fine. It’s my eyes.”

“Don’t worry pop,” a young child spoke, his sprite fingers picking up the objects faster than the older man could see, “I got ‘em.”

“So you do.”

The younger brother of the Eisenhardt family leaned back, jutting out a chin toward the child with yet another smirk. “You gonna keep your Poppa out of the pourhouse, Max?” Sarcasm oozed from every word.

“Hah!” Max’s father sounded, “He thinks he’s joking! Show him what you’ve been working on, son.”

The Eisenhardt family was a small jewish family that lived by on the items they made and sold within town. Max’s uncle, the youngest of the brothers, often poked fun of Max’s father, but the family was very close knit where jabs here and there very seldom spawned into serious fights. Max dug into his pocket and pulled out a fine silver necklace that caught the sun’s light that streamed in through the window.

“Hey, hey, hey. What’s this?” his uncle asked, pointing to the necklace.

“Every time he finds another scrap he attaches it to the chain. Look at that craftsmanship!” Max beamed seeing the spark in his father’s eyes. “And him only nine years old!” A nine year old Max Eisenhardt. A soon-to-be one of the best jewelers in town. Or that’s what he was supposed to become. Events had a way of altering one’s dreams, forcing one to realize reality often wasn’t what one once perceived it as. But to Max’s naïve and still growing mind, there was nothing better than knowing his family was whole and he made his father proud.

“Very pretty,” his uncle nodded, “but you know what this means…” He leaned back, throwing his arm over his chair. “…He’s got a girl.”

Who’s got a girl?!” Max’s mom asked, coming up from behind Max.

“Nobody!” Max said.

“Exactly,” his mom emphasized. His uncle laughed alongside his father.

“Not so funny, Erich,” his mother said to the younger brother. “You want Max to run around like you? In times like these?” Her words were ominous and foreboding, all lost on Max’s nine-year-old mind.

“Ah, all the more reason to have some fun, huh?” Erich smiled. Max took a good look at his uncle. He was a dashing man, a square jaw with jet black hair he combed back. His eyes were always smiling and his mouth was in a permanent up-turned smile. Max didn’t quite understand what his mother meant by his uncle running around. He figured Erich was getting exercise. His uncle was very muscular and seemed to be very healthy. “Max, life is short. So lesson one,” Erich said, “if a pretty girl gives you that certain smile, you smile, right?”

Max didn’t get a chance to respond before his mother yelled. “Jakob! Are you just going to sit there while your brother talks this nonsense?”

Jakob, Max’s father, stood up on his wobbly legs, his age getting the best of him as he too smiled. He was a much older man with white hair and a grey beard. He tried standing straight as he walked, but he always seemed to be hunched over. “Hey Max…” Jakob said, coming up from behind his wife as she passed him a glance. “You think maybe that’s that certain look?” Max noticed his mother blush and absentmindedly pull a strand of strawberry blonde hair behind her ear.

“Oh… you… You man, you,” Max’s mother stuttered. “You come help me get the food, now.”

“Lesson two,” Erich said, rubbing Max’s hair as he was trying to figure everything out once his parents left to go into the kitchen, each hold the other’s waist, “if a pretty girl invites you into the kitchen, always say yes.” Max's thoughts strayed. His uncle was right. There was a girl involved. His cheeks flushed red, imagining Magda inviting him into a kitchen... He didn't know what was so special about it, but just knowing Magda made food for him... It was more than enough to cause his uncle to laugh out loud again.

To be continued…


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XxMagneto
Posted: Sep 19 2009, 04:40 PM


Master of Magnetism
*

Group: CRY_BROTHERHOOD
Posts: 273
Member No.: 63
Joined: 21-June 05



“You are everything, Sons of the Nation. The hopes and dreams of your fathers and your father’s fathers rest in you. Here we strive every day to train your minds and your hearts and your bodies. But your teachers can only take you so far.”

Max was paying little attention to the man standing behind a podium ta;king to a wide group of males his age. He was a bit uncomfortable with his white tank-top and white shorts with socks raised nearly to his knees with grey sneakers. His attention was on a girl far to the side of the school grounds, holding a bag of leaves as her mother diligently raked in the fall colors. She looked sad, a red bandana holding back her stringy hair with a frumpy brown coat covering her body. But Max couldn’t help but smile at Magda. He… liked her.

“Pssst,” he hissed through his teeth to get her attention. The blonde haired blue eyed boy next to him heard and glared.

“The rest is up to you,” the man at the podium continued. Magda looked up at Max. “You must find the strength within…”

“Trash loves trash,” the blonde haired boy smirked. Max turned and glared.

“The will to seize that glory which is yours by birthright. Are you ready?”

Max was by far not ready. He was forced to compete in competition after competition. Sprinting, he came in last. Long jump, he came in last. Wrestling, he lost in the first round within less than a minute. “Dead last in everything, Eisenhardt,” the blonde boy smirked as he pinned Max into the ground. “I’m sure the little scrub’s very impressed.” Max turned toward Magda, who looked at him before he stood up to dust the dirt off his chest.

“What do you know?” Max asked. The blonde boy rolled his eyes.

“Eisenhardt! Front and center!” The principal at the school, the same man behind the podium, lifted out an arm, pointing to Max as he approached. “Observe class: Max Eisenhardt: he’s really the perfect example, isn’t he?” Max immediately jumped into the front lint of the other white clothes wearing boys, staring toward the ground. “Small. Weak. But vicious. So of course when he loses, he snaps at the victors like a little dog. But now that we’ve noticed him, look: he just stares at the ground. His cowardice sickens me, of course,” the Principal seethed. “But it’s the utterly stupid look on his face that truly turns the stomach.”

“Actually,” Max’s red-headed teacher responded standing next to the principal, “sir, the boy’s near the top of the class in almost every subj—”

“That’s just the degenerate cunning, Kalb,” the principal remarked. “Vastly different from real intelligence.” The teacher looked down as Max glared once they walked past him.

“All right then,” the principal continued, “to our final event.”

“You’re up Eisenhardt,” the blonde hair boy laughed as Max walked to the front with an iron spear in his hand. He didn’t want to be here anymore. He had come in last in everything he did, and he was brutally made fun of by the principal, of all people. Feeling his cheeks grow red, he took the spear, and noticed Magda look up at him as she worked. Max smiled. Easing up to the designated start, he looked down at the spear that glinted in the sunlight. He began to run forward, pulling the spear back as he looked down at his grip. He stopped running, he skidded forward, he held his breath, and he threw the spear up and up and up. He watched in horror, knowing his spear was going to be the closest. But instead, it kept going and going, surpassing all others until it landed with a klunk.

The principal contorted his face in anger. Kalb, the teacher, smiled. For the first time, Max stood on the podium, his gold medal around his neck. The blonde haired boy looked away, disgusted with his second position. He had done it. He beat them at their own game, and now he had a medal to show. If he only knew how long his excitement would last…

To be continued


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XxMagneto
Posted: Oct 14 2009, 12:37 AM


Master of Magnetism
*

Group: CRY_BROTHERHOOD
Posts: 273
Member No.: 63
Joined: 21-June 05



Max threw his hands to the skies, a grin of satisfaction basking on his face. He bounded down the steps from the academy, ready to shout his success to the world. He had never won anything in his life, and seeing the principal’s face contort into disgust was as wonderful as a candy sweet before dinner!

“Max,” his red-headed teacher shouted, “just a moment!”

Max turned around, anxious to throw himself out of the Academy’s front gates. He barely even listened to the teacher as he spoke. His eyes were on a leaving Magda and her mother. “Max, you’re special. Gifted. You have immense promise. But you need to be careful.” Max realized, nearby, the principal stood like a statue, his body only moving the rare moments he blinked. “The Japanese say that the nail that sticks up gets hammered down. Do you understand?”

“Yes, I’m sorry, Herr Kalb, but I’m going to be late—”

“Of course, of course…” Kalb trailed. He gave a brief nod as Max twirled on his heel and zoomed out of the Academy’s grounds. He missed Kalb throwing the principal a wary glance.

Max sped across the sidewalk, deeper into the town, ignoring others walking around and toward him. He saw the little girl’s tattered clothing go around a corner as he picked up his pace, throwing himself forward. “Magda!” She turned around, still being dragged by her hand by her mother as they immersed themselves into a growing mob. Max was too focused on the girl to wonder why the mob was congregating at the town plaza. He was used to the bands or the performers drawing a crowd, but he pushed his way through the people to get closer to the girl he liked. They were both being swallowed by the larger men and women, but he finally got close enough to drop the blue package into her hand—the necklace he made from left over scraps.

“Thanks, Max!” She smiled.

She disappeared deeper into the crowd and Max threw his hands into the air once more, rallying his joy with the others. Only then did he realize everyone was raising their right hands into the air, and above them, red flags with a white circle carrying a black swastika. He didn’t know what the symbol meant. He pushed him self forward, curiosity baiting him to see the source of the commotion.

“On your knees, Eisenhardt!” A man with a gun pistol whipped Max’s uncle onto the ground. Blood trailed from his nose and lips. Max’s medallion glimmered in the sunlight as he stood, stunned, not sure what to think or say in seeing his uncle being beaten to the ground. He never saw the sign that was hung from his uncle’s neck that read: <I have shamed a German woman.>

September 15, 1935. During their annual party rally, the Nazis announced the Nuremberg Laws. A Jew cannot be a citizen of the Reich. Marriages between Jews and nationals of German or kindred blood are forbidden. Extramarital intercourse between Jews and nationals of German or kindred blood is forbidden. Jews are forbidden from to hoist the Reich and national flag and to present the colors of the Reich. Max couldn’t stand it any longer. His uncle collapsed, the medallion swung around his neck, and he leaped toward his uncle with one, long, outstretched arm.

To be continued


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XxMagneto
Posted: Oct 26 2009, 07:41 PM


Master of Magnetism
*

Group: CRY_BROTHERHOOD
Posts: 273
Member No.: 63
Joined: 21-June 05



“Hm,” Max’s father hummed, holding the boy’s golden medal in his hand. “You know, they gave me medals too.” He placed the medal in front of Max as his mother and sister all watched the older men stretch himself to reach up to a high cabinet. “I fought for this country in a great war. They even called me a hero.” From a large box, Max watched his father begin to show case his war medallions. “That’s how I kept my government job for so long, you know. President Hindenburg said that we Jews bled for Germany enough for him, by God!” Each medal was shiny, held by an assortment of colored ribbons. Max watched in silent awe.

“No more, Jakob. No more.”

Max’s uncle tried stretching his bandaged hand but cringed in pain. His face was puffy and bruised, a single eye swollen shut with his cheek stretched as if he was storing food in his mouth. He lay on the couch, groaning every time he tried to move. He finally lowered his hand back on his chest, looking as if he should be in a casket, lying just as the dead would before they were buried deep underground.

“What do you mean ‘no more’?” Max’s father asked.

“They’re never going to stop,” the uncle responded.

“So what do we do, run away?”

“Exactly.”

The word held such finality that Max could feel a great weight suddenly fill the room. He didn’t understand what they were trying to say.

“Tch,” the father sounded.

“Maybe… maybe he’s right, Poppa,” Max’s sister stood and spoke, her red-brown hair dangling at her sides while she wore a blue dress. She wasn’t that much older than Max, maybe appearing to be around five years older, but she carried a sense of maturity around her that made people listen. “The people at the flower shop… think I’m German.”

“You are German, Ruthie,” Jakob pronounced. Their mother quickly helped their father sit in his chair at the dinner table. Her face was filled with worry as Jakob looked sad.

“You know what I mean, Poppa. They call me Greta. Ask me where I’m going for Christmas. I let them. It’s… easier that way.” Max never spoke a word. He sat at the table, watching his family move about in an attempt to reconcile what happened to the uncle. Max nervously rubbed the ends of his fingertips, wanting to say something profound and important, but he wasn’t capable of saying anything that’d go along with what the rest of everyone else was saying. He was just a kid caught in the storm of nearby battle. While young enough not to understand the specifics, he was old enough to know something very bad was beginning to brew.

“What do you think, Mother?” Jakob asked. “No more room for us in the land of Goethe and Schiller and Beethoven and Mendelssohn?”

“Ah, Jakob…,” Max’s mother sighed, tapping her husband’s shoulders, “come help me get dinner.”

Jakob looked over at Max, his aged eyes looking weary and sad. The importance of his father’s history was lost on him, even while Jakob tried to convey how deeply disappointed he was in being told to leave the one place he fought so hard for. “Max. My boy. At least you showed them, huh?” Wrinkled fingers stretched to the table to grab the golden medallion Max won at the competition. A glimmer appeared in Jakob’s eye; a smile tugged on his dry lips. “They can’t take that away.” He handed Max his medallion, but Max never took it. On the back of the medallion, etched in the gold, was the same swastika on the banners held by the people that beat up his uncle. Max’s blue eyes could only stare into his father’s own.

To be continued...


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XxMagneto
Posted: Nov 7 2009, 10:59 PM


Master of Magnetism
*

Group: CRY_BROTHERHOOD
Posts: 273
Member No.: 63
Joined: 21-June 05



“Eisenhardt! Front and center!” the Dean of the Academy shouted. Rows upon rows of students, each wearing gold, silver, or bronze medallions around their necks peered down at him as he went down the stairs to the front of the room. So many light haired and fair skinned children were judging him. His dark hair, his blue-gray eyes, the way he stood in hesitation unsure why he was called to the front. “Students, it has come to my attention that one of javelins used yesterday was defective. So this Jew won nothing. And tomorrow, he’ll bring back the gold medallion that clearly belongs to a German boy.” Max looked up at the Dean, surprise written on his face.

“Unless, of course,” the Dean continued, “he can reproduce yesterday’s mighty throw with a regulation javelin.”

Everyone ushered outside as Max was shoved to the front, trying to wrap his head around the fact that he supposedly didn’t deserve his medal. He stood in front of the thick white line, staring down at the field where a small white flag marked where his last javelin landed. The metallic rod felt heavy in his hand, heavier than the one he used when he won his medal. The Dean stood beside Kalb, his red-headed teacher, looking smug as if he had won a fight before it even began. The students stood to Max’s right, each appearing just as smug as the Dean. Max looked over to his left, seeing Magda and her mother standing and watching with a frown.

“It’s heavier,” Max finally said to Kalb as he looked away.

“Yes, well, it’s regulation,” Kalb pointed out.

“No. Heavier than that.”

“Just throw it Max,” Kalb spoke. There was a weight to his words, as if Max was supposed to realize something that he wasn’t quite getting. Glancing to the Dean, Max’s eyes were filled with spite. The Dean wanted him to throw this javelin? Fine. He’d do just that. Kalb stepped back and Max prepared himself. He ran toward the thick white line, heaving the javelin behind him and tossed it straight into the air, skidding forward. He was safe. His shoe never passed the white line and the javeline sailed up and up, landing past the white flag. The Dean scowled. Kalb showed fear. Max’s eyes were too busy looking at Magda as she showed she was wearing the necklace he gave her.

Max was called into the Dean’s office later in the day. He stood in front of the man’s desk as the man steepled his fingers in front of his mouth. “The Reich has no place for cheating Jewish scum. You’re expelled. You have three minutes to get out of my sight.” Max contained his surprise and anger, and focused it into unbridled hate toward the Dean. Turning on his heel and walking into the hall, voices rang out in the empty area. He recognized Kalb’s voice.

“No, please! Look at my papers! I’m begging—” KRAK! Kalb was shoved out of his closed office, struggling to stay on his feet as two uniformed men slammed his face with one black baton after the next. Max closed his eyes, feeling guilt linger on his shoulders. A spray of Kalb’s blood laid in front of his feet. Kalb tried to warn him, but he couldn’t listen. He wanted to prove himself so bad to Magda, to make his father proud, to shove the Dean’s words back down his throat…

“Hey, Eisenhardt.” Max turned around, hearing the krack, krack of popping knuckles as several students rubbed their fists. He remembered the blonde haired boy from earlier, the one who called Magda trash before Max won his gold medal. Max ran away and the mob followed. He skidded around the corner, the sounds of their footfalls sounding like a cadence to an impending battle. He flung himself outside, the doors bursting upon from his might as more kids shouted his name from the front of the Academy. They pointed their fingers at him and ran toward him.

Max threw out a fist, connecting with a student’s jaw.

“Max… you’re special. Gifted. You have immense promise.”

Blood streaked from the student’s nose, but Max was caught off guard from behind.

“But you need to be careful… The nail that sticks up…”

He was slammed into the ground.

“…gets hammered down.”

He was mobbed against. Each student lifted their medals and slammed them down on Max’s face. He screamed out in pain. Blood spilled from all around him. They never stopped. He continued to struggle in each passing minute, flailing in an attempt to fight back and wailing in pain. His struggle was useless. He was hammered down again and again. Reality was a cruel mistress.

To be continued…


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XxMagneto
Posted: Nov 20 2009, 01:27 AM


Master of Magnetism
*

Group: CRY_BROTHERHOOD
Posts: 273
Member No.: 63
Joined: 21-June 05



1936.

“Your mother says I’m a fool,” Max’s father said. They both sat upon a train in the small red seats as the black engine roared across the tracks. Sprawling green fields lay on both sides of them, like never ending blankets of soft, whimsical grass. They passed a farmer herding his cattle, the train zipping buy where the cows look like black and white blurs. Max’s father showed him a vintage picture of him and a friend of years past, both holding up frothing cups of beer up high. His father’s beard remained in the photo, and his tall, lanky friend held stubble of his own. “But Major Scharf was a good man. An honest man. Who conveniently, happens to work for the government now.”

“You really think he’ll help get you your job back, Poppa?” Max asked.

“Do I really—I save his life, you know!”

“Really?”

“Although it would probably have been better if he’d saved mine. People who helped you once always love helping you again. It confirms their original good judgment. But enough of my secrets, Max.” Max had in his hands a worn brown journal he kept with him, allowing him to jot down his thoughts from time to time. His father pulled away his photo and quickly grabbed the journal, much to Max’s horror. He could never yell at the man who raised him, having far too much respect for his father. Especially now since he war his green army vest with his many medals pinned across his chest.

“Hey!” Max cried out.

“Let’s find out about yours.”

Wide blue-grey eyes watched as a warm smile appeared on his father’s face. “Aha!” The older man smiled, flipping to a page that had a picture of Magda taped upon it. “It’s always about a girl, isn’t it?”

Max took back his journal, hugging it close to his chest, apart of him offended over the lack of privacy he had. “I don’t know.” Papa Eisenhardt took out Magda’s photo, holding it for a better look.

“Of course you do. She’s wearing that necklace you made. Don’t worry,” his father winked, “I won’t tell your mother. Just tell me one thing…” A grave expression crossed the father’s lips, his age getting the best of him as he seemed to try to soften his expression. “Is she Jewish?”

“Papers.” a security man demanded as he stomped down the aisle of the train. He stood tall and proper, carrying a mustache that appeared to have been etched on with a marker as it curled at the ends. His scowl was undeniably accusatory, slotted and glaring, as if both Max and his father were bird dung on the train’s window. Max’s father handed the security man a red booklet that carried their papers. The man opened the books, and took one small glance at the large blue “J” printed within. The security handed him back the book and the train stilted to a halt.

“You see Max? Nothing to worry about.” They stood outside of the train, the father’s large hand on Max’s back. “Ha! They’re even taking the signs down! I told your mother!” Max barely saw the words that said ‘Jews not welcome here’ as two men yanked down the bright white signs from the ceiling of the train station. “It’s the Olympics right now in Berlin! The eyes of the whole world are upon us! We won’t have any trouble.” They marched out of the station and onto the cobblestone sidewalks of the city. Others ventured out in the town, several cars honking with street lights illuminating the darkest of corners. They stopped outside of a small café, a television playing inside.

“Perfect. You wait here like a good boy and watch the games. If you play your cards right,” his father said, walking away, “Major Scharf might buy you your first beer!” Max stood obediently, watching the Olympics play out before him. He saw the swastika symbols on the governmental building his father went into, but paid more attention to the man with dark skin standing on the top of the podium on the television. He waited for hours, listening to the bickering of the crowd as one man stood up and said: “Tch. First that Jew fencer—and now this?” Max noticed most of the men in the café had very light hair, especially to his own.

Max secured his blue cap on his head.

To be continued…


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XxMagneto
Posted: Dec 1 2009, 11:26 PM


Master of Magnetism
*

Group: CRY_BROTHERHOOD
Posts: 273
Member No.: 63
Joined: 21-June 05



“Poppa!” Max exclaimed seeing his father open the doors to the government building. A wide smile was plastered on his lips, excited he didn’t have to listen to the slander echoing around the television.

“Ah. Max. I’m sorry, I would have come for you before, but once you get in those offices, you don’t want to leave. You kind of think they won’t let you back in…” His father put his hat back on his head, an old fashioned value where hats should never be worn indoors. He stepped down the stairs, one careful step after the next before stopping in front of Max. He pulled out his old war medallion, the red and blue ribbon attached to a circular golden medal as his father stared down at it forlornly. “He must have been very, very busy.” A silence passed between them. Max watched, wanting to say something, but unable to summon any words that could quench the sadness his father was showing.

“Ridiculous!” The same man near the television called out as he walked by with his friends. “Four gold medals for a negro?”

“Come on, then…,” Max’s father said, watching the men walk pass, “…we’ll try again tomorrow—”

Both Max and his father heard the large stone door open on top of the steps as they both twisted on their heels to see. “Ah! Jurgen!” Poppa smiled, seeing his skinny friend standing on the stairs. He looked disheveled and tired, his amber hair a mess on top of his head and dark black lines underneath his eyes. The sides of his hair had gone white, a stark contrast with the amber vibrancy else where. The happiness in the father’s eyes was unmistakable as he walked forward and patted Jurgen on the arm. “I mean, Major Scharf! Ha, ha! I was waiting for you—did you know? Ah, they must have sent me to the wrong office or something. But never mind, never mind. Do you have a minute? We could—”

“Major Scharf?” An unknown voice announced. Everyone turned around to see two law enforcements wearing tan as the middle man wore a pure suit of black with a red bandana wrapped around his left arm.

“Yes?” Jurgen asked.

“I was hoping to speak with the person who was making such trouble in your office today,” the middle man said.

“Ah. No trouble, really. He was just going.” Jurgen’s words held venom as Poppa turned his back to the guards.

“Yes. Yes, just a mistake…” he said. “…I’ll be on my way—”

“Soldier! Stop that Jew!” The black suited man exclaimed. None of the guards moved, as the same blonde haired man who shouted out about the negro stepped forward.

“He’s not going anywhere,” he snarled.

“No, wait!” Poppa shouted out as the blonde haired man tackled him to the ground. Max watched, reaching out with his hand, horrified to see his father attacked.

“He’s resisting arrest!” The lead officer smirked.

“No no no,” Poppa pleaded, “I’m a soldier, too. I mean a veteran. I just—” A punch slammed in his face, knuckles trailing with the blood that shot from Poppa’s mouth as his head jerked back.

“Father!” Max screamed. “You can’t—” A hand grabbed Max’s arm, a grip as tight as iron causing a small squeak to pass his lips. He was pulled backwards, his feet lifting off the ground as he landed on the pavement, face first, with a CRACK! Jurgen took back his arm, scowling at Max for getting in the way as the lead officer asked who Max was. Max held his head, his scalp pounding in pain.

“Nobody,” Jurgen said, glancing away as the officers dragged Poppa back into the building. Jurgen followed.

There was no one left on the streets except the whispers of the wind and the nip of the cold. Max picked himself up and dragged himself to the bottom step, lifting his knees to his chest to keep himself warm. His hat lay on the sidewalk where he was thrown down like a gruesome gravestone marking the assault. He shivered, wrapping his arms underneath his legs and waited. The stone doors were thrown open, the silhouettes of the guards emerging from the light as Poppa was thrown down the stairs. He twirled and twisted until he landed beside Max in a bruised heap. Max raced to him.

“They could have killed him,” Jurgen said, standing in the doorway as he turned back towards the building. “We’re even, now.” The doors slammed shut, the light disappeared, and Poppa looked deep into Max’s eyes as he kneeled.

“Max… Did you… did you…”

Max opened his Poppa’s aged hand and slipped in his palm the war medallion he cherished so much. Poppa collapsed on him, arms thrown across as Max’s shoulders, tears running down his face as he whispered two words. “Good boy.”

To be continued…


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XxMagneto
Posted: Dec 13 2009, 11:40 PM


Master of Magnetism
*

Group: CRY_BROTHERHOOD
Posts: 273
Member No.: 63
Joined: 21-June 05



The train ride back home was long and silent. The Germans began to replace the anti-Jewish signs at the train station. The security on the train looked as if they wanted to spit on Max and his Poppa after looking at their passes. Poppa’s face was swollen and bruised, large pockets of purple covering an entire side of his face. Even despite his appearance, Max swelled with pride in seeing his Poppa’s war medallions pinned to his ruffled jacket. “So,” Erich said, rubbing Max’s head, “now he’s done me the favor, you see? So in a month or two, we come back. Don’t worry Max,” the train passed a secluded gypsy camp swarmed by trees, “everything will be alright.”

Silence fell before Poppa said, “It can’t get much worse than this.”

Marzahn Detention Camp. A fenced in area where wooden homes in carts smoked with essences and people sat on the ground, minding their own business. The scenery would have been lovely and surreal, if not for the twelve foot linked fences topped with barbed wire surrounding the camp. “All right, you dirty gypsies. Nothing to get excited about. It’s just another train—that you’re not getting on.” The detention officer made sure to smirk. Magda approached her kneeling mother that held a pot over a small, withering bonfire.

“Mamma, when can we go home?” Magda asked.

“Ah, Magda,” Momma replied, “be patient.” Magda looked down and took out her necklace. She softly rubbed her silver treasure.

1938. Nuremberg.

Max had aged a few years, but knew things hadn’t gotten any better. Now bordering on fifteen years old, he dug in the trash piled within an alley, ignoring the grime that clung to his face and clothes. “There,” he gasped, finding what he was looking for as his hand slipped through a pile of what he thought was a cloth diaper soaked in urine. His fingers grazed on something gold and shiny before he took out the coin and held it up to the light. It sparkled as if brand new.

“Ah—it’s Max,” a familiar voice from the end of the ally said. Max’s demeanor shifted. “Typical Jew, just like the Headmaster used to say. You’d pick through anything for a little money, huh?” Max looked back at the one-time blonde haired student, all three sporting fancy suits. Max stood up. “Look at this, Max.” The leader of the group pulled out a coin. “Bet your family could eat off this for a week.” The teenager tossed the coin in the trash. Max eyed it.

“My God. He’s actually thinking about it.” Max let the laughter ignite the fury he had been building up for years. The anti-Jewish sentiments, the mockery, the slavery, the poverty, he knew all about it—and now this bully wanted to watch him dig in filth. Through the years, Max knew exactly what had to be done. He had to harden himself… and fight back. His fists grabbed the teenager. With strength fueled by his annoyance, he slammed the teenager head first into the garbage, coating him in thick, green decay.

“Thanks,” Max smiled, grabbing the coin. He took off, pushing by a man in a golden suit.

The teenager stumbled to his legs, demanding to know where Max went. The man in the golden suit laughed while Max stayed silent near by, hidden by a wall and swelling with pride. He tempted a peek around the corner, the streets still busy in the afternoon hours. “Aagh!” The older man toppled over, a brick slamming into his jaw, forcing him to spit blood as a tooth was knocked from his mouth.

“Hey!” Max cried out. The three teenagers saw him, and he knew he was in for a fight.

To be continued…


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XxMagneto
Posted: Jan 9 2010, 05:02 PM


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“I was reaching for a coin,” Max explained, placing down two coins on the table next to a bowl of steaming slop, “and I tripped.”

“Tripped, he says!” Momma exclaimed, dotting Max’s face with a rag. Poppa and Max’s sister both sat at the table, forcing themselves to eat the slop as Max’s Uncle came in. The house was worse for the wear. The walls were becoming dingy, part of the lamp fixture was missing, the table cloth was wrinkled and messy, it was all signs of how very poor Max’s family had become in part to being labeled Jewish. They had to sell their everyday wares—some of Momma’s cast iron pots; the metal from the lamp shade; their silverware, jewelry, and even some of Max’s sister’s fancy dresses, just so they could eat green, steaming slop for a single night.

“It’s going to get worse,” Max’s uncle announced. “I just heard the news. The German attaché in Paris got shot… by a Jew.” A silence fell across the family until Uncle spoke again. “Jakob. It’s time to go.”

“Go? Go where?” Poppa replied, staring at his bowl.

“Poland. Cecelia’s family could hide us—”

“Erich, please. What about those Polish Jews the Nazis are already shipping over there? The Poles won’t take them. You think they’ll want to see us?” Poppa turned toward Erich. “We stay where we are, in Germany. Better the devil you know. We’ll figure out the rules. Get through this.”

“Rules?” Uncle asked. “What rules? In Austria they’re taking people’s property, kicking them out of the country!”

During the back-and-forth, Max was staying quiet. His jaw hurt where a massive bruise outlined the end of his lips. Now that he was older, he understood a lot more than his family might have thought, except for his father. His father’s dashing blue eyes turned toward him, his expression serious and forlorn. There was something dangling on his father’s lips—something serious and enlightening. Whether for the good or bad, Max didn’t know.

“Max can tell us about the rules,” Poppa said.

“Wh-what?”

Poppa’s face hardened, holding up one of the coins. “How did this happen? No lies, now. You were walking down the street, looking with your sharp eyes, thinking about your mother’s empty soup pot, and finding coins where no one else can see them when someone picked a fight, yes?”

Max lowered his head. “Yes.”

“And then you kept thinking about your poor mother and your hungry sister. So you just walked away, right?”

“…No.”

“No. You fought back.”

“Well, good for him!” His uncle said.

“Rule number one,” Poppa added. “Fight back, and they’ll stomp in your head.”

Uncle’s face turned angry. “That’s what you want to teach your son?”

Poppa’s hand slammed on the table, a thunderous boom causing everyone to jump. “I want to see my son LIVE! I want all of us to live.” Poppa said no more. Everyone was too shocked to speak. To see the eldest man of the family so angry was more than surprising; it was impossible. Max bit his lower lip, confused and worried. Did his poppa not want him to fight back? Did his poppa want him to let those teenagers beat him up without a fight? He was conflicted with his decision. He wanted to fight back, but at what expense? He’d been fighting his entire life—for what? To live another day? He was too young to ask himself such questions, but he had experience far more than anyone his age had.

Poppa dipped his spoon in his slop, slowly placing it in his mouth. Everyone did the same, never speaking a word. The atmosphere was ominous, Max realized. Something was going to happen—something bad. And to think it started because Max fought back.

To be continued…


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XxMagneto
Posted: Aug 31 2010, 12:20 AM


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The Eisenhardt house was small and closed in. Every room was almost connected to a long narrow hallway. At one end was Momma and Poppa’s room; they always left their door open to help cool of their room when the nights were hot. On the other end was Max’s room, where he sat on the end of his bed in his white tank-top and blue pant pajamas. He didn’t know what time it was. He only knew the sky was dark and the streets sounded empty. With his hands pooled in his lap and his face a grim mockery of happiness, he listened to his parents’s conversation.

“…and Mrs. Schulmann’s cousin, the one from Dachau, says the Nazis are expanding that camp…” Momma said.

“We’ll be all right,” Poppa replied. “We’ll just stay off the streets.”

“For how long, Jakob?”

“However long it takes.”

“Ah, Jakob, I don’t know…”

“Shhh. Shhhhhh.”

They went silent and Max turned toward his window. The bruise on his face hurt. With nothing cold enough to soothe the swelling, he used his window to help the process, ambling up to the window pane before silently pushing away his curtains. He lifted an arm against the glass, propping himself up against it as he gently leaned his head forward on the swelling. He was instantly relaxed, capable of feeling something refreshing instead of worry and resentment. With a gentle inhale, he pulled himself away and opened his eyes to peer into the cobblestone sidewalks. His heart froze. Soldiers. They lined the sidewalks, kicking in doors, stomping into houses. Max’s eyes grew wide, and he flew.

He climbed into his parents bed with frantic disbelief, ripping the sheets off of them as if they were covered by dead bodies. “Poppa!”

Jakob jumped up, eyes wide, but he immediately calmed himself. “Aah! Max, you want to give father a heart att—”

“We have to go.”

“No, Max,” Momma said, holding the covers tight against her like a shield of armor. “We’re staying off the streets.”

Max looked at his father, the determination on his face as bright as the moon gleaming off the bloody blades of the soldiers below. “Now, Poppa.” There was no choice in the matter. They were leaving—all of them—even if Max had to drag them out themselves.

------------------

“This is crazy,” Max’s sister whined. “We didn’t do anything!”

“Hush, Ruthie,” Jakob ordered.

Max was leading the family down the empty alley, the shadows enough to conceal their forms as he marched on with determination. They stopped at the corner of the building, peeking around as much as they dared before each member of the Eisenhardt house hold ducked down and followed Max through a gate in the graveyard. He wasn’t going to let his family be consumed by the madness that was going to happen. They were going to get out of this alive—all of them, not matter the cost. He’d do whatever he could to make sure it happened.

“What are we doing here?” Ruthie cried out. “I’m not hiding in a grave—”

WHAAKOOOM!

The family jumped, one by one, cleaving their way to peer through the thick iron gates of the temporary sanction as a massive explosion rocked into the air. A large bloom of smoke and fire lit up the sky as the earth shook underneath all their feet. “The Temple—!” Max’s uncle could barely speak, looking at the Jewish temple. Then all hell broke loose. Windows shattered, people screamed, shoes, jewelry, clothing, it was all being thrown to the ground as homes were being ransacked. Soldiers were beating Jewish people down to the ground, the butt of their guns stained with blood.

“Jakob…”

“Stay down, wife… No matter what—”

“WAIT!”

The family hid behind a large tombstone, large enough to conceal their entire bodies. Max dropped to his hands and knees and peeked around the corner. A man wearing a purple suit fell to the ground, his face stuck in-between the iron bars. A soldier was on top of the man, lifting the end of his speared gun as the man who screamed wait was trying to stop the soldier from committing genocide.

“Please!”

KRAK!

The soldier upper-cutted the man trying to save the day, snapping his jaw in half as he collapsed to the sidewalk. Poppa jumped up, the shirt covering his bare arms threatening to leave its hold. “No!” Jakob whispered, Max looking up, not sure what to think or say to his father wanting to help.

“Jakob…” Uncle said, grabbing his brother’s shoulders to keep him from running off to help, “…the rules.”

Destruction raged around them like a typhoon of madness. So many screams, so many yells, so many laughs of anger and rage. Jakob sobbed as they hovered together as the night continued to run its course.

“O, God…”

To be continued...


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XxMagneto
Posted: Sep 15 2010, 01:53 AM


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November 7, 1938. Herschel Grynszpan, a teenager whose relatives were among the 15,000 Polish Jews deported from Germany but refused entry to Poland, assassinates the German attaché Ernst vom Rath in Paris.

November 9-10, 1938. Kristallnacht. Across Germany and Austria, Nazis unleash attacks on Jewish businesses, homes, and synagogues. At least 91 Jews are killed and 30,000 Jewish men are arrested and sent to concentration camps.

Approximately 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses are smashed and looted. Within days, the Nazis begin passing legislation to enforce the “Aryanization” of Jewish businesses. Jews throughout Germany are enforced to sell their businesses to non-Jews, usually at enormous losses.

November 12, 1938. The Nazis announce a one-billion mark fine to be levied against the Jews to pay for Kristallnacht.

1939. Poland.

The Eisenhardt family barely escaped with their lives. By the time the Nazi’s destroyed what little, precious items everyone carried, the family barely had anything to go home to. Their home was ransacked, sister’s clothes were torn to shreds, Momma’s pots were stolen, Papa’s were suits in tatters, and there was nothing left except destruction. They took what they could, put everything in a suitcase they managed to find, and left the chaos behind in hope of salvation. Max secretly hoped they found salvation before the Nazis found them.

Life on the road was hard, but Max secretly enjoyed seeing the places he had never seen before. From what little money they managed to gather, they were capable of taking a train to travel. The skyline, trees and grass were comforting like Mama’s cooking when she was able to afford some of the best ingredients. When not on train, they traveled by horse and wagon. Max would sit on the edge, dangle his feet over the end and just watch the world slowly go by them. During the process, Momma had gotten sadder and Papa tried to help her. Max’s Uncle tried to do away with the boredom and uncertainty that lingered above everyone by making up games here and there. While Max would play just to pass the time, Sister never did.

Finally they reached a barn. A decrepit old woman hobbled over to them. Tall and lanky, she wore a putrid yellow gown that matched a bandana around her head. Poppa approached the woman as the toothless elder spoke without introducing herself. “It’s not much, but my sons just fixed the roof. Cecelia said you’d have a little…”

“Yes, yes, here you are,” Poppa interrupted as long, wrinkled fingers plucked the coins from his hands. They were led into the barn, the stench of manure and horses immediately filling their noses. Max ignored the smell. Being able to have a shelter over their head was enough of a comfort, especially knowing they wouldn’t be staying long. “Well. It can’t get any worse than this.” Max would have agreed with the famous words—could have—until the woman suddenly exclaimed words that caught him and his family in surprise.

“Dear God…!”

“What’s going on?” Poppa asked as everyone walked out of the barn.

“The Germans… They must have finally invaded…”

Horror. It was the only feeling Max could feel. He could feel the vibrations of hooves pounding into the ground, could hear the neighs of the animals from a distance. The tops of long spears glinted in the sunlight as they rose above a hill and became streaking down in a parade of enemy warriors. The Eisenhardt family was trying to so hard to get away from this mess, and in the end, Max realized, it only followed them. The soldiers pounded through the street across from the woman’s home and barn. They went like a river, never damaging anything around them except what laid right in front of them. Shaking his head, Max couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“…But Poland’s brave sons will be ready for them!” The old woman said.

Max had a hard time believing that… especially from what he had seen.


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XxMagneto
Posted: Oct 30 2010, 12:31 AM


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“Max! Where are you going?”

Max had a feeling there was something more. Men on horses carrying guns and flags seemed so tame compared to what he had witnessed first hand on his home soil. Ripping himself from his family and running to the edge of the road, he ignored the dust cloud the horses created and climbed to the top of a brick fencie to peer beyond a hill. What he saw forced his large blue-gray eyes to open wide, and he felt his heart suddenly pause in his chest. Only when he managed to recover from the surprise did he find his voice.

“Poppa…”

“Yes, Max?”

“…It’s worse.”

Tanks. Eight tanks. Large and covered in dirt. They tore away at the hearth, fought with each other to take the lead, destroyed everything that blocked their path, and they were coming straight at them. Max scampered down and everyone ran back to the farm. The doors slid shut and they hovered together in a corner, listening to the rumbling of the tanks in the darkness of the area. No one said a word.

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September, 1936. Poland.

Bomber planes raided the midnight sky. Little sparks fell from their bellies as if babies simply fell from their wombs. But babies didn’t explode.

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The Eisenhardts fled. Waist high weeds and grass consumed Max’s vision as he led the charge. He parted as much of it as he could for his family, hearing the explosions lash out behind them.

“Oh, Jakob. That whole village…” Momma cried.

“Stay low, Edie! Everyone behind the wall!”

Max obeyed as his father grabbed him around the waist and helped him run. They run to an opening in a large cement wall, each falling behind it. Poppa slammed his back against the barrier and slowly slid down. Max knelt beside him, feeling the chill of the cement on his shoulder. Flames continued to lick the sky from a distance, igniting the darkened world in splashes of orange and yellows. It was only when the colors died down did Max see others behind the other wall, as more light filled the horizon.

“Where the hell are you fools going?” A man asked.

“The city,” Poppa replied.

“The Germans have taken the city.”

“Well, in case you haven’t noticed,” Uncled replied, “they’ve taken the entire country, too.”

During their talks, Max peaked over the top of the wall and felt the familiar tendrils of fear poke his heart.

“Poppa, look! In the field—”

“What, Max?”

“He’s right, Jakob!” Uncle replied. “They’re here! Come on, this way!”

Erich led the charge as Max lingered with his poppa. He was thrown off his feet once his father plucked him and forced him to move on.

“What?” The other man against the wall said. “I don’t see—”

CRACK. CRACK. CRACK.

Bullets ricocheted off the cement walls where the group of men stood.

“Oh God.”

The German army invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Following the main German forces, Nazi Einsatzgruppen, or “operational groups,” hunted down Jews and Polish intellectuals. In September and October of 1939, the Einsatzgruppen and other German forces killed over 16,000 Jewish and Polish civilians.

“Wait—we’re unarmed!” The man said.

Two years later, Einsatzgruppen followed the German army into the Ukraine and Russia, slaughtering Jews wherever they found them.

This time as the Eisenhardt family fled, Max led the back of the pack. His father was never far from him, his strong hands nipping at the ends of Max’s sleeves, ready to force the teenager farther ahead. “Please don’t shoot! Please!” Max heard the man’s pleas, turning his gaze over his shoulder to look back. He heard the army tell the men to get on their stomachs. The men pleaded ‘All right, all right! Just don’t—” CRACK. CRACK. CRACK. Max saw them shot. Killed. Their heads in the ground and backs riddled with bullets. He froze in shock.

By the end of the war, the Einsatzgruppen and their auxiliaries had killed 1.3 million Jews.

“Don’t look back,” Poppa whispered in Max’s ear. His large hands quickly forced Max to turn around. “We need your sharp eyes up front. This way looks good, yes?”

“Y-yes…” Max replied, following the rest of his family. “Yes, Poppa. This way.” He knew what his father was doing and took the lead with worried eyes.

“Good boy. Good boy.”

“Where are we going, Uncle Erich?” Max’s sister asked.

“Warsaw.”

“But the man said they’ve taken Warsaw.”

“Don’t worry, Ruthie. Your poppa knows what he’s doing. If we stay out here, it’s just the five of us. But there are thousands of Jews in Warsaw. Once we make it there, whatever happens…” Max led his family away from approaching soldiers, quick on his feet as the rest followed suit, “at least we don’t be alone.”

To be continued...


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XxMagneto
Posted: Nov 11 2010, 01:17 AM


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September, 1939.

In the wake of the Nazi invasion of Poland, a flood of refugees swells the Jewish population of Warsaw from 350,000 to almost 500,000. In the Jewish sector of Warsaw, entire families live in single rooms. Radios are confiscated. Coal becomes scarce enough to be called “black pearls.”

Uncle, Mother, Sister, Poppa and Max sat around a small table, each bundled in winter gear to keep themselves warm. The barren wooden floors did little to keep the heat in, and the thin walls did little to keep the cold out. A large bunk bed was shoved to the right corner of the room, the mattresses as hard as a plank of wood. A clothes line dangled from the left corner, holding up a t-shirt, long robe, and a pair of pants. A wooden crate, a chest, a table, and five chairs were all that the Eisenhardt family now owned. But at least someone in the family still had their sarcasm intact as Max looked on. “Such a feast! Leg or wing?” Poppa continued to cut up a single hotdog.

“Heh,” was Max’s only reply.

October, 1940.

The Germans officially establish the Warsaw ghetto, forcing all Jews to live within an area less than two miles long.

Their was a pack of people looking thin and frail as each were bundled in scarves and coats. Not a single large person waddled their way into the thin alley leading to their proposed “ghetto.” Soldiers lined the streets, tearing away at Max’s flesh with their eyes. He had grown taller, stronger, but Poppa still towered over him and protectively placed one hand over his shoulders. Donkeys pulled crates, soldiers yelled, people cried they were forced out of their homes, but the Eisenhardts said nothing as they walked. They had gone through so much, being forced to move was nothing to them. They knew they’d be on the move again soon.

November, 1940.

Overnight, the Germans complete the construction of ten-foot walls around the ghetto, topped in places with barbed wire and broken glass. Over the next few months, the Germans drastically reduce food allotments to Jews. By 1941, the official ration falls as low as 699 calories per day for Poles and 184 for Jews. By June, 2,000 people a month are starving to death in the ghetto.

A child boxed himself in his coat, worn ragged and thread bare as he hunched over. His thin shoes crunched against the snow as he pulled his cap tighter around his head. He was now forced to wear a band over his arm at all times, white and light blue with the Jewish star on it. He passed an older lady covered in a pink shawl that barely managed to shuffle forward. “Have your rations ready!” A soldier called out. “Get back, you little brats!” Another said. But one lady screamed, “HEY!”

That lone child stole the bread, ran away from the throng of people starving and so hungry. He tore down a small alley, footsteps left in the snow, and he heard behind him, “Get him! He’s got bread!” Then people attacked the young child, each vying for control of the tiniest morsel. “Give it here!” Someone called. “Let go!” Another shouted. “Unh.” Someone moaned. They dog piled on top of each other. “No, it’s mine!” Someone continued. “Uff!” Someone grunted. A piece of bread fell from the pile and landed at the feet of a tall man wrapped in a black coat. He picked up the bread, looked at it, and saw the bloodied boy left behind as everyone from the dog pile left.

“You dropped this,” Max said, handing the boy the bread. He left the child alone. Max continued walking down the wall, wrapping his arms around his chest, feeling the sting of cold and the loneliness of the snow. He followed the wall until a small opening was seen, just large enough for the tall Max to crawl through. He peered into the hole and saw two guards standing guard. The separated on their daily routes, and Max crawled through to the other end. He managed to sprint into an alley, hiding in shadows. But he never noticed the boy following him, transfixed by his savior.

“Hey! Hold it right there!” A guard called out.

“I was just… I was just…”

“It’s all right… Hold still now…”

BAM!

Max saw the guard shoot the child dead as he fell to his knees and collapsed to his face. The small bit of bread fell from his hands as blood dotted the snow.

“Ha!” The guard smirked.

Max glared from the shadows and pulled out a knife. Revenge was his.

To be continued...


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XxMagneto
Posted: Nov 23 2010, 02:54 AM


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"Mmph!"

A hand appeared in front of Max's face, covering his mouth and yanking him deeper in the alley as he struggled against the strength of the pull. Another arm gripped underneath his arm forcing his knife useless. He was in a position where he couldn't move, couldn't fight back, and he could only wait for whatever retaliation he was going to receive. But that didn't mean he didn't struggle. He wiggled where he could, squirmed any muscle he could. He was doing everything possible to find an opening and slip away as he was pulled back further.

"Quietly, now. We Jews don't need to kill each other. Enough people on that job already."

Max immediately recognized the voice. "Uncle Erich!" The hand slipped off his mouth, leaving teeth exposed in a gaping opening as light-colored eyes turned to his Uncle's rugged face. Even with the stubble Max could see where woman would fawn over his Uncle's masculine face with his hard lines and sharp curves of the jaw. "What are you doing out here?"

"Smuggling, same as you. Oh, wait, I forgot. You've traded up to Nazi-killer, right?"

"I could have done it." Uncle Erich let Max go as they stayed in the shadows and watched the two Nazi soldiers peer down at the child's corpse. He glared at the two as if they could explode upon his eye-sight. Max spoke the truth--he could have killed them without regret. They were vile, murderous beings who did nothing except bring terror to the lives that were forced to live in such a small town. They were starving, decaying, crying, and all the soldiers did was walk around as some laughed with their big bellies. None of them showed Max, his family, or anyone any sympathy. Why should he show them any?

His uncle immediately had a retort. "With a penknife? I don't think so. But say you had... Then a hundred more Jews would have been slaughtered in retaliation. Like after that Polish cop got killed in '39. Fifty-three innocents shot on the street. How'd you like that on your conscious?"

Max stayed silent as he watched the soldiers pick up the body and toss it over the barrier as if it was trash. He heard the boy whump against the snow on the otherside. "So we just let them get away with it?" That wasn't right in his mind. All this horror and no one was allowed to stop the terror they were spreading? Maybe he was naive enough things could be stopped; maybe he was too young to understand the ways of reality; maybe he still had too much hope in thinking his family was going to survive all of this.

"Ah, Max... We can't punish them..., but we can defeat them... if we keep on surviving." His uncle led him out of the alley in a group of people. Max pulled his coat tighter around him. "Now be careful..." Uncle Erich walked away leaving Max alone to scavenge.

It was cold; the snow began to fall again and cause his nose to get stuffy. He used his boot to scoot away piles of snow, hoping to find things underneath it. Even as he walked, hunched over, trying to keep warm, he finally passed through a skinny alley before something glinted in his vision. His eyes opened wide--in sadness he still had to shuffle through trash to find treasure--and walked into the alley to pick up the coin. He fled again, back to his family, and back to his harsh life.

Poppa was in a line where other Jews were, the Nazi's taking coats that could be of some sort of value from the already freezing people.

"All your furs! Coats, wraps, collars! And yes, that includes the cloth attached to furs, so no cheating, Jews!"

"So now we stand in line for the privelge of letting them steal from us?"

Poppa twisted his lips at the man whispering in front of him. "Better than having them kicking in our doors."

"You think they won't do that anyway?"

"Poppa," Max said, approaching his father from the side of the line.

"Eh?" He saw the package in Max's hand. "A tomato?"

"And a half pound of beef." Max smiled, seeing the glint of pride in his father's eyes. But that pride soon turned into sadness. "Ah, Max. Take it to your sister." Max walked away, his lone foot prints leaving a trail away from the Nazis stealing his sister's fur coat. He made his way home and went to the couch where his sister lay ill. He took her clammy hand and looked down at her face. She looked so tired and so sick, she was nothing like the sister he grew up with. "Ruthie..." He sat solemn as Mama appeared with a stew in a bowl. She carefully fed Ruthie, spoonful by spoonful. His sister barely stirred, but he continued to hold her hand.

"Good boy."

Mama kissed his forehead.

To be continued...


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XxMagneto
Posted: Dec 5 2010, 02:36 AM


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July 1942. Umschlagplatz, Warsaw Ghetto.

Max was in a sea of people, each pushing each other to get into a train as others were nearly trampled in the process. The stench of body odor was nearly over powering--nearly no one was capable of cleaning themselves with clean water as families reused the same bucket of water over and over. Any water was better than no water; Max could attest to such. Shoved in one direction and pushed to another, Max clenched his teeth and pushed back his disdain in the situation. He barely heard a stranger's whisper in a dark coat speaking to a man in a tan-colored thread-bare coat and hat.

"Please, you can't get on those trains. It's a death sentence. They're killing people out there."

"With bread and marmalade?"

"That's just a bribe to get you to believe lies!"

"No, my cousin heard about someone who got a postcard from his brother. It's all as they say. Hard work, yes, but there's food and shelter, and the families stay together--"

Max stood at the entrance of one of the cars, rubbing his arm while peering inside. There were a few men standing there, plenty of room for him to jump up and join them.

"So you're staking your life on your cousin's somebody's brother's postcard?"

More and more people walked by Max into the car. He was going to lose his chance if he waited anymore. But something caught his eye--stains on the wood, hidden to all but the keenest of eyes as more shoes began to block his vision. Did no one else see it except for them? He looked up at the tired faces and saw only hope in their eyes. While no one screamed out in joy, they looked so happy to be standing on dark-red stains on the wooden floor. Max shook his head, unsure what to say or do. Maybe the stains were nothing, but maybe they were... something.

"Psh. Why would they kill us? It doesn't make any sense."

He finally wrapped his hands around himself and walked away.

"Then why have they been killing us for the past three years?"

Max traveled through the dilapidated steps of a building to the roof where Poppa sat against the lip of the roof. A look-out man was on top, Max's uncle, watching the men board the trains and keeping an eye on the guards below. Max slid himself to sit beside his father and sighed, trying to warm himself up. The was no more snow, but the bitter bite of cold was still in the air. He forgot what it was like to be cozy and warm. He even forgot what it was like to feel as if he was safe. He was hungry and cold, but Max couldn't send his family on a train that had... Well...

"You saw blood?" Poppa asked.

"No one else said anything. Maybe... maybe I was wrong..."

"I've never known your eyes to be wrong about anything, Max."

"We got word from an escapee," Uncle Erich said, interrupting the conversation. "The Germans have built tracks to a village called Treblinka. The trains go straight there. They tell the people they're getting baths. And then they gas them in the showers. I guess just starving us just takes too long."

"So. We stay here, then," Poppa said.

"It's not your choice, Jakob. They're grabbing people off the streets now. The weakest first. The next time you--or Ruthie, God forbid--show your faces..."

Erich was right. Max's father's health was deteriorating. He was remaining strong for everyone, but his face was slowly sagging; his muscles were growing lose; his movements were becoming slow. Grimaces of pain gripped his face time from time. Max was sure his Poppa thought no one noticed, but Max did. He noticed more than anyone expected him to--even Poppa pointed that out just moments ago. He remained silent, however, as the two adults spoke.

"Then what are you telling me? That's it for us?"

"Yes," Erich replied. "If we follow their rules. So forgive me for speaking out of turn... But thank God your son grew up to be a smuggler."

To be continued...


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