Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Entry #42

Unkind Truth
by the Wandering Author

Alex stood in the tiny cabin, staring at the spilled crumbs of what was once his grandmother's life. He'd always believed she died before his birth, but when he had to go through his mother's papers as she lay dying, he learned she lived until he was almost fourteen.

A frantic search through whatever records he could find revealed little else, but did lead him here. Grandma must have been deserted by everyone, not just her daughter. No one even bothered to wash up the last few dishes stacked in her sink.

A sad scent, the peculiar odor of an abandoned home, filled his nostrils as he sifted through the papers scattered across the floor. In his haste, some of them slipped from his fingers. He needed to understand the secret that haunted his family.

His eyes lit on a crumpled, worn photograph, of a girl with dark hair and a wry smile. Hours later, he found what he sought. A brittle document, with a picture of the same girl, pale and unsmiling, pasted above his grandmother's name, and a few particulars that revealed she'd been a prisoner at Dachau.

He crouched there, unmoving, for hours. So much made sense now, his grandmother's isolation, his mother's own strangeness, even her sardonic amusement and disgust at what he'd become. Still he crouched, until at last a single, hot tear dropped to the back of his hand, rolled across the swastika tattooed there, then was chased by another, and another....


Joni said...

What a kick in the gut.

I'm always fascinated by the secrets that lie withing families.

I like your take on the picture and you've got some great imagery here.

Jude said...

The ending was cleverly revealed. As Joni says, amazing what secrets exist in families.

Pallav said... I know what this tattoo on my wrist is!!


he he, nice story! but dude, the swastika is a Hindu symbol first, Hitler borrowed it from there...but still writer's licence I guess :)



Terri said...

Great writing though - the sort that makes you lean closer as you're reading.

Anonymous said...

Very appropriately titled piece with a stirring, heart wrenching ending.

And as for the author using writer's license... I disagree. Hitler may indeed have borrowed the swastika from an ancient Hindu symbol. Hilter changed the symbol by reversing it and so too it's meaning has forever been changed in the eyes of a good portion of the world by the horrific events that occurred during the holocaust.

Anonymous said...

That was very unexpected at the end! A painful web of secrets.