Elizabeth


 

The grass feels delightful between her toes. The sunshine so warm on her face. She chases a fluttering butterfly around her family’s farm. Laughing hysterically, not a care in the world.

 

Elizabeth is happy.

 

Her mother comes out of the house carrying a wicker laundry basket. She walks to the clothesline and begins pinning up the linens. A breeze blows, billowing her mother's dress and the newly hung bedsheets. The image stops Elizabeth in her tracks. She’s never seen her mother looks so beautiful.

 

Elizabeth is happy.

 

The sound of scythe meeting wheat echoes towards her, taking her out of her trance and she now focuses on her father working in the distance. She waves, calling to him, and hearing her voice, he stops. He pulls out a bright red handkerchief from his pocket and removing his hat, wipes his brow. He waves to his daughter hat in hand and smiles. She smiles back. The butterfly lands on her shoulder.

 

 

Elizabeth is happy.

 

A hand touches her shoulder. Her father is nudging her awake. It’s dark where she is and it smells. She can hear footsteps above and men speaking German. The voices grow louder as the German’s start yelling.

 

A gunshot, a body hits the floor, a dust cloud descends upon the huddled family.

 

Elizabeth wants to cry but she’s been told not to make a sound. She fights it but still feels a tear splash her cheek. She realizes it's not a teardrop but something strange smelling, dripping from above. The new smell mixes with the stench of unwashed bodies and the bucket they use as a toilet. Fire and smoke begin to engulf the room. Her father crying, pulls out his pistol.

“Close your eyes, Elizabeth.” She does as he says.

 

Elizabeth sees no more.