The Third And Last Story… Time To Vote!

Find Out About The Contest here; Find Story Number One here; Find Story Number Two here

This is it, folks! This is the last of the three contestants. Now y’all get to vote for which one you think should win. I’m looking forward to seeing how that goes. Make sure you let your friends know about it if you want to have them in on the voting process! The more the merrier. =)

So, a quick word about this story. This is the one story that when I read it for the first time, I thought “Yes! This is one of the ones I’ll be using in my final three!”

That might be because I grew up reading WW2 stories. It might be because I adored Corrie ten Boom from about the time I was eight years old and onward. (I even have an older sister named after her older, Betsie.) It might be because I can picture the story as Morgan describes it. {Find her blogs here and here.} Whatever the reason, I’m happy to present to you:

Roll Call
by Morgan Hawksley © 2013

       The ground is packed, hard and dry from the pressure of many feet. I have stood here for hours, still and silent, knowing any movement will end with my death. My neck aches and my knees shake from exhaustion, but I will stand here, next to the others and straight as a ruler, until the whistle blows.
       It is Sabbath today. I close my eyes and remember what it was like to light the candles, break the bread, bow our heads to prayers. Mama would wear her best dress, her head covered with a lacy cover. Papa would proudly lay his hands on the heads of his two sons, to bless them, a smile on his face. We sat around the table as the candles burned down and the night grew outside. It was the warmth of family and love of tradition that we never wanted to leave. My memory fades. My Papa is dead, my brothers burned in the fires of the ovens.
       Tears slip out from under my closed eyelids and I scream inside, every cell in my body in an agony both physical and emotional. I imagine the whistle blowing, the shuffling of many thin and crooked legs, back to the barracks, back to our bunks. Some will curl into a ball and cry and others will stare at the wall, but all will sit in pain. Please, just let us go…The cry of every soul here.
       I can’t stop crying. Tears cover my face, and I can see the nervous glances from women on either side of me. The guards, they will see, they will see! I can almost hear them hissing at me. But my eyes refuse to listen to me, and they dump an ocean of salty tears across my cheeks and over my chapped lips.
       I lower my gaze to the ground, watching tears fall to my filthy and ratty dress, splash on the dirt, and cover my feet.
       And it is then I see it.
       A small white flower, shoving its way out of the dirt. At first I think I imagined it, and so I blink my blurry eyes, staring at the flower between my feet, struggling to grow in a patch of earth so forbidding. Why didn’t I step on it? How could I have missed it this entire time? Why is it not crushed from the bare feet that stand here every day?
       Untouched and pure, the plant stares blankly back at me with its one yellow eye, not answering my questions. I want to bend over and pluck it out of the ground and tuck it in my dress, like I used to do as a girl, out in the meadows and valleys that surrounded our little village. I can feel the soft petals, alive and full of promise against my skin.
       A guard walks by with his rifle tucked under his arm, and I freeze. The sound of boots fade away and the flower remains, still and white, with me at roll call.
       The whistle blows.

8 thoughts on “The Third And Last Story… Time To Vote!

  1. Anonymous says:

    That was amazing! It is so hard to write such powerful short stories, but Morgan did fantastic. And when you can end with a bang…:D
    How exciting for all the top three – they did so good and it will be hard to vote!
    Thanks again for having the contest, Aidyl!



  2. Blondie says:

    Wow! Morgan I am so impressed with your writing and with this story. You conveyed such a powerful picture with just a handful of carefully chosen words. Well done!


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