The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer

The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer

Author:Kelly Rimmer
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Graydon House Books
Published: 2021-03-15T16:29:00+00:00

* * *

As we adjusted our positioning on the rooftop, I saw the wisdom in Andrzej’s decision to have us lie low. The Germans positioned themselves so they had cover from our fighters in the buildings, but they didn’t know we had a station on the rooftop. Chaim and I positioned ourselves behind one barricade, with Andrzej and the others just a few feet ahead of us. Crouching low behind the roofline, adrenaline coursed through my body. I looked down, and my hands were shaking violently, but I wasn’t scared. It was anticipation.

Soon, Dawidek. Soon I will avenge your death.

“Look between the gap in the barricade, boys. Do you see them?” Andrzej hissed. When we nodded yes, he said, “Take the pair on the far side of the road.”

“You take the one on the left,” Chaim murmured. “I’ll get the one on the right.”

I had trained for months for this moment, and now, habit took over. My hands steadied as I raised my rifle and lined the sights up. When Andrzej gave the signal to fire, I pulled the trigger without hesitation. My target fell immediately. It took Chaim several attempts, but soon his fell, too. Within a few minutes, the street was completely silent. Blood drained from the corpses on the street, running down between the cobblestones, dripping into the sewers.

There was no time for us to pause, to reflect upon what we had done. We could hear the drone of planes coming near, the first wave of the bombing raids we expected, and so our unit fell into step behind Andrzej as we retreated.

“How do you feel?” I asked Chaim, as we ran down the stairs toward the basement.

“Alive,” he said, and I knew exactly what he meant. For so long we had endured an oppression that felt insurmountable. It felt good to see German blood in the streets, but it wasn’t enough for me, and that was curious.

I had expected that the minute I fired that gun, I would feel relief, but the reality wasn’t nearly as simple. Frustration and fury and aggression charged through my body, locking the muscles in my arms and setting my teeth on edge.

They had to pay. I would make them pay.

By two o’clock that day, the Germans had entirely retreated from the ghetto. We lost only a handful of men and buildings in the bombing raid, but all in all, the first day of our rebellion had deeply embarrassed the Germans. To me, that made it an unexpected and resounding success.


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