WeWriWa—Digging graves

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes a few lines after last week’s, when the SS officers broke up the fight and shot those attempting to escape in the middle of the commotion. The prisoners have been forced to dig graves for their comrades, as a lesson in what’ll happen to them if they try the same thing.

This has been slightly tweaked to fit 10 lines.

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Area near Boubín Forest and Mountain, the site of this scene, Copyright Dingoa at Czech Wikipedia

An officer with a misshapen face handed out shovels from a cart of supplies they’d organized shortly after the unplanned march began, and then the prisoners began digging.  They barely made a dent in the frozen earth, so a tall, blonde officer made a bonfire.  Anyone caught too close to the fire was chased away with kicks and curses.  The fire was to warm the earth for grave-digging, not to warm up the prisoners’ weary bones.

“They think we’re so uppity for acting like human beings instead of meek, obedient slaves,” Kálmán said as he assaulted the ground with his shovel. “I can’t wait to dig their hateful graves and laugh.”

Gáspár leaned against a tree for support, his face bloodied from scratches. “I wish I were one of the corpses going into these graves.  It’s not fair.  Why couldn’t one of those bullets hit me too?”

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8 thoughts on “WeWriWa—Digging graves

  1. A gut punch, Anna, the way you have juxtaposed two reactions to the cruelty they are enduring. One is full of hate and wishing death on his captors while the other is without hope and wishing death upon himself.

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  2. Both of their thoughts are completely understandable in that situation. Great illustration of what these camps did to the human soul.

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  3. And I thought this line (“The fire was to warm the earth for grave-digging, not to warm up the prisoners’ weary bones.”) was brutal, and then Gaspar’s last words hit me. Yikes. Great writing though!

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