WORSE LIVES TO LIVE
“You shall not be the worse for this - I promise you. You will be much the better for it. Just believe what I say, and do as I tell you. ”
The Voice, no Sentient, She wanted me to call her Sentient. Anyway, obviously, Sentient didn’t believe in giving me a break.
The copper snowflakes thinned slowly, then faded altogether.
I rocked on my feet violently. No one around me noticed. They were clearly too busy being terrified. Salty wet spray splashed on my feet.
I was in one of the Higgins landing crafts I had just been talking about with General Bradley. The man still could not stand looking at me … all for something I had no memory of doing.
Sentient had been in full control then. Nine out of ten of us would be killed on that damn beach ahead of us.
Would me bring killed just now satisfy him?
Sentient must hate me.
Being dumped on Omaha Beach with Sgt. Savalas that midnight to collect sand samples to be studied to see if tanks would sink or not was bad enough. Now this.
Inside my head, Sentient was murmuring to just trust Her. Yeah, right. The man beside me was spilling all the bullets he was trying to push into his pistol clip.
I stiffened as a strange thing happened: like in the credits of some movies, words appeared beneath his face. I read:
Rabbi Amos Stein. Lieutenant, father of one daughter, Rose, husband of Ruth Goode Stein. At 31 years of age, he was already accomplished before enlisting. He followed in his father’s footsteps, became ordained and received a PhD. Enlisted after the M.S. St. Louis filled with 937 Jewish refugees was denied permission to dock in Miami and turned away. A third of the passengers to be later murdered.
I was still me … so far. I reached out and gently took the pistol from his trembling fingers. “Here, Amos. Let me.”
My right hand tingled. Suddenly cold bullets filled my palm. I thumbed them carefully, calmly into the clip as I had seen him try to do.
I gently handed it back to him. “All ready to fight the Nazi Scourge.”
It was often said that we all died alone. Maybe. But if you died next to someone who was just as scared as you, someone who you had touched in a small act of compassion, and whose life was made the better by it even in some small way, did it help?
I would soon find out.
His mouth was still a bit slack. “H-How did you do that? W-Where did the bullets come from?”
I smiled sadly. “It’s a kind of magic.”
"How lucky you are to have someone that makes saying goodbye so hard."
- Sister Ameal