Cailyn Pajic, Grade 9
“Close your eyes. It will be over quickly.”
My mother had said this to me when I was getting my first anaesthetic injection. That was the day I was getting my right leg amputated because of a spreading infection. I remember being very scared.
This was before the Holocaust.
Now my mother was undoing the straps of my wheelchair hurriedly. I was holding a shaking hand over my mouth, trying to stop the hysterical sobs from leaving my mouth. My older brother was pushing things against the door, trying to be as silent as possible. I could hear screams and shouts from the houses around us. Smashing glass and gunshots were echoing down the street.
It wasn’t fair.
The Nazi’s were targeting disabled people. When mother found out, she had my brother nail planks on all of our windows and doors. We hadn’t expected them to come so soon.
It seemed I wasn't a human. I was merely a broken doll. I am destroyed and discarded. My life never had any worth to begin with. When I was younger, mother would always brush my hair and tell me about the things I should live for.
Everybody else only saw the things I should die for.
Silent tears were streaming down my brother’s face. It occurred to me that he would be killed too; that my family would suffer the same fate because of me.
A window from the room next to us shatters. More noise floods inside, merging with the sound of my heartbeat. Multiple foot step shake the wooden floor. The Nazi's had broken in, ripping my home apart like a dollhouse.
Mother helps me limp to the cupboard. We both squeeze inside, knowing what was to come. Her eyes were so frightened. My brother looks into our eyes and whispers how much he loves us. I can’t hear him over the Nazi’s breaking down the door before us. He locks the cupboard, trying to keep me and mother safe.
That was the last time I would ever see him. Mother brings my face to her chest as the sound of footsteps are heard in the room we were in. They were searching for us. I hear my brother shouting for mercy outside the cupboard doors.
A gunshot echoes through the room. I couldn't hear my brother anymore.
My mother runs her hand through my hair while I cry. As somebody begins to break open the cupboard, she brings her mouth to my ear and whispers;
“Close you’re eyes. It will be over quickly.”