Another old prompt challenge which I thought I’d have a go at, this time using ‘betray’ and the meaning ‘to fail or desert in time of need’. I went a little over the usual 333 word count you’re meant to use, seeing as this was just for fun, and not the actual competition.
Most families in the town wouldn’t even look at a Jewish girl, let alone hide one in their airing cupboard.
They’d already taken Mama, and Pa, and George, and little Eve. But I’d been in the woods, fishing and flirting with Wally Roberts. When I got home, they were gone. Our house had been turned upside down – contents of drawers everywhere, the dirty breakfast dishes smashed on the floor. I knew what had happened. I wasn’t stupid.
I cleaned up the mess, re-made the beds, swept the floor – Mama would have been proud of how I left the house. I took a knife from the drawer and tucked it into my apron pocket. And then I ran.
Some of the people in town spat at me. Some made their children cross the road to get away from me.
But the Jones’, a family my Mama knew, took one look at me in my dirty apron, covered in other people’s phlegm, and let me in. I don’t know why. But I trusted them. As I curled up to sleep in their airing cupboard that night, I thought about Wally Roberts and his wet kisses of only a few hours ago, and how long ago that seemed.
That was a week ago. I knew they’d come eventually. I could hear them talking to the Jones’, and the stomping of their boots. They were stomping up the stairs now, getting closer to my hiding place. The boots stopped.
They were right outside my cupboard. I could hear their breathing. I tried to stay calm despite the pounding of my heart. I thought about how scared little Eve must have been when they came to the house, and tried to stay strong for her.
And then I realised, I could no longer hear the Jones’.
I’d prayed they wouldn’t betray me. But as the soldier opened the airing cupboard door, I knew they had. Mama would be disappointed Mrs Jones wasn’t the nice woman she thought she’d been.
I picked up the knife I’d been keeping with me for protection, and stabbed it through my sad, betrayed, Jewish heart.