CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and EIGHTY-ONE
One of the women began to sing. The words to the song were obscured, but they could hear the music.
Abi looked at Nelson, and he nodded.
The singing became louder and louder until the shooting began. One by one, the women were shot down where they stood.
Ivy began to scream.
But the images didn’t stop. Ivy didn’t wake up.
Blane looked up at Abi. She nodded for Blane to continue.
The flickering image changed again. Two burly, sweating men piled the women’s bodies into a horse drawn cart. The wooden cart rolled down the streets. Over Ivy’s screams, they could hear a group of children’s feet running. The children threw rocks at the man behind the cart.
One of the children undid the horse from the cart. Terrified by the children and the smell of death, the horse reared up, crushing its rescuer under its feet. While the cart attendant was stoned to death by the children, the horse ran off.
The children pushed the cart out of sight and down a road in the other direction. They arrived at an overgrown cemetery on the outskirts of town. Adults appeared from the overgrown bushes with shovels and pick axes. The adults and children wore filthy clothing. Their faces and hands were smeared with dirt. Many of them were gaunt from lack of food. The children and the adults were nearly emotionless. They seemed too stunned to feel anything.
They fought with the dry, compact dirt to bury the bodies of the young women together. When the hole was dug, the children rolled the bodies of the women into the hole. An elderly man stood at the end of the grave and spoke words in a foreign language.
“Polish,” Nash said. “That’s Polish.”
When the women were in the grave, the elderly man said a few last words before the adults began to shovel dirt onto the women’s bodies. It was slow, hard work in the hot sun, but no one seemed to complain. When they were done, they covered the site with tree limbs and other weeds.
The sad group had just finished when a high pitched screech of brakes came from a few feet away. The adults and children tried to scatter back into the brush but were cut down by a machine gun. Hidden from view, two small children had their arms around each other and their faces pressed into the dirt. Somehow, the men missed them. The men got back into their vehicle and left to area.
“That’s my mother. The girl,” Delphie said. “Ivy’s grandmother.”
The scene from inside Ivy’s head went to more modern scenarios. Images from the current events flashed across the black and white scene. After a few moments, the image turned to gray. There was nothing else.
Abi nodded to Edie and she let go of Blane’s shoulders. Blane kissed Ivy’s forehead before letting go of her head and standing up. Delphie went to Ivy’s side to help her get up.
“Wha … How’d I get over here?” Ivy asked Delphie.
“We have a lot to discuss,” Abi said. “Come. Take your seats. We will talk about what’s next.”
Delphie helped Ivy to her feet. They went over to the large blanket where Sam was sitting and sat down.
Denver Cereal continues on Monday…
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