Thomas (Tim) Linehan is a Broadkill Review Contributing Editor for 2019. His new YA Historical novel, Hannah Gould is about a Polish, Jewish girl with the partisans in WWII. Well researched, the story provides insight into the valiant struggle of the Jewish partisans against the powerful Nazi regime. Even more extraordinary is the story of the real teenage partisans fighting for survival that the book is based on. The author hopes to increase the awareness of teens and adults to this lesser known aspect of the Holocaust. An excerpt, Chapter 6 is provided here.
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After running a half hour or so, Hannah could see trucks and other vehicles farther up ahead.
Soldiers, she thought. Most of the farmers here didn’t have trucks. They might be army trucks.
Veering off the road, she ran to a small group of trees lying at the edge of a field of tall grass. Crouching low behind the larger of the trees, Hannah waited for the trucks to pass by. While catching her breath, she looked behind for anyone following. The field lay still.
She sat on the cool grass and quickly removed the man’s dress pants. She stood for a moment, stooped over, and pulled the work pants over her bare legs. The material was still damp and felt cold and clammy. She had no belt, but her hips held them from falling down. A good fit. Maybe the sun would dry them before dark. Papa said to stay dry in cold weather or she would get sick.
Squatting low, watching and listening for trouble, her head and face ached. The soldier’s slap puffed up her cheek which blocked her vision in one eye. The makeshift bandage that the farmer placed was falling down so Hannah removed it.
Trying to think through the pain and decide what to do next, she thought about the soldier back in the woods trying to kill her. But the whole thing seemed strange. He could have killed her right away, but he was doing other things. She felt the same way she did years ago when Sol Wertz pulled his pants down. They were alone in the garden toolshed in Warsaw. She ran home, not knowing what he wanted her to do. Beila tried to tell her. That’s what girlfriends do. And now, with the soldier. Hannah shuddered, suspecting what it all meant. She tried to put it out of mind, afraid she might be right.
. . . . .
The truck was only a couple of hundred meters up the road and moving slowly. Startled by a swishing sound from behind, Hannah turned her head back toward the rustling.
Two soldiers were upon her. She tried to leap forward, but the closer one grabbed her around the waist and with powerful arms yanked her body up from the ground. Her back was against the strong man’s stomach and she had no leverage to break his grasp. The other soldier ran toward the road and flagged the truck which stopped across from the field and waited.
How did they see me in here? They’re going to hurt me, too. Get away. Kick him. Punch.
She squirmed and twisted to try and break free.
“Let me go! You’re hurting me. Papa, help,” Hannah yelled.