Noah, the defiant orphan, was now twelve, but still small for his age. He peeked around a building inside the Soblin Ghetto.
He darted out and rolled under one of two gas vans waiting to be loaded. Noah unhooked the hose that delivered the poisonous exhaust into the back of the van that killed the unwilling passengers before they reached their destination.
A Nazi soldier opened the back of the van. Noah recognized him as Dirk, one of the soldiers at his escape attempt with the pole. Dirk pushed in old people, women, and children. “It’s not that difficult! Get in the van!” he shouted.
Noah’s grip slipped, and he dropped the hose. He looked up, and Dirk was bending down, staring at him.
Dirk grabbed his arm and pulled him out from under the van. “What are you doing, trying to escape?” He shoved Noah into the van so hard that he hit his head on the floor. Beside them, other soldiers loaded the van Noah hadn’t been able to reach.
The doors shut and the locks pulled across, leaving Noah trapped among the crowd chosen for death. The people in the van clung to their loved ones. Noah sat alone in a corner.
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