Peter looked at the truck waiting for them in the distance, and then at the ghetto, alive with chaos and confusion as planned. Hesitantly, Peter and Noah turned back to help the family.
They watched as the thin and pale father, tasting freedom for his family, sent his three boys through the tunnel under the fence. They easily made it. They were small enough and did not carry the fear of the dire consequences of their actions. They were just obeying their father.
As each boy appeared, Peter sent him to Noah to be hidden behind the bushes, out of sight of the policemen. The father stopped and listened, straining to hear. There was no howling hum emitted from the fence’s electricity. The explosion had temporarily taken down the power. “There’s no electricity. You must climb the fence now,” he said urgently to his wife.
“Are you sure?” she asked, suspicious of the killer fence that trapped them in the ghetto.
“Listen, it’s quiet.”
“The fence is down. Go. Go. Go,” the father whispered to her. “I will help you, then I will be right behind you.”
She nodded. He lifted her onto the fence, and she climbed as fast as the awkward task would allow, but she was weak from hunger and constant worry. She moved slowly, breathing heavily from exertion. She had nearly reached the top when the fence’s frightening hum suddenly returned. She looked down at her husband with the blank fear of death on her face, but nothing happened.
He nodded. “Keep going. You’re not grounded. You’ll be okay. Just jump off the fence at the top.”
She reached for the last wire. She was almost over.
A shot exploded. A bullet hit her shoulder. It knocked her off balance. She grabbed the barbed wire with her hands. She cried out in pain, but flung her leg over the top of the barbed wire fence in a last-ditch effort to get to the other side. Her dress twisted around the barbed wire, so, although she had somehow made it over, she hung trapped by her clothes.
Another bullet hit her arm. She released her grip. Her dress ripped, freeing her from the wire’s clutches, and she fell. On the way down, her legs tangled in the wire, ripping her skin. When her arms hit the ground, making a full circle circuit, she was electrocuted on the freedom side of the ghetto fence.
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