Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (10)

(a novel continued)

“What a wonderful place,” Minnie said to herself.
The cottage door opened and Hershal appeared. Minnie recognized him as someone familiar, 
someone she might have seen, somewhere. 
Hershal shook her hand, “Welcome, to your home.” He smiled and then she knew. 

Yes, he was the man who came to the door and told the family the Germans were coming. Minnie's brothers would have to disappear. Minnie remembered it as if it were yesterday. She was twelve, at home with her parents in The Netherlands. 
The Germans had taken over their country. Each of her three brothers had been conscripted. Of course they wouldn't willingly go to work in the German munitions factories as ordered. They went into hiding somewhere in the Dutch countryside instead. Minnie never knew where, either did her parents. It was better that way. 
That day, the day this man had come to the door, her brothers happened to be at home. They had surprised her father by quietly coming to celebrate his 50th birthday.
A neighbour must have reported them. If it hadn't been for this man who came to the door (who smiled at her as she stared at him from the back of the room) her brothers could have been shot. As it was, they got away in a nick of time. 
She never knew who the man was or where he came from. Minnie had always thought of him as an angel. It hadn't occurred to her that he could be a real heavenly being.

Now, Hershal invited her in. “This will be your home for the next little while.”
Minnie loved her home immediately. The layout, the furniture, everything right down to the pictures on the walls were exactly what she would have chosen, yet better than she could have arranged. 
Framed pictures of John and her three children stood on the mantle. 

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