Feb 19
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Night Writing Assignment - Elie Wiesel


Prompt: Write a description of a hellish journey in a cramped and filthy railcar keeping in mind that you are a prisoner and are unsure of your destination or future.

Here I am, my Lord. Your faithful servant. Rotting in this dark. Damp. Cell. Where are all the blessings you promised to bestow upon me? Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be. I shuffle towards the caged window. Tracing the cold, metal-rust bars with my fingertips. How many days until this living hell is over?

After a few moments, I regard the presence of those surrounding me. My eyes halt on an old, beaten down woman. Her moonstone hair falls over her bistre eyes and down her crooked shoulders. On her breast lays a boy. Very young, perhaps seven years of age. I can spy a loaf of bread wedged between his arm and rib. Oh, how simple it would be to obtain. I can almost taste it on my tongue. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. I turn towards the window again. The air is hazy and reeks of hot waste. This doesn't help at all. I can't think of anything but my stomach. I begin to hum, hoping to drown out the hunger pangs. I glance at the bread again. I´m sure just a bite would satisfy me. No. They wouldn't even notice. No. My insides are gnawing at me. No. One. Small. Nibble. ¨No!¨ My eyes snap open. What seems like hundreds of wrathful eyes are now glaring at me. I realize that I´ve been screaming. If your right-hand causes you to stumble, cut it off, and throw it away from you. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be cast into hell. I sink down onto the floor and bury my eyes into my knees. I start to pray silently. Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled. Yes. I know you will provide, Jehovah.

I realize that I’ve fallen asleep when I jerk at the touch of a familiar hand. It’s Mama. She still smells of warm cinnamon and peppermint. Her burgundy locs are pulled into two secure plaits. She whispers sweet gospels into my ear, her palm resting on my cheek. She always knew how to make the best of situations, even in times of peril. She gently grabs my face in her hands. Her eyes are filled with unconditional love. Her smile could warm the hearts of even the frostiest creatures. Her right hand disappears into her cloak and returns with an oval shape clothed in newspaper. I’m then reminded of my empty stomach. She places the package into my hands and nudges me to open it. I bow my head, a short prayer to the merciful God. I cautiously turn back to my hands. Hurry! My stomach pleads. Carefully, I unfold the package. Enemies disguise themselves with their lips but in their hearts they harbor deceit. There is nothing inside. After several moments of staring at the empty, crinkled newspaper, I look up to Mama. She is gone. I'm left with the old, beaten down woman, her boy, and hundreds of wrathful eyes once again. Why have you forsaken me, Yahweh? Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them. I shut my eyes as my ears kiss the frigid floor.
 
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