Flash Fiction: The Rebel

As I pondered a story idea for my next 99-word flash piece, two more ideas coalesced into something I can only hope I will do justice in such a short space.

First, the story. Under that I’ll offer some background.

The Rebel

ghetto-child

I squeeze my hankie as I approach the massive cathedral. The veins in my old hands stand out, and my husband’s words echo in my mind: You’re one of the only ones left. Who else will attend the service?

I ignored him. The woman created an escape from the ghetto. Because she rebelled, I lived.

Even if I’m alone, I have to attend.

A young man opens the door for me, and I freeze at the threshold.

The foyer is packed wall-to-wall with people, families of those she saved. Smiles and tears coexist.

Because she rebelled, we all live.


This week’s prompt over at Carrot Ranch is this:  In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the theme, “women create.” 

While chewing on an idea for that, my email pinged. Chuck Wendig had issued his flash fiction challenge, his prompt being this: Write about rebellion.

I like to combine challenges into one story, so I started thinking of ways to merge the two. Then, I checked Twitter, where #HolocaustMemorialDay is trending. It reminded me of the story about Irena Sendler, who smuggled 2,500 Jewish children out of a Polish ghetto before they could be transferred to a concentration camp (click on her name to read more about her. Have tissues handy.)

While fiction, my flash piece is inspired by Irena’s actions. Even if I had 100,000 words, I’m not sure I could have done her justice.

17 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: The Rebel

  1. Pingback: Women Create « Carrot Ranch Communications

  2. Combining two prompts is an interesting dynamic, and the results of this one are amazing. What I appreciate from your flash is that the last child saved, now old and alone, was indeed not alone. That one person’s act of rebellion doesn’t just save that generation. It gives life to the next ones. Beautifully written!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good vantage point, Charli. What interest me is that many humans – myself included – frequently struggle with inner conflict created by and as a result of past external matters – and this in turn creates further conflict, if not reinforces a cycle of conflict – in which we hope that better judgment will prevail. On the other hand, Irena Sendler, and others who have survived the Holocaust are not bitter. On the contrary, every Holocaust survivor I have known – incl a former SS woman and couple of others, were so deeply affected and appreciative of life, that they passed this on to me. While I struggle with the obvious inhumanity that still exists they accept thing as is and move on, with such grace, such beauty…that it permeates the world. It is truly amazing. Let’s all hope we are not called upon to endure such evils as they did, in order to become better, more appreciative people.
      Allison, your work is far reaching and I’m glad you write.You never know who it is going to reach and or move.But it will. xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I just love this, and the way in which you hone in on reality while at the same time honouring those who not only suffered evils, but survived them, not forgetting the selflessness of the woman (who reminds me of Corrie ten Boom, although I know there are others, who are unsung heroes) who set aside her own safety, her own life, to ensure others lived. Now that is a just and righteous but humble human (all of which some others profess to be, but when faced with reality, are not – as my own life proves).
    You encourage me – to give in and give up my life when I am frustrated at the world and feel I can’t go on. Thankyou Allison. Beautifully depicted and I love the inclusion of the photo. The world needs more of this.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Excellent drabble! It’s stories like these which shine moments of brightness into otherwise dark places. I do enjoy reading about the human elements of war stories; not so much the battles and the dogfights, but the way people—whether soldiers or civilians—came together to stand up to injustice. Thanks for such an educational and throught-provoking story!

    Liked by 1 person

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