Quiet as Mice


In response to a prompt at https://www.creativewritingink.co.uk/resources/writing-prompts/

My name is Harry. So pleased you could come today. It’s quiet back here, isn’t it? We had to be quiet as mice then. Father Andre was very kind. We weren’t the only family he hid. There were others. Hundreds. Come downstairs. I will show you.

We lay still during the day. Listened to the services. I would look forward to the organ playing and the hymns. So beautiful. Not the same sort of songs that we would normally sing during prayers, but still, so beautiful. It made it easier for a small boy to lie still when such music played. No. It’s okay. Don’t admonish him. What’s his name? Joshua. Yes, you little one. It’s very difficult to be quiet all the time, isn’t it? Imagine if you had to lie down on a cold stone floor all day. Very difficult.

The priest and some of his congregation would come at nightfall with food and water. Even take away the foul-smelling buckets for us and leave us clean ones. It didn’t take the smell away, but it made us feel a little more human for a couple of hours.

Father Andre? No. One day they beat him. Demanded he told them where we were hiding. My papa wanted to go up there and give himself up so they would stop, but the others pinned him down. Said he would be sending us all to our deaths. One man was not worth the lives of so many they said. My father cried that night. I had never seen my father cry before—I never saw him cry again.





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