Short stories to read…
Danuta Wojcik had never anticipated this ending before. Even though she had experienced the most gruesome and horrifying nightmares, she had never seen one as real and terrifying as the one she was currently in.
And, having resisted and eluded death on countless occasions, she had no inkling that it would catch up with her in the most unexpected way.
There’s a big difference between viewing a nightmare and experiencing one. She clutched the handrail fiercely, watching as other passengers were tossed and flung obliquely through the bus as it skidded rapidly along the motorway that connects Mozdok, a town on the Terek River’s left bank, with Vladikavkaz.
She tried not to stare at the horror-stricken features of the men and women on the bus with her, her heart thudding too quickly. Innocent souls that have been sentenced to the same fate as she. She couldn’t force herself to pray, no matter how hard she tried.
She had determined a long time ago not to pray to a purported Omnipresent Spirit who had abandoned her in her darkest hour. And saw her suffer at the hands of despicable men like Josef Mengele.
Earlier, when she realized the bus had lost control, she was sent into a frenzy of negative feelings and went through the various stages of what may be compared to the dying version of the five grief and loss.
She had been gripped by fear at first. Her anxieties had lasted long enough to be eclipsed by a sense of denial, so intense that she had attempted to ignore the reality of her situation early on. She had attempted to think that everything would be fine, even though she knew it would not be.
She then felt a great sense of rage. She was annoyed at herself for leaving the house. She was annoyed at herself for leaving her twin sister at home to go grocery shopping. She was furious at herself for not following her advise to postpone her shopping until tomorrow.
The following stage saw her attempting to bargain for her life. She was eager to do anything at the time to see the hour pass. She had considered every potential method of seeing her children, grandkids, and, most importantly, her sister Leah again.
She had been willing to reconcile with the God she had long denied existed. She became very despondent after a while. Her depression was accompanied by her acceptance of the unavoidable.
She was too exhausted at that moment to try or fight for her life. And she’d made peace with herself, expecting and praying for her death to come quickly. While she awaited her demise, she witnessed her own life flash before her eyes in a series of vivid pictures.
She witnessed every moment of her life, from her birth to her deportation to Auschwitz in 1944, the atrocities she endured at the hands of Third Reich experimenters, the nightmares, her service in the Army, her wedding to the love of her life—Joseph Wojcik—right up to the present. She saw herself going food shopping and strolling out into a beautiful, warm Mozdok evening.
She last remembered a blue, cloudless sky before the bus collided with an oncoming car, sending her into oblivion.