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Closer the Gestapo shoes squeaked

Joe grabbed her hand. “Let’s go!” he yelled, and together, they took off, the men’s moans coupled with low curses behind them, growing fainter by the second. He led her over to one of the small alcoves he had hesitated in front of before. 
“This has to be the one,” he said. “Hold onto my belt.” 
What seemed at first to be a dim little inlet, turned out to be a long, dark passageway, where the temperature chilled and a slightly foul odor emerged. She followed him blindly, until he suddenly stopped short, and she rammed up against him.
“What’s going on?” she asked.
“We’ve run into a wall. But if it’s what they told me about, it’s good,” he said in a low voice.
She inched up beside him and realized he was running his fingers over the plaster, scouring for something.
“It’s gotta be here somewhere,” he whispered.
“What’s gotta be here?” she whispered back, but he didn’t answer.
She heard another sound.
He, too, had obviously heard the several footsteps at the mouth of their little “cave.” Fear spiked through her. She didn’t dare move. As the footsteps grew even closer, she heard some words.
“Ich denke ich höre sie.”
Suddenly her high school German came back to her. “I think I hear them,” they had said.
How close are those guys? Still holding onto his belt, she waited for Joe to do something lifesaving, but all he did was move them sideways, as the speed of his hand movements on the wall in front of them grew more frenetic. What in the world was he looking for? She wanted to ask him but didn’t dare utter a sound.
The creaky sounds of cheap shoes, one careful step after another, kept on advancing and still, no solution from Joe.
“Ich kenne deine beiden hier,” one of them snarled out loud.
She clapped one hand over her mouth. They had said, “I know you’re both here.”
Closer the Gestapo shoes squeaked. Closer and closer. It’d be over soon. It’d––


Excerpt from Tender Enemies
By S.R. Mallery
Included in Love Under Fire


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