It was a simple exchange…my innocence for survival. I never dreamed I'd be involved in the events that followed. (Hessianxoc)
Disclaimer: I don't own anything except for my original characters.
My feet were almost completely numb. It alarmed me that I could feel the soles threatening to separate with each clumsy step. My ragged and patched dress would not hold together for long, either. I had patched it so much that there seemed to be more patches than dress. I had tried to clean myself up the best I could; penniless or not, I wanted to be as presentable as possible. My one asset was that my fair skin was neither marked by pox, witchcraft, or scars. My hair might have been beautiful if it were cleaner; I had combed through it with my fingers as best as I could. When freshly washed, it was a gleaming auburn. My mother was waiting for me at home. It was unknown whether I would return victorious or not, but it was a gamble I'd been forced to take.
I could smell food up ahead and my stomach gave a rumble. A hungry person has no pride. Whatever doubts I'd had before were promptly squashed by the awful pain. The column of smoke from the campfire was busy in the clearing. The air was seasoned with a language I did not understand. This was it; the camp of the demons. They milled about the tents, some talking and eating by the fire, others were doing different chores. All of them looked much stronger than me. The second thoughts reappeared for a split second. Since it was nightfall, I was almost invisible, cloaked by darkness. I could vanish just as easily as I appeared.
If only it hadn't been for that damn horse…
I hadn't been paying attention and I nearly bumped into his backside. One ear swung towards me first, then the entire head turned. The horse made a noise.
Horses don't growl, but that doesn't exactly sound like a greeting…
He was as black as the night itself. He was huge for a horse; he was the largest stallion I'd ever seen. When he actually moved his entire body, he seemed even bigger.
"Nice horse…good horse…" I squeaked timidly. I didn't particularly like horses and I think he could sense it.
Up ahead, I heard someone talking. It seemed as though they sensed a disturbance. I nearly wet myself when two arms suddenly closed around me from behind. It had been like a shadow, silent as death itself. A question was asked in my ear, but I didn't know what meant.
"I—I can't understand you," I stammered.
There was an exchange. Apparently, there was more than one. I felt myself being lifted like a sack of flour and carried towards the center of the camp. The German soldiers stared at me. Some merely looked puzzled, others looked lustful. I wasn't allowed to touch the ground again until we were near the fire. One of my captors shouted what I assumed to be a name.
If the horse and the former situation had seemed scary, it was nothing compared to what I was facing now. Another man came out of the nearest tent. He snapped something in German to my captors and it sounded like they were arguing for a moment. Then, those eyes turned on me.
My legs turned to water and I actually had to lean on my captor for support.
"What were you doing near my horse, little girl?"
It was nice to finally hear English, even if it was heavily accented. Each word sounded harsh and jagged. I opened my mouth to speak, but my voice failed me. His cold eyes were so blue that I could even tell it in the dim firelight.
I still couldn't get it out. The sharp sound of a sword being drawn had come from him. I stared at the gleaming blade that grazed my throat.
"I do not take kindly to thieves. I will only ask you once more why you are here."
"It's not the horse I wanted," I choked out, feeling a warm trickle of blood, "I smelled food…my mother and I have not eaten in almost a week…"
He sheathed his sword.
"Why should we give you anything? The war has been just as difficult for us as it has for you."
"Please, sir," I begged, "our village is burned to the ground. I want to look for work, but there is no way to get to the next town in this weather. We have nothing…nothing but the clothes on our backs…"
I hated my body for betraying me. I had started to cry and now the tears were cascading down my cheeks.
The man smiled. His teeth were filed down to sharp points and it somehow didn't surprise me. His disheveled dark hair didn't surprise me either. It seemed fitting to him. He was like a panther.
"You cannot expect something for nothing," he said disdainfully, "now leave."
"There is….one thing…"
The other soldiers were snickering. A look from him silenced them. He walked around me, his Hessian boots deepening the prints already left in the snow. The crunching sound was sinister. I flinched when he barked out an order to the others. My captors let go of me only for me to be shoved into his arms. I didn't resist, but I silently begged God to forgive me for what I was about to do. The German commander drew me into his tent and secured the flap closed.
I had never had any lovers to my name, so this was a completely new experience. My first kiss was one where his teeth drew blood, his touch rough and careless with lust. Neither of us undressed all the way due to the cold. For that much, I was grateful. I heard the clink of his heavy belt being unfastened and the rustle of fabric that followed. His ragged breath in my ear helped to drown out the awful burning sensation below. I saw white when he pushed further in and nearly fainted. When he had taken his fill of me, he seemed very surprised at the sight of blood.
"Eine Jungfrau," he muttered.
It didn't take much translation to figure that one out. He realized I'd been a virgin before. A cloth was thrust at me so that I could clean myself up. That was a relief; I didn't want to go home with blood-stained underwear. Mother would have been beside herself with guilt if she found out what I had just done. Once I had resituated my clothing, I found myself being chased away from camp with a fistful of gold coins and a few food items in my arms.
Strange…he was watching me go. The other soldiers were jeering and making fun of me (again, I could tell), but the one I had just slept with didn't look like that. His face was unreadable. It was almost like he didn't want me to go.
It's in my head, I thought, I'm just a foolish little girl who dreams in fairy tales.