This chapter was abseloutely heartbreaking to read but I really enjoy the style of your writing, it flows beatifully along even when writing of moments as bleak as this. The realization of loosing one dear, When I lost my grandfather I don't recall crying, though I am most certain I did, but just really wanted to go to be with him, no matter where he was now but of course I see now I was really too young to understand. As strange as this might sound, I am going to just go ahead and say it that there is a beauty to this chapter, in that it is very strong and stirring, not "over the top" but beatifully captures what it must have been like for the captives to behold the remanants of such a horrible battle and now that remains of so many is only memories...and bones. Though the poor captives are heading off to what I would consider a far more grim fate, Its just chilling to consider for even a moment. While I dread to even begin to guess at what they may encounter next I will faithfully follow this story as I find it all abseloutely enthralling. You writing style weaves the story together so beatifully, I really do not think I can even begin to praise it enough.Author's Response: Anwyn, thank you for your kind remarks. They are more than appreciated. As one who was born at the beginning of World War II, scenes of carnage and misery are part of my formative memory. From the radio broadcasts to the newsreel footage at the theatre, I was surrounded by war's grim horror at a very early age. One uncle served in the Pacific with the Navy, and when the war ended and he came back, his mind was scarred with horrible memories. To a little boy like me, he seemed very strange indeed.
I was three years old when the Dachau concentration camp surrendered to the American army in 1945. Years later I remember one of my father's friends who was part of that liberating army telling my father, "The stench was so bad we could smell the camp miles away." As I grew up and saw the horrifying pictures of Dachau, Auszwitz, Buchenwald, and the many other death camps, I was repulsed and frightened. Even today when I look at these pictures, I can still have flashbacks to the time when I first saw them.
Growing up during the Cold War, every day I worried that we would all be killed by an atomic bomb. You can't grow up like that and not be affected by the gristly face of war. Perhaps some of it shows in my writing.
My co-writer, Elfhild, is decades younger than I am and she is fortunate that she grew up in a more enlightened era. I rely heavily upon her to add the perceptive of young women and children who have been wrenched away from their homes and are having to face a future filled with uncertainties set against a tableau of war in all its horrors.
Again, thank you for reading.