The plane was trembling like a volcano ready to explode. Knowing the plane was going down, it was a matter of time until it hit earth. “Get out!” yelled the captain. We looked at each other in fear, knowing that we might not survive, seeing how dangerous the war really is. The first one to jump out was Gennadiy, who I had just met two months ago. The second one to jump was Igor, who never really talks. Then me, I looked down and saw where they were shooting us from, I feared I might get shot. Knowing I must jump, I jumped with my eyes closed. Above me I saw Dimitry falling and the plane exploded, getting hit by a missile. All those people in the plane, all those people out there, are losing their life, for what? I thought to myself, the country?
I was falling closer and closer to earth, ready to take out my parachute when Dimitry yelled “Not yet, don’t take your parachute out.”
We were friends since 3rd grade, and I would trust him with everything. “Why not? We aren’t far from earth,” I asked with curiosity.
“If we open our parachutes now, we will be an easy target for the Germans,” after about 45 seconds Dimitry yelled out, “Open you parachutes-quickly!”
We started to move right after we landed. Gennadiy said, “The Russian Front should be around here”
“Quiet! Do you here that?” asked Dimitry as everyone stopped. We could all hear the sound of the vehicles. I look around and see the Nazi cars coming this way.
“There are 3 cars,” I whispered, “2 of the cars have 4 troops in them, and the third one has one troop."
“If we surprise attack them, we might have a chance of taking the cars,” Dmitry whispered, “Vladimir, you take out the driver of the first car, and as many troops from it, Igor, you take out the last car, and I will take out the middle car, and Gennadiy, you could support our attacks,” as we laid in the grass, Dmitry slowly counted “three,” I had never killed anyone, “two,” my stomach started to twist, from the fear that I won’t be able to kill, “one” I aimed for the driver, “start shooting” I closed my eyes and pulled the trigger, but when I opened my eyes, the driver was dead, and the other three got out and started to look for us, Gennadiy and Igor started to shoot them but one spotted us and shot at us, I was watching all this, Dimitry was done with killing all the people in the middle car and went on shooting the three. I saw two of the Germans fall, the third one was behind the car. While he was shooting us through the window from the other side of the car, Dimitry got a chance and killed him. We all got up, except for Igor; he was lying face down, with red in his hair, and a small puddle of blood.
“He died because of me! It was my entire fault,” I cried out, “If only, If I would shoot when I had the chance”
There was the sound of more cars coming, “Come on, we’ll have to take this car,” Dimitry said, while taking the driver out. Gennadiy helped me get into the back seat, I stared into the distance thinking, why wasn’t it me who died? Since I was the one who didn’t do anything useful, “Come on Vladimir, it is not your fault, I remember the First time I had to kill,” I was to shocked to say anything, “It wasn’t easy, but you’ll get used to it after a while,” he said as he started the car.
“Did you hear about the Jews?” Gennadiy asked Dimitry, while the car started to move.
“Yeah, I heard that Nazis forced Jews to make weapons.”
“Not only that, they forced them to work,” said Gennadiy, as we were coming toward the Russian front, “ok come on Vladimir.”
Once I got out of the car, I was told that there is a battle going on not far from here. Dimitry, Gennadiy, and I went to the battle, as I aimed, thinking, none of my friends will die because of me from now on. I was behind the rocky wall, I shot, and I was killing them, still not fully recovered from Igor’s death, Dmitry, who was on my left, fell backward and lies still, with blood all over his face. I saw the sniper who shot Dmitry, he was on a distant building. My anger took over me, and I took careful aim with my machine gun, with my eyes watery, thinking of all those great times we had with Dimitry, I shot at the sniper, when Gennadiy saw what I was doing, he gave me a sniper gun, we both knew that I can’t hit him with a machine gun. As I looked in the scope, I saw him; he was aiming this way, ready to shoot. Pulling the trigger while thinking about Dimitry family, what are they going to do without a father? I shot him, he deserved it, for leaving a family without a father, I saw him fall of the building, and I picked up my machine gun and started to reload it.
“They killed him! They-” yelled out Gennadiy while I was reloading
“I killed him, I killed the one who has sniped Dimitry,” I said and collapsed, “Why does war have to be like this?” At that moment the shooting stopped.
“We got to keep moving,” said someone. As me and Gennadiy were advancing forward with the others, we talked about anything and everything but Dimitry, Igor and the war.
After a few days, as we were marching, there was Auschwitz camp, the Jews looked at us through the gates, they were human skeletons, and you can see every bone in their body through the skin. Most of them were sick, or dying. The camp was big, and weak Jews were all around. Gennadiy and I both rushed looking for more Jews. I saw one sitting on the ground, no strength to stand up. Gennadiy and I helped him get up and walked over to the rest of the group, where he would be fed. As we were walking him, we saw other soldiers rushing to the other side of Auschwitz and for a moment I saw how terrible war is, I saw how terrible things can be. But inside I felt good to help the people who were in need. I also felt horrible about what happened to them and how they were treated.
“I have heard of concentration camps, but I would never guess it was this horrible,” said Gennadiy.
“No one would have guessed it was this horrible,” I said, “No human deserves to be treated like this, not even animals.” I took out some canned food from my bag and gave it to the Jews. I knew that they needed it more than me. The Jews were thanking us nonstop.
I wondered how this can be happening when no one is aware of it. How can a human do that to another human? Why would people do this to each other?
Yakimov is a young writer from Kazakhstan. Currently working indipendently on his own book. His friend, and teacher, inspired him to pen Vladmir's Story.