Remorse | Teen Ink


October 6, 2008
By Daniel Blumin PLATINUM, Tenafly, New Jersey
Daniel Blumin PLATINUM, Tenafly, New Jersey
38 articles 0 photos 1 comment

The smell of the morning dew mingled in the pure air, and with it began the never interrupted routine of the morning. Sunrise. A brick wall jutted out of the ground, red with small speckles of brown, showing no visible sign of shivering in the cold Ukrainian morning. How could it? The wall was not alive. Against the wall stood eight humans, adorned in plain garb, that from far away looked pretty decent. But it wasn’t. The faces of the condemned wearing the plain garb were full of fear, and looked as if death was staring them straight into the whites of their fearful eyes. Reality isn’t always nice, because in fact death was staring them in the face.
A harsh bark ensued. Click! Together, in perfect unison, 10 bullets were jammed into their snuggly fitting barrels. The order was given in the language that many know as German, the dreaded language that no one ever wanted to hear. The bark was repeated again and this time the barrels of the guns were leveled. The humans pressed against the wall tensed. They had fully accepted their fates, and it seemed to them that there was no way too avoid the horror that intensified in their brains. What they couldn’t accept was the fact that their own neighbor had delivered their death sentence. Their neighbor turned them over to the German Polizai. Another order was issued, but not in the form of the preceding barks, but as a scream, a sound ascending from the depths of hell. And on this death signal only did the bullets rip out of the maw of the gun. After what seemed like an eternity, the bullets found their marks, brutally slamming into the people, and rendering the brick wall redder than before.

The traitor watched. He stared at the carnage. He looked through every second of it. He wasn’t proud of what he had done, but still, it gave him a big load of profit. So what did he care about them? They were only minor people in his life, neighbors, and that was all. His greed consumed his guilt. The traitor motioned for his reward to be tossed to him, and in a swift movement, it was tossed to him, landing in a heap at his feet. As he bent to pick up his spoils, the German firing squad from hell disappeared into the quite Ukrainian morning.

The sky turned red, redder than any shade of this color that you have ever seen. But even so, the shades of the sunrise weren’t red enough. They weren’t red enough to match the amount of innocent blood spilled today.


The loud chirp of a bird resonated around a dozing man, and with his once very calm look of peace on his face, he erupted into reality from his painful period of remembrance. A painfully long time passed since World War Two, and in fact it was 1992. March 11, 1992 to be exact, but to the man it seemed like the war happened only a couple years ago. The man’s name was Boris. At first glance he looked very old, and for a man that had experienced World War Two, he was old. Maybe it was his numerous wrinkles that gave his age away, or maybe it was the lines and scars that ran down his face, or maybe it was just the fact that he looked like he had experienced more than anyone would in two life times. But what really gave it away was his pained expression.

Boris was troubled. His life wasn’t taking a turn he wanted, it was taking a turn of it’s own. The problem wasn’t that Boris moved from Ukraine to America after the war, that was the good in his life, for he had a house on a crystal pure lake with a view of the colossal mountains of the Appalachian. The thing that was repeatedly nagging him was the thoughts of repentance for what he had done in the past to arrive at this point in life. What was worrying Boris was his growing guilt and shame for what sporadic choices and paths he had chosen to take. What was worrying Boris, was that he was branded a traitor. How many souls had he given up to those damn Nazis? How many!!?!?! Was the beautiful life he was living now worth the lives of the people he condemned? Yes, the oh so unfortunate answer is no. it isn’t. Now every single day Boris faces this dilemma, and every single day Boris comes to this worsening conclusion. Every single day he thinks of a way to reverse his greedy and selfish actions, and for this very same reason, Boris has come to immense suffering.
Boris stood up, and even as he began to walk away from the clearing he was sitting in, he was shaking. Shaking from the immense burden that he brought upon himself. He walked and he kept walking. He walked away from the clearing until it disappeared from his vision. He walked straight into a meadow, a meadow made up of flowering green grass, and small creeks made of the purest mountain water, nearly silver to the eye. The smells that filled the air! Oh, for any other person it would be paradise! Never had there been crisper and beautiful air than this. But all this beauty had passed unnoticed by the solemn figure gliding through the meadow. To Boris, not many things in life were beautiful.

A house soon showed in the distance, the house where Boris lived. Boris quietly opened the door to his home, and sank down in a soft couch, the brown cushions softening his fall. He sat down, in the false comfort of his home, and he began to think. He spent hours thinking, poring over several thoughts, but only one did he focus on most. And so he sat, he sat and thought about what he had done, and the ways to fix it. An already lit fire place crackled with the popping of dying wood and the wheezing of flames, consuming oxygen from the room and pulling it into a fiery void. The light of day soon turned into the black of night with the moon as the sole illuminator, trying to fulfill the role of the sun. Boris’s eyes closed. As his striking blue eyes folded shut he realized something. Something that would affect his life forever. A life built on a foundation of blood and betrayal is filthy, a life built on a foundation of blood and betrayal isn’t life at all.
The world lit up as the sun strolled in for a visit and Boris’s eyes snapped open. He picked him self up and bowled into the door, leaving it ajar. No one had the slightest idea of where he was headed. No one took the time to care.
He stumbled across a meadow, his arms flailing wildly, and as if he whipped up a storm, the trees began to sway in the breeze. The roar of the trees was deafening, and the leaves swirled and twisted like an upset hornet’s nest, sending waves across the treetops. The storm would have lasted with Boris’s fury, but as quickly as it had begun, it died down. Boris quickened his pace.
When he finally stopped, he was facing a cliff. The view from the cliff was the most spectacular view in the world, and from it was visible the lake and all it’s surrounding mountains. Only Boris came here for another reason, and it had become evident about what his intentions were. Boris had found a way to solve his problem and his guilt. Suicide.
So there he stood, wavering in the wind, fluttering with his guilt, until ……… he jumped. The last thing anyone saw of him was his face, which at the very last moments of his life, seemed to break into a smile. A smile nobody saw on his face for a very long time.

The author's comments:
Inspired by the movie, "Everything is Illuminated"

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