Recap: Bayla is left in charge, and suddenly the air raid siren goes off. In the meantime, Mimi has a high fever and doesn’t understand she has to leave the house.
There was an ear-splitting boom. The house shook. It was close, too close.
A bookcase in the living room tumbled down and a lamp tipped over. I quickly ran over and unplugged it.
“Mimi,” I yelled. “Mimi you have to come with me.”
Mimi was lying in bed with her eyes closed. I felt her forehead. It was burning hot. Mimi opened her eyes but she didn’t seem to know what was happening.
“Please, Bayla. I’m so tired.”
“Mimi, they’re bombing. We have to go.”
She didn’t respond. “Look, Bayla, pictures on the wall. Cartoons all colorful.”
She was pointing at the bare wall. I felt my heart start to pound. Mimi was delirious with fever. How would I get her out?”
I asked Hashem to please help me find the right words to get Mimi out.
There was another whistle and another huge explosion. I heard more furniture falling in the next room. We had to get out of here and fast.
I whispered in her ear as I gently pulled her to a sitting position. “Yes, pretty pictures. Come, I want to show you more.”
Mimi let me take her hand. I grabbed her blanket and I guided her out the door. I pulled her towards the shelter.
Thankfully, she followed. When I got her inside, I shut the door and guided her towards a bed in the back corner. I covered her. She was babbling about pictures.
“What’s wrong with her?” Shoshie asked.
“She gets high fevers, but I don’t remember her ever being delirious. I’m worried. We need to get a doctor.”
In the light of the flashlight, Shoshie and I looked at each other. How would we get a doctor now?
“I wish my parents were home.” Shoshie said the same thing I was thinking.
I remembered that there was a doctor on Corner Street a few blocks away. We’d gone there with Benny once when he had an earache.
I would have to wait until the bombs stopped flying, but then I would have to go get him. We had no choice.
I found a washcloth and wet it and wrung it out and placed it on Mimi’s forehead.
Benny cuddled next to me. “Is Mimi sick?”
I nodded. “Please, tell me and Kot a story. Kot is scared.”
The poor kitty was trembling.
“Okay,” I said. “Come sit with me over there.”
I sat next to him, and through more whistles and booms, I wove another story about the prince and his magic cat.
When Benny was tucked in and the whistling finally died down, I told Shoshie, “I am going to go to the doctor’s house now.”
Shoshie was lying down next to Benny and Fraidy. “Okay, Bayla. I’ll hold down the home front here.”
Mimi was calling out for Mama.
“What should I do for her?”
“Keep putting wet clothes on her head. G-d willing, I’ll be back soon with the doctor.”
I headed out into the dark night. The backyard was so still. All the night creatures were hiding from the terrible noises. I tried to get my bearings. The only light came from a sprinkling of stars and a slice of crescent moon. I headed towards the street. I followed the white stripe. I usually have a good sense of direction. I was able to find North with the help of the North Star. It was strange walking in the middle of the night with no streetlights and no sounds. Suddenly, something jumped out at me.
I screamed. Two green eyes were staring at me. I started shaking. My neck muscles tightened. I froze.
To be continued…
Susie Garber is the author of Denver Dreams, a novel (Jerusalem Publications, 2009), Memorable Characters…Magnificent Stories (Scholastic, 2002), Befriend (Menucha Publishers, 2013), The Road Less Traveled (Feldheim, 2015), fiction serials and features in various magazines including A Bridge in Time, historical fiction serial (Binyan Magazine, 2017). She writes the community column for The Queens Jewish Link and she writes freelance for Hamodia. She works as a writing consultant in many yeshivahs and she teaches creative writing to students of all ages.