When I think about all the hours and effort that would go into space exploration, I feel as though my effort to get Twelve Smooth Stones out there is minuscule; nevertheless, we finally have a date! Thank you for all of your encouragement and support. Am I excited? YES!
I will be posting character sketches including clips from Twelve Smooth Stones over the next few months just to help you to feel like part of the family! I hope you enjoy them AND they pique your interest. Again, many thanks for all your support. I wish I knew who you all are, but unless you write a quick note on the blog or email, I have no clue. I would love to hear from all of you, so if you get a moment, send a comment!
Esther Ruth Raul – main character
Sixteen-year-old Esther and her family live in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The year is 1944, and they have cautiously lived and helplessly watched as the long arm of Nazi tyranny reaches into their community. Now, it has come to their front door.
Monday morning, August 14th dawned dreary. The sun would not shine today! Esther looked out her window as the trees dripped from the evening’s thunderstorm. The air felt fresh and clean and the colors in mother’s garden glistened vibrantly even without the sun. But in spite of all this, there was heaviness in the air. All seemed strangely quiet. Esther would often look back and wonder if nature had a premonition about the day’s agenda. Even the birds were not singing their usual morning canticle of praise to their Creator. She dressed quickly putting the degrading yellow star on her sleeve. Today it seemed to mock her, as if to say,” Here I am, come and kill me!” Last as always, the locket was placed around her neck and tucked underneath her blouse.
As she descended the stairs the sweet aroma of Mother’s morning scones tantalized her stomach! She was hungry! When everyone was assembled, Father bowed his head for prayer and Mother poured the rich brown coffee. Scones and coffee – her favorite! It was a usual morning, the usual amount of banter, the usual clinking of silver and china, the usual sweet fellowship, the usual tasty morsels. All that was missing was the beautiful splashes of color which would adorn their table as the sun’s rays washed in through the stained glass window. Esther instinctively looked up at the window to admire its glowing translucent colors when every shred of normalcy was shattered by a rock crashing through the colored glass. Mother screamed. “What …,” was all Father had time to say before the pounding of the front door brought him to his feet. Ad and Daan were close behind their father as he went to the door. The sense of foreboding seemed to blanket Esther’s world. They were here – shouting and pushing into their privacy – their sweet, tranquil home. At first she thought that they only wanted the men, but two soldiers were heading for her and Mother, shouting, pushing, and cursing. Before she knew what was happening, Esther was outside on the front sidewalk and Mother was behind her. Her precious father and brothers could only watch as their women were herded like cattle out into the street. It was then that she heard her mother’s voice – such angry forbidden words!
“Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him?
Who will say unto him, What doest thou?”