Ragged Cliffs - 1st Chapter


Denmark – February 1945

"To you in the Danish resistance movement I say this: we know what price you have paid and are paying for refusing to be tempted by Nazi threats; we know something of your achievements in harrying and wrecking the German war machine which rolled across your borders nearly five years ago. We admire your steadfastness and skill. Your performance is a valuable contribution both to the Allied cause and to the future prosperity of Denmark….."

Sixteen year old Lise Jacobson listened and tried to under­stand. Her young mind was unable to distinguish between War and hatred. She knew that the words of Winston Churchill being broadcast by the BBC's Danish Service were the only true link to encouragement and hope for most of her country­men.

'Hope', the girl twisted the word around from each corner of her mind and tried hard not to despair. Tonight she was muddled and confused. She had been unable to hate the German conquerors who now occupied her country. Worse, she had become fond of a young German soldier who patrolled the small town where she lived.

The two had spoken with each other on a few occasions and had even enjoyed some short walks together. It was while the girl thought about these encounters with their timid silences and careful smiles that the piercing sound of shattering glass interrupted her innocent romantic fantasies.

The girl was alone; her parents had gone to some friends for the evening. Ignoring the efforts of Churchill at patriotic propaganda she left her chair to see what all the noise was about. Her hometown was a quiet place, crime non-existent; she had no need to fear anything untoward. The cat had probably knocked a milk bottle onto the floor and was now attempting to lick up as much of the creamy fluid as it could before human retribution arrived.

Walking into the kitchen, the girl was confronted by two men. Their heads were covered by woollen balaclavas; two eye holes had been crudely cut from the material. Masked anonymity inspired terror. They knew what they were doing.

Before the girl could scream or utter any sound of shock one of the men grabbed her by the hair and slammed his hand over her mouth. He spoke quietly, the frustrated schoolmaster at the end of a long day, suppressed anger hurting the educated tone.

"Fornicate with the Nazi's would you? You slut."

With that the other man pushed her onto a chair and gagged her with a stinking dishcloth. The girl was too terrified to understand what was happening. She had never experienced, never known such violence and hatred.

Her hands were tied tightly behind the chair; the teacher spoke again, so far the other smaller man had said nothing.

"Beautiful hair you have. What a pity."

He hissed the words into the girl's innocent face. His eyes penetrated. They detested. She tried to turn her head away but there was no escape from the horror that stared at her with such disgust and venom.

The two men tugged and pulled her hair in all directions and began hacking it off with a blunt pair of scissors, cutting her scalp in various places at the same time. Within seconds the kitchen floor was covered with long, shining strands of childish innocence.

Tears poured down the girl's face and mixed with the trickles of blood from her butchered scalp. When the two men had finished cutting, a razor was employed to complete the mutilation. When they had finished their violent efforts at hairdressing they untied the girl's hands and hauled her onto the kitchen table. The girl tried to fight but resistance was futile against the combined strength of her attackers. She tore the right shirt sleeve of the dumb, smaller assailant and even during the nightmare of depraved insanity, saw a dark brown birthmark on his shoulder that resembled almost exactly some preying eagle about to lift its prey off the ground, its talons out­stretched and deadly, the wings spread ready for immediate flight.

The teacher began to undo his trousers, his excitement already apparent, his eyes mad with revenge and lust.

"Fuck with Nazis, you bitch! Well you should find us a luxury shouldn't you," he rasped.

His partner held her arms on either side of the table while the teacher carried out a savage punishment for her disloyalty. He wrenched her legs apart and thrust inside her. His eyes empty of mercy.

Her womanhood was ripped. Torn.

The girl passed out only to be brought round to consciousness by the smaller of the two. He had watched for long enough; he was already bitter at having missed the opportunity to devastate a young woman's virginity. His attack was frenzied and quick. His excitement too far gone to savour a long assault.

The girl never heard the animals leave or their mocking laughter as they slammed the kitchen door.

The two patriots had made a loyal contribution to the freedom of Denmark.

Winston Churchill would have died of shame.

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