Mind you, the ones I had been to were mostly the temporary camps, which had been hurriedly built to hold 'detainees' while the main camps like Dachau and Auschwitz were being constructed. Those temporary facilities were completely dismantled afterwards and most of their names have been lost to history or mysterious fires that wiped out the entire facility. Not many people hear about those, because no one likes to speculate how the flames seem to claim only only the officers and guards of the facilities.
Tonight, her words came back to me and I began to realize there is much more to my favorite goddaughter than I ever suspected.
Having left Dachau behind we'd continued our travels out of the cities and into the countryside. We were now settled in a little heard of town up north, not too far from Denmark which was to be our next destination. I had been to this place before and several of the older families knew me and were only too glad to put us up when I called a month ago.
Once dusk fell, I was free to wander the countryside and decided to do so. I had a particular destination in mind and had planned on going alone, but Lisa and Annie (her mother) insisted on joining me. To tell them I wanted to be alone would've have been rude. Plus, I know from previous experience, Lisa would've followed me anyway. So I let them come along.
We drove a couple of miles out of town and then came to a wide open field surrounded by trees and flowering fields. As soon as we got out and took a few steps Lisa suddenly froze in her tracks and visibly shivered.
Immediately I sensed what was wrong. Putting an arm around her I said, "You feel it... don't you?"
She'd been taken from me months before and I'd spent the entire time searching for her nonstop. When I finally found where she and the others had been taken I came as quickly as I could. But it was already too late. We were reunited long enough to say goodbye and for me to save those who were still alive. As for the soldiers and officers who were running the place... my wrath consumed every single last one of them, with only a few exceptions. (Again a tale for another entry)
Afterwards the place mysteriously burnt to the ground never to be rebuilt. Perhaps the burned, bloodless bodies discouraged them. Or perhaps what happened to the soldiers who came later to exact revenge on the town for the escape of the prisoners and the destruction of the facility, made them think twice about trying again. Whatever the case, the Nazis avoided the area forevermore. Convoys of trucks and soldiers would take a wide circuitous route around and away from the town and forgot it was even there until after the war ended. Although I heard many time through the grapevine that it was sometimes mentioned in hushed, fearful whispers among the Gestapo who made sure to erase any mention of it from the records.
After getting Lisa and her mother into the car, I quietly excused myself and returned to the field. Normally I would walk the entire spread of the open area, but due to Lisa's reaction I did things a little differently. I rose up into the night sky for about twenty feet and my lower half dissolved into a greenish mist. This cloud columned down to the ground and spread across the entire field. Soon the flowers which were already withered or browning suddenly began to bloom as if it were early spring instead of mid-summer.
This is my special way of 'laying flowers' at gravesites. Cut flowers wilt and die within seconds of being in my presence. As long as they are in the ground and are still alive to some extent I can bring them back to full health, but once dead or dying after being severed, my 'field' seems to accelerate the decomposition.
As soon as the field was lush and full of color once more, I reconstituted and returned to earth. Once there, I knelt down and offered the for those who had been lost.
Much to my surprise, before my prayers were finished, Lisa and her mother appeared on either side of me and knelt down to pray along with me. I had lost family in this place, especially one closer to my heart than any before. But I did not remain alone. I always have family and I will always fight to protect and keep them safe.