Reb Alter: A Short Story

800 Words4 Pages
The sky was picture perfect, fluffy clouds in the perfect blue sky. Voices, united in hymns rose from the synagogue as birds flew past, adding their song to those of the Jews. Reb Alter was among those singing, his voice shaky and wobbly, but enthusiastic all the same. Sing, O heaven, be joyful, O earth, and break forth into singing! His hand tightly gripping his cane, he fiddled with the dull, familiar hilt. Oh, how Rivkele would have loved this synagogue. As the service finished, Reb Alter hobbled uncertainly out of the synagogue. Must get another loaf of bread. Which way home? Looking around the unfamiliar scenery, he noticed the same man who had led him here.

"Reb Alter," the stout man says kindly, "Let me lead you home."

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The knife skidded across dirt, and the fight was over. Lukas lay unconscious, Max, red-faced and panting like a dog, stood over him.

But the brief altercation hadn't gone unnoticed. Lukas' friends rushed over, pulling out a pistol. Lazer grabbed Max by the arm and started running. Their feet furiously pounded the pavement, not caring where it took them. Lazer glanced back. They were too close. Passing the synagogue, he was surprised to see Reb Alter waiting.

About to duck into another alleyway they were stopped by a shout

"STOP! Keep running and this old man dies!" It was Lukas. Holding Reb Alter with a pistol to his forehead. Max and Lazer turned around slowly.

"Don't shoot Lukas!" Lazer yelled, trying his best to stay calm. "We will give you all the money we have, two thousand zloty. Just don't shoot."

"Fine," Lukas replied, glaring, his face bruised and bloody.

Lazer and Max advanced slowly, pulling the wads of cash out from their pockets. Without warning, Max shot forward towards Lukas. But Lukas was prepared this time and batted Max away with the butt of his pistol. Stunned, Max fell heavily and Lazer continued walking slowly, both hands in the air, towards Lukas. There were two others, both armed, standing behind
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