Title: Seraphic Sin

Author: Tread Softly


Rated: M (for language and adult subject matter dealing with the Holocaust).

Disclaimer: Nothing is mine except the arrangement of words.

It was hours later when he returned to where he had left her. The morning's rays were fighting the heavy smog and cinder that had befallen the camp. Despite their weak light, they had managed to penetrate his fine draperies and collide with his pale, thin eyelids. Making his way down the darkened flight of steps, he had every intension of whipping her thoroughly for not having his meals and papers already set out for him among the polished crystal and china.

As he came to the base of the stairway, he was met with a vaguely familiar and strangely comforting scene laid before him. It represented a purely violent chaos and brought a fleeting smile to his lips. Bottles of wine were strewn randomly about, some half cracked open with their rapidly drying contents pooled upon the dusty floor. He trailed his gaze along the shadowed basement walls until he found an empty space that had previously held the rickety old shelf. A shelf now overturned upon an unmoving ivory shape.

He remembered then. He remembered his fist. He remembered the way his rough knuckles collided with the babysoft flesh of her cheek over and over and again and again. In a sickly sweet bliss he remembered how the blood had pooled from her lip and nose and dripped starkly onto her white chemise. The same chemise she had thrown on desperately to hide her freshly bathen and naked form when he had appeared without warning atop the stairs. She had been trembling from the effect the draft had on her moist skin. Her hair had been dripping, and he had gathered drops upon his fingertips as he had whispered into her ear, "Is this not the hair of a rat?"

Approaching the shelf in dark amusement, he lifted it away and roughly discarded its remnants upon the floor. The shape didn't even flinch at the loud and abrupt noise. Permitting a more observant gaze, Amon decided that the shape was not white, not entirely. Some areas of the shape branched out into soft curving creams and tans marked by deep purples and blues. Those darker hues were new, he remembered, for he had put them there. Looking to his fist, he discovered it sore, and in some places, matching in the same painful colors.

Releasing a gruff and short laugh, he flung his fist to his side and re-settled his gaze upon Helen. Helen, the Jew. Amon's carefully selected Jewish maid. His shameful enjoyment. An enjoyment he would never admit to, for he wouldn't even allow her to wear the star of David. No, of course not. None could suspect he had enjoyed the company of the unclean. No, that would be an intolerable mistake.

Moving to the other side of the cot on which her limbs were carelessly draped, he finally met with her face. Not really a face anymore, but a shadow of what once was. The blood that had flown so profusely from her nose and lip had dried in its place, marring the porcelain beauty of her skin. Bruises were littered upon her high cheeks, blending into each other and the next, coloring her face an unnatural blush. His gaze drifted north, regretfully past her nipples, which like the previous night, were peaking rosily through the thin silk material of her chemise. In the fragile places where the weighty shelf had made contact, rigid holes were torn as was the flesh beneath. Blood singed the edges of the silk, flowering out into intricate patterns and shapes. the gashes were wide, he decided, holding a finger as benchmark to each one. They would take quite some time to heal. Closing his eyes tightly, he was overcome by brief euphoria as he imagined holding her against him, roughly taking hold of her hips, and reopening the fresh, raw wounds.

Reaching out a shaking hand, he moved his nimble fingers closer and closer to where her chest rose and fell in the weak breaths of an endless battle. A battle her body knew well. Dropping his fingertips upon the moistened span of her upper chest, he sifted them around circularly, creating patterns in the thin veil of sweat. As he approached the top hem of her chemise, her form shifted and a feeble moan escaped her cracked lips. Her blackened lids twitched in a disrupted reverie.

"Come back to me, Helen. You have work to do."

He noticed the tiny scratched fingers of her left hand shiver then rise slightly against the cool draft of the cellar. Her eyelids, the color of the rare and expensive grapes glistening upstairs, remained squeezed shut. Her hand continued its ascension to his face. Fighting the urge to viciously slap the meek intruder away, he nearly gasped as her cool flesh collided with his own well-shaven warmth. Mouth agape, curse born ready on his tongue, he muttered something unintelligible as the blood-stained finger traced his thin lower lip.

It was then that her own bruised lips parted and she whispered. He was forced to lean near to her face to understand what it was she felt so important to make such an effort for.

"Seraphic sin."

Upon hearing her soft utterance, he whipped abruptly from her words and the cool touch of her hand.

"What is meant by that?"

Her eyes opened weakly, the bloodshot browns tearing at the sides. A duo of stinging salty drops gliding down her raw cheeks. She looked into him, prying him apart and working her witchery into whatever was left of his blackened, storm-ridden soul.

"Speak up you Jew, you devil!"

Blinking only once and taking in a shallow breath, she did not provide an answer. She did not quake in fear at the prospect of refusing his request for clarification.

He lifted his calloused fist in hopes to strike her again for such insolence. Yet, before he could pursue his punishment, he wanted to see her face. He yearned to gaze upon the fear and pain that would undoubtedly be written across her gentle feminine features. Attributes he admired and enjoyed imminently. The same ones, that for his own macabre reasons, he enjoyed marring and leaving evidence of his power. But this time, her eyes glimmered, free of a fear she had endured so long. Her mangled jaw did not quiver at the sight of his raised hand, and lines of worry did not rise upon her forehead. If anything, she looked at peace with him. In contentment with her fate and willing to accept whatever he was to bestow on her. Amon was at a loss.

"Why do you not shy away from me, Helen? Why do you not tremble?"

Without breaking her steady gaze, she whispered matter-of-factly into the air, "Forgive me, Commandant, for I am weary of your blessings."

How was it that a mere Jew could have such a power over him? Amon wondered, for he was befuddled by the situation. Under normal circumstances, a befuddling jew would mean no more to him then a caulking of his pistol, a bullet or two, and empty casings upon the ground. Helen was different. Though he couldn't bring himself to touch her in tenderness, no more could he raise the cold barrel to her warm temple. No, he enjoyed her far too much, he decided. If she were to be taken out into the woods and released of her servitude, who then would file his nails while he mulled over his tedious military documents? Who would prepare such fine meals and serve tea? Who's hair would he lean forward in hopes of meeting the scent of fresh cut roses and a kitchen during baking? She embodied a wonderful scent that endured despite the ash and smoke of rotting corpses emitted by the camp. A death chamber just yards from where he sat and she lay. A place where her family and friends were slowing losing hope and their lives with every minute that passed. A pity really, that he would not allow her to join them.

Instead, he kept her by his side, beneath his fist, and inside his walls. A different kind of prisoner, one of lesser punishments and greater rations. He wished to give her more, but could he allow himself such a shame? To touch a Jew...to reach out to Helen in her loneliness. To nurture his own angst in the process.

He looked down on her once more, slowly lowering his fist to his side. His wrist collided with the chilly metal buttons on his coat and he shivered openly at the unexpected contact. She noticed his discomfort immediately, and her gaze dropped to his hand. Was he breaking before this rodent? This rat? The so-named lice of this Earth? Was meek little Helen Hirsch causing him such turmoil? Dropping to his knees heavily, he took her still hand in his own, squeezed it tightly and held it to his shaking lips.

"What are you doing to me?" he demanded gruffly in between gentle kisses laid on the expanse of her scarred fingers and torn knuckles. Wounds he had placed there, wounds he wished to multiply, yet wounds he wanted to heal. Amon Goeth's enemy was not an inferior race. It was not a Jewish maid mercilessly at his beck and call. His enemy, however hidden from the surface, was himself.

Unmoving, she watched him as he cracked, as he spilled open, and his demons flew out with a single tear from a weary eye.