A SMILE IN THE SKY...
was waiting for YOU!
Want to smile, my Friend...? If so, hang on!
YOU are Invited to
fly with me back in time... It's going to be a bumpy ride... so hold on to me and be prepared for the unexpected... Oh, yessss! Any secret code word to enter? Yessss...
.... ( It is magical, dear.)
Done... or not... only today, all of a sudden we are not only lighter than a breath of air... We're even invisible as we silently enter through
an open window, a key hole... a crack in a wall... emerge from under an old door... Watch out! Ohhh, dear... Aaa... Achouuuu! Oooops! Sorry! ... too dusty I'm afraid... Ooops! Almost there now... Hope no one noticed us! Naaaah... Come on!
You must meet the protagonist my Willoughby, who is quite a paradox and like opening a sealed, exciting jar... full of... you decide... In need of editing of course, I have called
"Forever and Beyond."
Part One, is called: Nothing is Impossible.
Do forgive the vulgar language at times... You see this is not only a mystery, it is a very, very human novel. I like to think we might be flawed, but fabulous
as well. Oh, yessss!
Merely for a bit of enjoyment for now... and a smile, I present to YOU:
Monk or Minstrel...?
Neuscwanstein Castle Bavaria, Friday April
A short suppressed thump
followed. Mauser quality merged with German efficiency had anew silenced a p08 Luger shot. The more audible second thump was only heard by three men after the tallest of them fell, collided with the old basement floor and blood splashed. The only prisoner
hidden at Neuschwanstein Castle was not simply a dangerous man who knew something the SS needed to discover. Having several unusual talents… he was even able to repeat the same song in an intolerable, London East End Cockney dialect… for days,
but enough had become more than enough. Now there was silence… at least for a few seconds. Blessed silence, on a chilly afternoon…
You are Monk… the Monk who does not pray… Where do you come from? Hell…?
One of the two other men had thought at three in the morning, whilst desperately staring at a large, old Bible.
Now the prisoner had finally stopped being vocal after singing for four days and nights with an unnerving voice… without even eating or taking a sip of water and singing so loud the whole castle might hear him. More than aggravating
and unable to stop the singing, the two other men had not only been incapable of rest or a little sleep. Now however, not a sound came out of the shot man who had kept insisting on the Cockney song ‘The Lambeth Walk’ from the 1937 English musical,
‘Me and my Girl,’ not only popular in Germany. An honoured SS and Nazi Party member had certainly insisted this wicked dance, that even the King and Queen of Britain enjoyed, was just Jewish mischief and animalistic hopping.
Not strutting like a London Cockney nor gone forever… the singing bastard from hell was still smiling like a sardonic, avenging
angel… having a short dark beard wet with blood… and definitely unholy thoughts;
Holy mackerel and corset strings, Gruebel!
Far from smiling, Udo Gruebel’s Commanding Officer, SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer
Reinhardt P. Engel who just a moment ago had barked out;
“Do your duty, Gruebel…
I refuse to hear more of this hellish torture!” Now broke the short silence, purple with rage;
“My ear! He bit my ear off!”
Suddenly pale with shock, SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer ‘Bloodhound’ Engel was
not holding on to the throbbing left side of his head. He stood as unyielding as a bronze sculpture, whilst staring at the blood spattered cutthroat razer on the floor next to his expensive boots, Gruebel had polished… with champagne. The ruthless prisoner
had spattered the shining leather with blood. Unforgiving, tall, blond, blue eyed and immensely proud to be a true German Aryan, Engel was convinced he was of a superior race… a Master Race. Even Christ had now been given blondish hair…
but everyone with a bit of culture knew he had been an Aramean Jew… and all Jews were to be ‘taken care of’ as quickly as possible.
Not showing any weakness, Engel stood refusing to give out a single groan of pain even though he strangely knew he was hurting worse than someone tortured by the medieval Spanish Inquisition, he enjoyed reading about. Convinced he
was as tough as German steel from Solingen, the ‘City of Blades,’ he bit his teeth together with force and did not even wince slightly. Anew, silence invaded the austere small room as he stared at Udo Gruebel. Clearly born a peasant twonk, with
grandparents from ‘Wherever,’ and perhaps even Poland… full of Jews. In March, Britain… Napoleon had called a nation of shopkeepers dared to assure Polish independence, even insisting Britain would come to the aid of the Poles, should
Not taking his chilling light blue eyes away from the shorter German SS officer of lesser rank, Engel was
convinced dowdy Udo Gruebel was of minor quality. Not only were his eyes and hair as brown as shit, Gruebel had shit for brains as well. Engel had no doubt about that.
“Disobeying orders will cost you, ignoramus… Cretin!”
Hearing the insulting blame, Gruebel just stared at the narrow window high up on the wall… safely covered by a steel grid. The skies were grey. It was raining.
Albeit convinced the newly arrived SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer were an ambitious narcissist as well as a sadist, podgy Udo Gruebel suddenly seemed to have unusual compassion;
“If I may… Should have let me shave the singin' bastard, Hauptsturmfuehrer Engel... Sir! It could have been worse… Want the
ear and the doctor, sir?”
Quickly picking the pale, torn ear up from the floor, Gruebel held it delicately up between
his left thumb and index finger and waved it a little as he thought;
The doctor must see
to Captain Engel’s ear… and the…
A human bite was bad but no was no. It was as simple as that and not really the SS Junior Squad Leader’s problem. Besides, it could have been worse,
much worse. Even Adolf Hitler knew that, realizing at a young age a few "things" that usually came in pairs not always did… or a ‘twin’ was lost… The Gestapo however, now seemed to be an excellent representative for Hitler’s
missing twin. A teeny piece of bloodied newspaper covering a cut on Waffen SS-Unterscharfuehrer Udo Gruebel’s clean-shaven, pig-headed chin had lost importance as well. Still aiming his adored semi-automatic Luger at the prisoner with his right
hand, Gruebel just kept gawking mesmerized at the blood-spattered ear he liked to keep, just for the hell of it. Finally, ‘Affable Udo’ gave the still bearded prisoner a brown stare and snarled;
“… You! Professor...!”
The silent prisoner did not move. A swift kick in his shot thigh changed that. Still not uttering a single sound he moved a bit, but only enough to hold up an insulting middle finger whilst thinking:
Fuck you, Gruebel!
Still a puzzle, and refraining from uttering a single word to the nincompoop Gruebel, SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Engel scrutinized the obscene finger, thinking delighted;
Got you… Got you! The Americans give the middle finger! The British ‘Up Yours’… is made with the index and the middle finger… looking
like a victory sign… You are an American Schweinehund… Mister Monk! Jawohl! Hah! Finally, a mistake…
having solved the puzzle of the prisoner’s nationality, Engle received his cold ear, now wanting the doctor as well, but still not mentioning any medical help, for finally finding out who the prisoner really was might be a piece of ‘Apple Strudel;’
You will be proud of me, Mother!
Content, Engel held a cautious hand up to the wounded, jagged skin where his ear had been. The pain was excruciating…
Be brave… think of something lovely…!
A man with culture, Erhardt began to think of the painter Vincent van Gogh and his missing ear as he even tried to smile but failed. The right side of his head was throbbing, as if a brutal sledge
kept pounding on it… Thump… thump… thump…!
The irony of this was tremendous, for this clandestine
prisoner was not to be tortured. At least not the in any of the usual ways… Engel however, was proud to be a specialist in many effective and interesting ways of torture. Fear was clearly the worst torture, with so many still fearing death
and the hot, eternally burning inferno of hell. Christianity had certainly proven that.
To hell with van Gogh!
Barking into a ‘reserved’ telephone in Berlin, it was Heinrich Luitpold Himmler
himself who had called Engel, and a great honour. Leading SS since 1929, Reichsfuerer Himmler was not only Chief of the Protection Squadron and a leading member of the Nazi Party. Answerable only to Adolf Hitler, he was one of the most powerful men in Germany
and certainly the Leader of the Death Sculls. His Godfather had been Prinz Heinrich of Bavaria. Heinrich Himmler had not only told Engel to do his duty, an order from him was law as he insisted;
“SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Erhardt Percival Engel… You are now the head of the Confidential Operation… ‘Thumb.’ Do your duty! Discover
and prove who this prisoner is, and promptly! Relying on your expertise… the Fuerer Adolf Hitler wishes to see you and him in May, so never… I repeat never torture this prisoner… tangibly! Heil Hitler!”
Instructions coded by the German unbreakable and modified Enigma I services arrived two days later with more detailed orders ….
As well as several fine French wine and champagne bottles and luxurious, pale silver grey Persian caviar. Always efficient and never asking any questions, Reinhardt Engel had already received The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross… with Oak Leaves.
Done well, this new ‘secret operation,’ could end in another generous promotion. Ardent with admiration, Engel had simply answered Himmler in his ‘discreet’ SS office in the ‘secured basement’ at Neuschwanstein Castle of
all places, exclaiming;
”Jawohl! Yes… Herr Reichsfuerer!” Several times, finally
ending with an enthusiastically;
Engel had even banged his champagne polished boots doggedly together to confirm he adored Adolf Hitler, Chancellor and Head of the German State as well as the armed Schutzstaffel,
shortened to SS.
Now holding gently on to his severed ear, he finally gave Gruebel an ice cold stare before he exploded;
“Not… to be tortured, cretin Gruebel! Not shot trying to flee, the shot done by you is
torture, dumbass peasant! You… are to blame! You will be severely punished! By the Fuerer Adolf Hitler… which means… shot! Find the doctor!”
“Yes, Sir!” If I may…”
“You may not!” It was a brassy howl a pack of wolves would have been proud of.
Even so Gruebel quickly put away
the Luger insisting;
“I was only defending you, Sir… I might be wrong…
but there appeared to be a sudden… ehem… interest to cut the prisoner’s throat from ear … to ear… and summa sumarum… the animal might have bitten off your Roman nose as well… the fine nose of a leader, Sir! Imagine!”
Engel gave him a stare that could have frozen hell. The peasant twonk was partly right, but before he could answer, Gruebel had escaped
to find the doctor. Engel sat heavily down on the only rickety excuse of a chair in the small room and began to stare holes in the air. Not having much if any compassion for anyone, but the thought of such an atrocity done to himself, was more than torture.
Abruptly wishing he was home in Solingen…. But impatient, his irritated eyes scrutinized the floor and the blood… all of sudden shining like full bodied red Merlot wine as lightening sent dazzling fingers all over the dark skies and thunder boomed,
once. The dark clouds were gone so sudden, the grey rainy light came as a shock. Engel just stared at the lower part of the hated mask on the floor that had not even covered all of the prisoner’s neck. Removing it to shave him, even so the back of his
head and robust neck was still covered by black leather. Clearly dark haired, he was no longer sticking out a hairy, mulish chin under an unruly dark moustache that still covered most of a determined, yet full mouth. Again, Engel’s eyes asked for
the umpteenth time;
Why… the mask…?
There had been very little information about the mask, but Reinhardt ‘bloodhound’ Engel had certainly been sniffing around and
had found an interesting yet not verified explanation from Berlin, he still had to read. He was certain this clandestine prisoner was almost to be treated like royalty. Surely a man who liked to play cerebral games… For now he was still sleeping like
many common soldiers on the floor, yet he never complained… neither of the cold, the lack of water, the filthy bucket Gruebel emptied in the morning, but never washed, his drinking cup… Engel enjoyed pissing in, or his meagre bowl of food covered
by the SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer’s gobs of spit. Instead the often amused Professor found ‘remedies’ and even smiled. Not saying much… Engel knew he was like a deadly scorpion. The sting was suddenly there, but strangely a gentleman…
there was a warning first and more…
The German he spoke like a native turned out to be perfect, but so was his
upper-class British English, Cockney dialect, French, his American English, his Russian, Swedish, Spanish, Turkish, Chinese, Polish, Italian and more… and utterly confusing. He knew Hindi and other languages of India well and even spoke like an Arab.
Convincing, this prisoner was clearly a language genius with an unusually high intellect, not only understanding well Latin and Greek. A few times he had even mentioned things in detail, Engel had no idea what was, whilst aggravating serious Engel almost to
madness with humour insisting;
“The more I learn… the more I discover how
very little I know.”
Smiling a bit, showing perfect, American movie star teeth yet obviously humble, Engel could not
hate him more. Even polite and enthusiastic, the large wheels on Engel’s new German reel to reel Magnetophone tape recorder had turned around and around for hours whilst the brown magnetic tape kept picking up what the prisoner read, said and even translated
with a very pleasant, easily recognizable deep voice. Engel had quickly sent the tapes to SS specialists. Every time the outcome had been the same and Engel’s patience had almost come to an end. Now several learned professors kept insisting he was a
native German, an Englishman from Kent, or a native Frenchman, or an Italian from Sicily and more… and even Welsh, Scottish or Irish, but there was never a single specialist who had heard of someone who spoke so many languages. One professor even insisted
he sounded… ‘Medieval’ once, in Both English and French.
On top of all that, orders
were that only the lower half of the mask he wore could be removed before shaving the prisoner. His hair was not to be cut. The stubborn bastard clearly in his late twenties or very early thirties was a large, well-built man well over 6 feet 2” and certainly
someone sticking out in a crowd. The colour of his eyes could not be seen, nor his ears, but he could see and hear through holes in the leather mask, thoroughly closed by a strange lock stuck to the side near his left ribs with several wires. Heinrich
Himmler had insisted; If broken or opened in any way, the lock would not only send off an alarm, it would clearly kill him and perhaps even those around him, and then nothing. What then…? Adolf Hitler himself wanted to see him in May and Engel would
rather shoot himself now than being ‘served a dishonourable Luger’ later.
Yes, fear is torture… Engel could not agree more.
Said to even be a fighter pilot, the Professor was
too tall to be a German fighter pilot and a traitor, for any German taller than 6 feet 2” was not accepted by the German Luftwaffe. This was mostly due to the small size of the fighter plane cockpits of the German backbone, the Messerschmidt Bf 109.
Sorely needing fighter pilots, the British Royal Airforce had not set any height limits, and the Americans had not declared war.
Are you the bastard with the ‘bloody Thumb’…? I shall soon find out who you are… Mister Monk… Yes!
Engel desperately thought, longing for the doctor to arrive. Always feeling nauseous seeing his own blood, he refused to stare at the blood spotted handkerchief he had wrapped
his ear in. His eyes slid over the Professor who was no longer smiling and wondered what his ears looked like. Ears were a good source used to identify, for nobody had exactly the same ears just like a solid male ‘magic wand’… much lower,
mostly only women saw… but hardly photographed. Not necessarily a Jew, even though there was an indication that he perhaps could be…
Chained at night and made unable to be violent, even so the tall bastard had anew found a way to torture Engel. Usually done with clever sophistication and never physical violence, the ‘Professor’ full of wit was enormously
good at this ‘game.’
Gruebel had first tried to find the doctor using a field telephone in the usual brown bakelite
box with a swivel, but no one answered. Hurrying down a short basement corridor with four fairly small locked rooms, earlier used as storage rooms for the finest priceless treasures that had been quietly removed, but such art treasures certainly kept
arriving on covered military lorries to be safely placed at this exclusive ‘art depot.’ After finally opening and closing the door at the end of the corridor Udo stared at the sign on the solid oak door, now fortified by hidden steel;
WARNING! Do NOT Enter!
Quickly seeing the SS Death Scull on his uniform cap, and just saluted ‘Heil Hitler,’ Gruebel was never spoken to or asked any questions by anyone outside. Sick to his back teeth of Hauptsturmfuehrer Engel, now there was even admiration
in Gruebel's nasty grin. Today forbidden had gotten a whole new meaning. Smiling a little, he certainly looked forward to finding the doctor…
Copyright©2013 Kari M. Knutsen
Hope you enjoyed my unedited scribbles! If you did, or did not please leave a commentary telling why in a few
words. Love to hear from You! Oh, yes!
I Thank you, my Friend!