Low Light #HolocaustMemorialDay

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The Atlantic rain hammers the windows, in the grey skies the birds are still, hesitant.

Is it the impossible memory, the fear to forget, to ignore, someday to face the nightmare, in our lives?

Those who deny, wrote Primo Levy, are ready to start again. Is it possible?

But then we know, in our time, not that far from us.

We look at the sky, the fast fleeing clouds, we hear the rumble of the city. We think of the long war, the fight for survival. Is this peace an illusion?

Yesterday we saw snowdrops on the edge of the woods, near the valley we love. The earth lives on.

Despite everything we do.

Photo: Käthe Kollwitz’ Pietà, Berlin Neue Wache, Unter den Linden, © 2014 Honoré Dupuis

Ambushed

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I know they are there, well hidden, but making sure I am aware of their presence, just in case I was about to forget. This is tyranny, being on an apparent lose leach, but one that can be shortened at no notice: suddenly the pain, the endless despair.

I see a glimmer of blue in the sky. No frost last night. There is hope in the air.

How long will it take? I know they are expert at rearguard actions too. Signs of withdrawal  can be deceptive! Like this weather, it can move swiftly back to ice and doom.

Marking time, observing, solace in sleep.

Spring will come.

Image: Max Clarenbach

Multitude

Rotavirus Reconstruction

 

They land in waves, silent and lethal. It starts with this crippling feeling in the arms, the shoulders, then the vice at the back of the neck. The throat is soon paralysed, breathing becomes a struggle.

Soon the only respite is sleep, assisted by Codeine. Their numbers are beyond mathematics: maleficent molecules to the end of the world… They need no rest.

But where do they come from? They resist everything, there is no treatment, only time.

The world smells and tastes different: one is inhabited, the alien bodies have taken charge. Their weapons, suffocation and pain, a diluted slow death.

Each morning begs the question: when will they withdraw? But they are in no hurry. The host, weakened into lethargy, is powerless, the flesh submissive.

Maybe, this time, they will stay?

Image: Rotavirus reconstruction, ​English Wikipedia user GrahamColm [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Pale criminals, a reading of Berlin Noir by Philip Kerr

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1969-054-16, Reinhard Heydrich

Bernhardt Günther is a tough guy, a survivor of the trenches of the Great War, a cop, a man who loves women, and his city, Faust’s metropolis, Berlin in the 30s.

In March Violets – evoking the cynical opportunists who join the Nazi party late, and buy their way to a low number party card for political advantage – Bernie is a private gumshoe commissioned by a powerful industrialist to recover a precious, and priceless, diamond necklace. The Berlin background of the early years of the Nazi government, the corruption, the fear, the victims, are beautifully drawn, as the plot unfold, at each turn revealing the villainies of a régime that amounts to rule by gangsters. There is more than a diamond necklace in the chase, and Bernie will end up, under the icy blue eyes of Reinhard Heydrich, number 2 in the SS, in the Dachau concentration camp. Bernie survives, by skill and luck.

In the Pale Criminal a sadistic murderer of young aryan women roams the Berlin streets. Sensing a motive that would trouble his sense of law and order, Heydrich drags Bernie back into the Berlin Kriminal Polizei, the Kripo, because he trusts his skills and independence of mind. But there is more to those crimes than one demented mind. As more dead bodies are discovered, and the truth slowly appears, Bernie’s convinced of more horrors to come. The year is 1938, and soon it will be Kristall Nacht, the “spontaneous expression of the German people’s anger”…

A German Requiem finds Bernie in the ruins of Berlin. He has survived the disaster of the Nazi defeat, escaping death both from SS execution squads and Soviet uranium mines. Called upon to save an old acquaintance, a colleague from his Kripo days, accused of the murder of an Americal officer,  Bernie goes to Vienna, the year is 1947. Old Nazis fight for their survival, sometimes by selling their skills to the Americans, or the Soviets. Vienna’s not a heap of burning rubles as Berlin still is, but it’s an occupied city. Black market and prostitution are the main sources of income for the locals, and others. Nothing is what it seems, old enemies may pose as allies, women’s lives are cheap, from the ruins of the old a new world has yet to be born. Bernie fails, and yet resolves the riddle. His wife is in Berlin, he’s in Vienna, and Faust’s metropolis is now blockaded by the Soviets.

Kerr’s knowledge of the Berlin geography and recent history is to be lauded, this backdrop to the character of Bernie Günther perhaps one of  the main charms of the stories. His pictures of villains are remarkable: similarities with gangster-politicians in our time must be the result of sheer coincidence.

Berlin Noir, by Philip Kerr, Penguin Books, 1993

Image: Porträt Reinhard Heydrich in der Uniform eines SS-Gruppenführers ca. 1940/1941, German Federal Archives, Bild 146-1969-054-16

#DailyPrompt: Third Rate Romance #WritersWednesday

Tell us your funniest relationship disaster story.

 

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She was hot, not the provocative sort, but of the unmissable type. We observed each other for a while. The skies were low, the air cold. She wore sheepskin and high boots. I had a sense that she would take the initiative: she did.

Once in my studio she proved to be a quiet girl, but willing to tell her story.

But there was that oddity: eager to shed all her clothes, but for her boots. At first I thought it was a joke, but it somehow calmed me down.

I looked into her eyes. The light I saw was not of this world. I admit: I used force, the boots were now on the floor.

In a brief spark of light I saw the hooves, then “she” was gone.

Tricked again.

This is Your Life #DailyPrompt #faith

If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.

Charles Marville - Porte sud de la Cathédrale de Chartres

I do not need you to learn about the past, and I do not trust you.

As for the future, you are the great Manipulator, of events, of souls, of us, poor mortals. So I won’t be fooled, I’ll make my future with my friends, those who love mankind, and share my faith.

Keep your lies, there is only one Book I trust.

 

 

 

 

 

Image: Charles Marville – Porte sud de la Cathédrale de Chartres, 1854, via photos-de-france

Humble Pie #DailyPost

Tell us about a time you found out after the fact that you’d been mistaken and you had to eat a serving of humble pie.

Devil – horror concept by Yi Yang Chen“I’m so sorry my friend, I really apologise to you (poor bugger), how could I be so ruthless?”

The little demon keeps agitating in his bag, squeaking.

“I know, I know, you were quietly walking the street, sniffing the air, looking at the girls, watching the traffic… and there comes this big bully.”

He sees you, seizes you, knocks you on the head, kicks your bum, and then, horror and misery, stuffs you in this filthy bag!

“What did you say? You will complain to your master? O-yes, I’m sure you will, once I have finished with you – vile creature!”

A huge hand slaps him through the coarse material of the bag. How undignified for a supporter of Lucifer!

Image: Devil – horror concept by Yi Yang Chen

#DailyPrompt: Literate for a Day

Someone or something you can’t communicate with through writing (a baby, a pet, an object) can understand every single word you write today, for one day only. What do you tell them?

Hat by © Crina PridaSo, you can read me now! I am so glad. I have wanted to tell you for a long time: you may hide, pretend not to exist, play this silly game: but it won’t work.

I know where you are, I can see your every move, even your thoughts you cannot conceal from me.

You see, I have eyes everywhere, and whatever disguise you chose, I know who is behind the mask: you cannot escape me.

If you were intelligent, as opposed to being what you are, a stupid demon pretending to be human, even beautiful at times, you would understand that time is up. But you are not, you still believe your evil master will save you.

Image: Hat by © Crina Prida