Free at Last

Ninety one year old widower, Hank Wolf sat near his front window over the coffee shop, skimming today’s newspaper. The sports section and several pages of advertisements were on the floor at his feet. Suddenly the name John Demjanjuk caught his eye. Hank reached above him and turned on the floor lamp for more light. “My Gott,” he thought, “After all this time they are still hunting down war criminals”  He read the article. Demjanjuk, 88, was being deported to Poland for 29,000 counts of accessory to murder. He was only a Nazi guard at a concentration camp. Hank skipped the accompanying article by Nazi hunter, Efraim Zuroff.

 If, in their zeal, they would deport a lowly guard, what would they do to him, a Captain of the Guards, back in the days when his name was Hans Giesler, and he was a young captain at Treblinka. This deportation, he decided, was a good reminder; you can never let down your guard.

He picked up the chipped cup from the side table, and took a sip of coffee. It had grown cold. He envied the people downstairs, which could afford to pay two dollars, or more for a cup of coffee. He reached for his cane and stood on wobbly legs. In the small kitchen, he poured out the cold coffee, and filled his cup with fresh. The café below him was new; it had only been there for a few months. Back in nineteen fifty one, when he and Erma had rented the apartment it was a tailor shop. It was much quieter back then, but no one bought tailor made clothes anymore. Everything now came from Japan. What irony.

 Hank lowered himself gingerly into his chair by the window. He reached up and clicked off the lamp, and for the briefest of seconds he thought the bulb had burnt out. Hank was dead before he was cast out the window along with the wall and all his furnishings

The End

27 comments about this story Feed