It has been years since I last set foot on this staircase, decades since I wandered these corridors. Yet I can no longer feel the stone beneath my feet nor contemplate the pain of the memories that this burnt husk of a tower should arouse. I scale the staircase to the last location I saw on this earth as a complete man, the same place my family died before my eyes. As I climb higher I feel myself growing more distant from sensation, as the last vestiges of my soul creep from my physical form. The last emotions I will ever feel manifest themselves as a deep sorrow and a hint of regret. I no longer know love for my fallen family, I no longer feel loyalty to my King. I find myself contemplating what really matters anymore. I am the most powerful being on the planet but where would my loyalty lie? With no soul, no morality, what am I capable of?
I emerge from the top of the staircase on to the roof; I’m an abhorrence of nature, a sullied mark on the beautiful elven glade surroundings. The dullness of the sun no longer surprises me. I turn and look over my once beloved city of Nimgwaithe, the land I once gave my life to protect. I no longer feel that pride, the sense of being and reason for living. Come to think of it, I feel… Nothing.
Brrrrriiiiiiinnnnng The alarm clock rang to disturb the peace in the modest family abode, Wolfgang sleepily rolled over and lazily palmed for the source of the noise to bring his house to silence once more.
“Mmm, already?” Karin, Wolfgang’s wife whispered as she rolled over to find her husband’s chest. He smiled and held her close, enjoying the warmth of her body for a little while longer before he must extract himself from his bed in to the cold of winter which had crept throughout the house during the night.
Crreeeaak A noisy floorboard revealed the presence of Monika on the landing outside, she stood as still as a statue suddenly afraid that the treacherous floor had betrayed her inconspicuous wake up call.
Wolfgang lay there with his eyes closed for a few heartbeats, he was almost sure he could hear his young daughter’s heart racing as she waited outside his bedroom door, “Good morning Monika,” He said, softly, with a smile.
“Daddy! Daddy!” She came running in to the room and jumped on the bed, disturbing the parents in their early morning slumber. The young girl squirmed, wiggled and wedged her way in between them and the three lay there in peaceful bliss.
Monika happily stole her father’s warm space in the bed as he got up, Wolfgang smiled at her before he made his way to the bathroom.
“Love you!” Wolfgang called up the stairs to his wife and daughter as he left the house.
“Love you,” Karin whispered back, which he knew meant Monika had fallen back asleep.
The cramped town gave way to a glistening white countryside in the early frosty morning as Wolfgang made his way to work.
“Morning Lieutenant,” The guard saluted as the family man drove up to the security gate.
Lieutenant Wolfgang was indeed a soldier, a veteran of World War I, but now found himself sat behind a desk; much safer he supposed, Karin and Monika needn’t worry.
“Only 200 this month,” One employee brought him a report as soon as he stepped in to his office, “That’s 20% down on last month,”
“We must widen our search, find more sources; I will get on to the tactical team to build a plan of expansion,” He replied.
Wolfgang sat at his desk and rubbed his head as countless problems preceded endless solutions as his day drew to an end once more.
The Lieutenant stood up, fetched his coat, and made to leave; suddenly he stopped, finger in the air, and turned as he had almost forgotten the lollipop he had in his drawer for Monika. Wolfgang went back to his desk to pick up the all-important sweet for his Princess. On his way out of the office he glanced at the line of Jews queuing to enter the gas chamber it’s just a job, safer than the frontline he thought as he shut the door to go home to his family.