Bruno was foreign: he was dark, he spoke with an accent, and he had an odd way of tying knots in most everything he came into contact with. Paper, tissue, blades of grass, napkins, banana peels. He would leave his twisted work behind: a figure eight of notebook paper on the counter of the news stand; a reef knot of flower stems on a park bench; a slip-knot of baling twine on the ground at the strassenbahn stop.
It’s gone midnight and I’m fit for Uncle-Ned, but Bill he’s wide awake. Even more than usual if you ask me. He wants to see if Gillies is still there and I say don’t be daft, Bill, look at the place, London’s in ruins! But he won’t be told no, not these days.
He asks her why she married him. That threadbare, already balding man. That man who came from nowhere, owned nothing, who had to introduce himself to her parents when he asked for her hand. Who her mother had looked away from with eyes that held only one question, and for whom she had lied, nodding. Why, in the summer of her twentieth year, beautiful, pale, staring clear-eyed down the barrel of five years of desperation without the patronage of a well-off family, she had let herself down on him. He asks if it was because of the shortage of men. She’s surprised he knows.
By Annette Oppenlander Based on a true story Solingen, Germany 1946. Bending low against an icy wind, Günter hurried after his best friend Helmut. From afar both boys looked like scarecrows, jackets ill-fitting and patched together, pants ending above the ankles. Günter wore socks of… Read More
By Phillip Donnelly “Oh gawd, he’s sozzled again!” Lord Beaverbrook exclaimed. He held up the brandy bottle to the light, noted it was nearly empty and then shook his head at the rotund figure, slouched over his writing desk, drooling over his papers and snoring… Read More