Willie's War Ch. 02bySnurge©
Celina Dietz was in love. She loved Ravenskopf. Or at least she loved the status that living in such a fine house gave her. As she walked disconsolately to the window, she stared with fierce possessiveness over the lawns and flowerbeds that bordered the house. This was her home, it was the place she had been born, and she knew every inch of it with the familiarity of long use. How could her brother even suggest that she leave it all to live in a grubby town suburb?
As a small child she had known a time when famous people had enjoyed hospitality beneath its roof; it had been a time when her family had owned estates that stretched back almost to the Oder. There had been picnics and hunts and wonderful parties in those days, but then had come the bleak time of the 1920s when the value of the Deutschmark became virtually worthless, and practically overnight the family fortune had dwindled to nothing. They had to sell most of the land around them simply to maintain a decent standard of living, and keeping such a large building in good repair soon became impossible.
With her father always so detached from everyday life and engrossed in his work it should have been Eduard's responsibility to put things right, but her brother was a boyish devil-may-care adventurer even in maturity and he had no idea how to do it. Instead she had taken upon herself the task of saving everything from falling into ruin. On coming of age she had encouraged a wealthy industrialist to court her, and his promise of marriage seemed to be the answer to everything.
Damn the man, for he had deserted her well before any wedding, and from that time on she had sought to take out her spite on all men in whatever way she could. Having a handful of emasculated males around her was a sop to her vindictiveness. She took pleasure in their humiliation, delighted in bullying them, and revelled in controlling everything they did.
In the library Willie was composed when she entered. The room was a cool place, having the benefit of the northern light, but seldom direct sunshine. Nevertheless the book-lined walls were warming.
It was the seventh day since his arrival, and fully expecting her visit he leapt to his feet as he'd learnt was expected when she entered a room. By birth and training he was very German: prompt, organised and disciplined, and before him covering the whole tool leathered surface of the desk lay batches of papers; the professor's notes, divided and subdivided into relevant divisions, each neatly clipped together and fronted by a tag for his own guidance. The notes were so profuse that a dozen other piles had been laid out on the floor.
The woman waved him back into his seat. "Have you read everything?"
"Yes, Fraulein Dietz."
"What do you think?"
He drew in a deep breath. "It's an extraordinary study. Your father was truly a diligent and dedicated man."
The woman nodded and without saying another word she walked across the room and opened a cupboard to reveal a typewriter. "Did you learn how to use one of these whilst in Heidelberg?"
He nodded. "Yes, but my speed isn't very good."
"I'm sure it will improve as you go along. There is plenty of paper in the cupboard underneath, so I want you to begin writing-up the notes at once."
Willie slowly sank back into his chair, a slight expression of trepidation on his face. "There is something I've been meaning to speak to you about, Fraulein Dietz."
"About the notes?"
"Yes, Fraulein Dietz."
"Well, go ahead. Spit it out."
"Your father, the professor, from what he's written I believe he was seeking evidence to confirm the existence of a past master-race."
"Yes, I glad you understand that much. He took it upon himself to establish the truth about the racially superior Aryan people of antiquity from whom all true Germans are descended. It is a subject Herr Hitler himself is most passionate about and I believe my father's work will answer all the outstanding questions."
Willie only half-smiled, in fact he almost winced. "Oh, um...er, perhaps you shouldn't expect too much. It would probably be unwise to claim that all the questions have been answered. The Herr Professor clearly worked long and hard on the subject, but I don't think he has provided any real proof that a master-race ever existed."
The woman responded with blank look of dissatisfaction and dismay as pride and indignation warred within her. "You must be mistaken, Willie dear. My father's health was not at its best towards the end of his life, but he was a very learned man who was revered by his peers. He wouldn't have spent his last five years researching something that couldn't be proven." She gave a dismissive wave of her hand. "No, no. Clearly you have skimmed too quickly through his work and missed something important. You'd better read everything again."
Willie was certain that he'd missed nothing. So often bewildered by everyday life a change came over him when placed in front of any kind of text. His brain cleared at once, it came naturally to him. It always had. It was no lucky chance or favour that had won him a place at a university in Heidelberg. He could analyse the written word with such clarity that discrepancies glared out like the headlights on a car. Modest and still lacking self-belief he regarded such a gift as mere common-sense, but it was a kind of common-sense that few others possessed.
He had quickly observed that contradictions abounded in Professor Dietz's notations, and they were full of theories, assumptions and biased opinions that lacked any evidence. Taken as a whole the notes comprised a mass of wishful-thinking, and he had decided early on that the learned professor must have been descending into dementia when he compiled them.
"I assure you I've already read everything very thoroughly, Fraulein Dietz." he insisted bravely.
For a moment the woman's facial features froze and only her eyes glared menace. But then a storm broke, her cheeks reddened, her lips twitched and words poured out in an enraged torrent. "Have you indeed? Well perhaps I should remind you, little Willie, that my father held professorships in anthropology and eugenics before you were even a gleam in your father's eye."
Without warning she grasped the top of his head, wrapped her fingers in his hair and pulled viciously. Willie squawked, but his anguish was ignored.
"I will accept no truck from effeminate upstarts such as you who think they know better than him." she continued. "The Aryan people did exist. My father proved it and you will record that fact."
Completely dismissive of Willie's discomfort she bounced his head up and down then rocked it cruelly from side to side. "You will do as I wish and make a good job of it, or I'll inform the police of whom you really are and tell them how you tricked me into employing you. And I'll tell you now, if you don't already know, that wretches who purposely try to avoid military conscription are thrown into a Konzentrationslager where conditions are not pleasant."
At last she released him, and gradually her look of hostility faded. A softness, even a glint of amusement came into her eyes as she smiled her careful tight-lipped smile at him. "Being a conscript-dodger is a crime, and being homosexual is illegal. Do look at everything again, dear, I'm sure you will find the inspiration you need. After all, breaking rocks to make roads and being marched out every day to lay railway lines in the middle of winter would ruin your fingernails. You'd hate that, wouldn't you?"
Expelling an audible grunt, she strode purposefully toward the door but swung about sharply before departing. "I wish to have my father's work in book form, so by Friday I want to see the outline of an introductory chapter."
When she'd gone Willie collapsed in misery behind the desk. Doing has she demanded was impossible, but the consequences of not doing it were terrifying. How on earth was he to get out of this fix?
He toyed with the idea of going home, but that wouldn't do either. His mother was a solid Party Member whose main pastime was denigrating those who weren't. If he went home she would despair of him and ensure he enlisted in the army at once, when the only thing he really wanted to do was appreciate art and read well written books, and perhaps one day write a book of his own.
He glanced scornfully at the piles of yellowing papers in front of him. His mother would say that here was his chance to write a book, but how could he make a book from a mass of such inconsistencies and faulty ideas?
It then occurred to him that perhaps he could do something. If he bent the professor's research and twisted the facts a little he may even come up with something that would satisfy his obsessive host.
He carried the typewriter to the desk and stared at it for a while when he'd inserted some paper, then with a single first finger and his heart heavy with misgiving, he typed the first line.
Breakfast was never a thing to look forward to. Slices of bread, scraped over with beef dripping, when dripping was available, was all that was provided. It was a rule impossible to thwart since the lady of the house kept the kitchen larder locked until Frau Klausen arrived, and when the cook had gone she made a personal check of things inside before locking it again. Loti said, only half joking, that she knew every egg inside by number and every potato by name.
Lunch was little better since Frau Klausen always provided house staff with food that was the cheapest in the town market. Hunger drove Willie Froehlich to eat as it drove everyone, but at Ravenskopf eating was rarely a pleasant experience.
Fraulein Dietz herself lunched with people every alternate day, but few of her guests had any allure. Most in fact reminded Willie Froehlich of the villains that inhabited Grimm's fairytales; a miscellany of witches, ogres and knaves.
One lunchtime he looked on enviously as a silver flat loaded with succulent looking breasts of poultry masked with rich red wine sauce was taken into the dining room, accompanied by a plate of obazdabrot oozing cream cheese and onions.
"Is she entertaining someone today." he asked.
"Yes, Otto Hahn." Rosalyn said. "Otto is her solicitor, and from the snatches of conversation I hear at times like these I have the impression he's a shifty character who's helping her to hang on at Ravenskopf, probably by using the kind of tricks and shady deals only legal minds can understand."
Mildly taken aback Willie expressed his surprise. "But he's a professional man, and professional men should have scruples. Do solicitors do shady deals?"
His innocence caused Rosalyn's mouth to crease with mirth. "Do dentists pull teeth? He gives the Fraulein's difficulties a great deal of attention, and in return she allows him some freedom with people here, if you know what I mean. He fancies himself as some sort of Don Juan with Loti and me."
Willie wrinkled his nose. "That's disgusting."
"No, that's life." Rosalyn replied fatalistically.
By that time Willie was beginning to understand that such arrangements were not unusual at Ravenskopf. As a reward for favours Fraulein Dietz often entered into a conspiracy, and following lunch she would allow her guests freedom to roam about the house and gardens and amuse themselves in whatever way they wished. And what they usually wished for was some time alone with one of the maids. Just two days previously he had noticed a fierce looking old man disappear into the disused part of the house with Rosalyn, reappearing sometime later smiling with contentment, with his white moustache plastered with red lipstick and the front of his trousers unbuttoned.
Willie was wary about being drawn into such cold affairs and always retreated to the library as quickly as he could. But following lunch that day he almost collided outside the kitchen door with Otto Hahn. He was about fifty years old with a fat face and black hair slicked back and plastered down with brilliantine. For several moments he was aware of the man's undressing stare, and his face wasn't a pleasant face. Somehow it seemed all mouth -- mouth and lips -- a big wet mouth and flabby lips, until he smiled, when it became predatory.
Otto Hahn at once became predatory. "Ah! You must be the new one called Willie. Fraulein Dietz mentioned she had fresh meat in her larder. I must make a point of taking lunch here more often in the future."
Blushing with indignity Willie stared at him. "I doubt we are ever likely to dine together, Herr Hahn."
He leered, his teeth showing in a white line, like those of a rabid animal. To judge by the fixed, uncaring expression in his eyes he was incapable of warm affection and thrived on lust. "You miss my point, sweet poppet," he teased, "Not inexperienced, are you? Not exactly untouched by human hand, I vouch. The buttocks of a sweet tart such as you I would expect to find on the menu."
Willie shuddered with revulsion. Appalled at hearing the man's tittering laughter he could hardly bear to look at him. He felt intimidated, and to avoid further conversation he stepped back into the kitchen and then went through to the garden at the back where he almost collided with Günter.
"Willie, my love, I haven't seen you for a couple of days. Have you been in hiding?"
"No, I've just been busy. I only hide from people I dislike, and you aren't one of them."
The man swung a broad arm around his slender waist. "I've shown you the garden, now allow me to show you the rest of the house."
"I've been told it's in bad repair."
"Sadly, it's almost a ruin." Günter said.
When they walked along the rear elevation it was clear that Ravenskopf had once been a grand house, but impressive as it was Willie could see as they made their way along its exterior that there had never been any attempt to stun the visitor with an expansive stony courtyard as was the case at Versailles and Schonbrunn, instead a simple colonnade faced onto a small stream which framed a view across water to a great zone of resin-scented pinewoods on the far side.
Günter swung him about and walked him up a ramp. The unused part of the house was entered by a neoclassical portico, and a person with time to spare could enjoy taking the air beneath the eyes of long-suffering caryatids that supported its heavy entablature.
Beyond a rococo decorated vestibule lay the magnificence of a central hall. The vast oval chamber, now devoid of furniture, was floored and walled with Carrara and green Prato marble of the most delicate vein and hue and Corinthian columns stretched up high into a central cupola. This area had obviously been commissioned by a person of exquisite taste long ago and was a room that would have been incredibly impressive in its prime. But now could be whiffed the smell of damp and decay. The walls were in a desperate state, the plaster blistered and brown stained with water spots, the grime laden marks speaking of rain seeping in from the roof over a number of years. The longer he stood in that vast hollow space the more it fitted with the idea of a forsaken cathedral or gigantic elaborately carved cave.
It was dingy inside, and nervous of encountering spiders amid the gloomy shadows Willie felt along the wall for a light switch, found one, and found it didn't work.
"There are no electrics in this part of the house." said the man with him, gazing down at the youthful girlish form in his arms and pressed her against the wall. She was so fragile he feared he may bruise her. And yet even while that thought flitted through his mind, he drew her even closer, until he could feel the thundering of her heartbeat on his own chest. His hands were all over her, she was letting him touch and feel freely. He was licking her ears and biting her neck, and she was loving it.
Günter's dark, heavy lidded eyes glittered with excitement. He had waited long enough and he could wait no more. He was a man and he had to take her. He would give too, but then he would take her again. He would take her until she was full to the top with him. His fingers encountered the swell of her breast beneath the soft fabric of his blouse and he heard her quick little intake of breath. Instantly his touch gentled, and he moved to the small of her back, stroking, arousing, until he felt her begin to surrender. He was experienced. He could tell when a girl was ready for a good fucking, and this one was as ripe as any he'd ever known.
Willie felt Günter's hot, hard length rub his stomach and he wriggled against it seductively, a feminine ploy that seemed to have developed naturally of its own accord. It was shocking and primitive and exciting, but it made him long for more.
"The central hall must have been a lovely place in the past." he murmured.
"Ja," Günter said cynically, "But now it doesn't even make a good potting-shed." He tugged his arm. "Come with me."
Willie followed him without a murmur. He was curious to discover what this man, who was capable of unsettling him with a mere glance, had yet to show him.
They went towards a battered wooden door with an iron ring for a handle. But it provided no exit; instead it led into a smaller, high-ceilinged salon with a frieze of an old-time hunting scene incorporating bears and deer. A little milky light seeped into the room through small windows high on the wall, and in a dim haze the armoire, some overstuffed worn chairs and a chaise lounge bulked like enormous dozing animals themselves.
Willie turned to him wide-eyed. "Why are we here? What are you going to do?"
Günter chuckled. "Fraulein Dietz allows her guests to use this place as a play-room. It's a good place for a girl to stretch her legs wide and there is no reason why we can't use it too." He winked. "Do you understand what I mean?"
Willie did understand, but before either of them could make any move to play they heard footsteps approaching on the outside.
"Just our bad luck," bemoaned Günter, "That gruesome lawyer as decided to use the same room today. Get down the other end, screened behind the cupboards and other junk there we'll be able to see everything without being seen ourselves."
Mystified, Willie again followed his man friend. They scuttled to the far end of the room where a motley of disused things had been stored, and there they secreted themselves in the darkness between old cupboards, coils of rope and piles of worn out carpets. Behind him he noticed expensive furniture, now outmoded, and artwork similarly out of style -- some graphics and a lot of abstract stuff.
Within seconds there was a noise at the door, and they both shrank back into the shadows as two people appeared. Otto Hahn was followed by Loti, and Loti was the star of his own show that day; hair pulled softly back, begonia lipstick perfectly in place, still wearing his housemaid dress but looking... just lovely.
Willie gave Günter an urgent glance. "Why are we staying here?" he hissed softly.
The man put a finger to his lips. "Keep quiet and you'll see." he whispered back, "I told you it's a play-room."
"I don't want to watch other people."
"It's only a bit of fun. Crouch down or Otto may see us, and if he sees us he'll throw us out."
At the other end of the room Loti had swung about and was now pressing himself against his own man's obese figure. "You've been keeping me waiting, Herr Hahn." he said, his voice husky and believably feminine.
"You know I always wait until I've had my lunch." the man replied.
"Why is that?"
"It is important to show civility to one's host before pursuing ones own diversions, and anyway, I can never spank a girl on an empty stomach. Not even a girl such as you."
Loti tilted his chin. With the lines of his throat ironed out by that attitude, it was one of his best poses. "You really are cruel and heartless." he said with a weary sigh. Loti stepped forward in his perilously high heels and did a deliberate pirouette in front of the man, fawning before him for his pleasure. Willy felt the tightness of revulsion in his stomach at such a shameless come-on. "How would you like my bottom?" asked Loti.