Handwritten fragment found by a Russian infantryman after the fall of Berlin in 1945. Translated from the German.
…the wound the autumnal city. For the moment, it is quiet, but the planes come, day and night, and the city burns.
Johann and Max are well. Mr Hanf was kind enough to allow us space in his basement below the store. He is providing us with just enough food and water to get by. By his look, it is more than he can give and I fear that he and his wife are going without because of us.
Why is this happening? What has happened to the Thousand Years the Chancellor promised? The city burns, my friends are dead, the spree fills with debris, the children are scared and you are gone. Gone away with the Weirmacht I know not where. You haven’t responded to me in months. I try to be brave in front of the children and Mr Hanf, but at night …
They are coming again. The sirens are wailing! Oh! The English and Americans are coming to destroy us again! I can hear them, and the city cries as its roots tremble. The linden trees burn, screaming…
*The destruction of the city.
This week’s master class is brought to you by “…to wound the autumnal city.” from Dhalgren by Samuel R Delany.
When I chose the sentence for the first Master Class, I didn’t know what I was going to write. I have an intimate knowledge of the book it came from and was worried that my response to the prompt would be influenced by it. About an hour after I posted the announcement for Master Class, I knew that I would be writing a WWII piece for this. It seemed to fit.
I in no way came close to the style of Mr Delany in this piece, but that’s ok. I like what I wrote and feel that it fits the prompt nicely.