He hid among a cleft in the shoreline, a restive shadow in the blackness. An outsider often made an outcast, this night he exacted retribution.
Three partially sunken ships blocked the narrow channel opposite, the funnels and decks eerily illuminated beneath the shifting colored streaks of an intermittent aurora. The closest ship angled forward and opened a gap just wide and deep enough at high water for a u-boat to enter, a u-boat he would guide. Past the block ships the channel opened into the broad depths of Scapa Flow, the hallowed North Sea anchorage of the Royal Navy.
He did not think himself an enemy and cared nothing about the new war with Hitler, no matter what others believed. But some betrayals required an answer and he responded in kind, the only way he knew.
An oilskin sack at his feet held a few possessions but he decided no reminders and buried the skin in a shallow space scraped barehanded among the rocks. Afterward he took a small bite from a cloth wrapped piece of dried currant cake, his wife’s favorite, briefly alive in the joy and pain of her memory.
The disembodied low churn of diesels wafted on the breeze and two flickers of light signaled across the water. He replied with a covered lantern and approached his skiff at the water’s edge.
A lorry noisily downshifted into a turn on the coast road behind and he froze, plainly illuminated in the sweep of the vehicle’s headlights. The lorry gained speed toward a nearby hamlet and he feared the driver noted his presence and would warn harbor defenders before the u-boat navigated the channel.
Panic and uncertainty clutched his throat but he refused to turn back, clambered into the skiff and pushed away from the safety of the shore toward a fateful rendezvous and the next, last portion of his life.
"I can do this," he thought, his mind racing like an irrationally out of control steam train, "because that's how I roll, because I have one speed, one gear. ... I'm different. I have a different constitution, I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man, and Adonis DNA. Dying's for fools, dying's for amateurs, I'm too smart for that. It's perfect. It's awesome. Every day is just filled with just wins. All we do is put wins in the record books. We win so radically in our underwear before our first cup of coffee, it's scary. People say it's lonely at the top, but I sure like the--"
* * *
"Cut!" Spielberg threw down his cans. "Goddammit! Somebody give Hanks another call. I knew this would be a huge mistake."
Opening: Gunther Prien.....Continuation: Anon.