by Alan H Cree 23.07.2020
Chapter One – The Generalmajor
Oberst Claus E Rosenfeld is at home, sitting down drinking his coffee. He removes his shoes and tie, but not his jacket. He is watching his 4 year-old boy play ‘cars’ in the room’s corner, staring, appreciating his innocence. Claus sighs, puts his coffee cup down, stands up and walks across to the large doorway next to the kitchen. Once there, he reaches into his trouser pocket and removes a packet of chewing gum, his favourite. He blanks out the noise and starts thinking. Thinking about himself, his wife and his family. All is good, they are six years married, he reflects on how he and his wife had met, he had just been promoted to the rank of Oberst; not long after they were pregnant with Sigmund. He deems his little family unit, at that moment, as his perfect dream.
His wife returns from the kitchen.
“What do you think we should do?”
“I trust and support you whatever the decision darling.”
“It might be for the best, for the three of us.”
“Don’t include us in this Claus, you’ve always been left to navigate your own career, you know I’m left to decide on everything else – you proudly inform everyone that I’m your ‘Chefin’, isn’t that right dear?”
“But it’s not fair on Sigmund. He has no option but to live his life with the consequence of this decision.”
She remarks, “If you decide this to be no opportunity for us and if there is a chance to refuse, then refuse and stay where you are. You could be done with all of this stress, making it available for someone else, without family, to take it.”
“Young Fritz is ‘chomping at the bit’ to assume my current spot, that change is long overdue, it’s unfair of us to delay him any longer. Sigmund is of our stock, he will understand that we couldn’t refuse, and naturally it doesn’t have to be forever.”
“We!” she exclaims. With a fleeting roll of her eyes she teases, “Well, if it makes you feel better that this is recorded in our family history as a joint decision, then here’s my advice: While staying in your current job would keep you happy, you’ve always been driven by a greater sense of purpose. This new position definitely offers you that, my only concern is whether ‘old-you-know-who’ will definitely retire this time.” Claus’s expression drops upon hearing her concern, she makes a valid point as this was not the first time this particular opportunity had come around. Last time ‘old-you-know-who’, who was supposed to be retiring, had a change of heart.
Next morning Rosenfeld sits behind his desk, while preparing for today’s daily tasks, he momentarily stares at the shaft of sunlight coming through the window, it contains a collection of dancing flecks of dust.
The internal telephone buzzes, Claus ignores it and continues to stare at the dancing particles. Eventually each speck comes to rest on the floor, lying still. He is calm, his eyes are closed and his mind is slipping into a delightful inner peace. The internal phone buzzes again, this time jolting him wide awake, he slowly lifts the receiver.
“It’s taken you long enough to answer.” It is Generalmajor (Retd) Johannes Von Wieser, the Ambassador-at-large (Special Advisor). Wieser is never one to relax. “Rosenfeld, be in my office in ten minutes, no later.”
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Alan H Cree.