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Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:25 am
by Monkey Kitty
Gilda Engel

"That would be wonderful!" Gilda said - with just a faint note of genuine relief. She had always worried she wasn't keeping the place up to the standards her foster parents would have wanted. That they wouldn't want her touching their home at all... which was almost certainly true. Having another set of eager hands to take up the work would surely help set things right.

"I would be delighted to have your help. I'm sure you can coax much more life into this old garden. Oh, I think Gerhard is back."

She could hear the faint sound of a car rattling down the gravel driveway, and the wards on the house limited the possibilities for who that might be.

Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

Posted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:51 pm
by Quaxo9
Gerhard Einsbrect

He could feel his gut tightening back into knots as he approached the house. Instead of pushing it aside, he let it sit there with him in the car. Perhaps it wasn't wrong to feel this fear and uncertainty so viscerally. Perhaps the fact that it was there meant that he was still cognitively aware of the situation - which meant that he was in a position to logically work out a response. That, at least, was a small comfort. Still, he took his time getting out of the vehicle and gathering the packages. Berta opened the door for him, took one of the bags on her lap, and wheeled into the kitchen ahead of him. He gave everyone in the sitting room a nod in greeting before disappearing into the other room behind Berta.

Once in the kitchen, he simply started laying out the goods grouped by type as he didn't know where the items went. Berta began putting items in the refrigerator as they appeared beside her. There were a few extra items more than what had been on Gilda's list - a tin of biscuits, some raisins, a wedge of soft cheese and a small packaged wrapped in brown paper and tied with string. The latter, he presented to Berta. She beamed up at him, but only began to open it after he gave indication that he expected her to do so. She tugged gently at the string and slowly pressed the creases out of the paper as she unwrapped ... a diary. The little book had the word emblazoned on the cover in black ink, standing out from the handsome blue and green cover.

"I thought you might want some place to write...about your adventures." Berta had flung her arms around his waist and had pulled him into an embrace which he somewhat awkwardly returned. Perhaps she was too old for such things...but, as soon as he'd seen it, he'd thought of her. And she seemed to think it a suitable gift. He had so little else to give her, especially now that his life had gotten so much more dangerous.

Berta released him and happily wheeled herself into the sitting room to show Mrs. Fishblatt her brother's gift. Gerhard was a bit embarrassed by this, but held his tongue and simply returned the leftover stamps to Gilda before taking up a cup of tea for himself.

Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 1:33 am
by Monkey Kitty
Gilda Engel and Isaac Fishblatt

When the three of them - Gilda, Isaac, and Gerhard - were alone in the kitchen for a moment, Gilda glanced quickly toward the living room door where Berta had disappeared with the Fishblatt parents, and said quietly, "We need to talk about what will happen at the full moon. It's in a few days' time, and we need to have a plan. Gerhard, I'm not sure how you're feeling about things, but unfortunately you're going to need to square with it before too long, because we don't have much time to get ready."

With a sympathetic glance toward Isaac, she asked, "Are you going to tell your parents?"

"I think so," he replied. "I don't know how to broach the subject. It's going to be a hard conversation. I don't see how I can hide it from them, though. But I'm afraid they won't..."

Gilda shook her head and took his hand. "They will still love you. I've seen how they love you now. How they kept that love, even thinking you were dead. They'll love you no matter what." She added to Gerhard. "As Berta will always love you, I'm sure."

Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

Posted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 12:15 am
by Quaxo9
Gerhard Einsbrect

Well, here it was. At least he didn't have to find a way to broach the uncomfortable topic. Of course, he wasn't sure what kind of a plan they needed, because he didn't really know what to expect. As much as he still didn't fully accept the idea, Isaac seemed to have embraced it to the point where he felt as though he needed to share this information with his parents. Isaac didn't seem like the unstable sort, so if he was going to risk being completely ridiculed or thought of as a madman by his own parents...perhaps he had some additional indications to back up this story. Gerhard merely nodded in response to Gilda's encouragement. He wasn't about to give Berta this 'news' until he knew exactly what his 'news' entailed.

"If you don't mind, what exactly do we have to get ready for? You expect it to be like the children's stories that we used to tell to each other at night to scare ourselves silly? We will become...wolves...like dogs. Perhaps we could be...kennelled? This is ridiculous." Gerhard paused, drawing his hand over his face to pinch his nose even as he sighed through it. "I'm sorry. I had difficulty believing the tales then - and even in light of recent...events - moreso now. I will do what you think is best, but I don't see how this full moon will be different from any other."

Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:54 am
by Monkey Kitty
Gilda Engel and Isaac Fishblatt

"Kenneled is a bit of an overstatement," Gilda said calmly, but the neutral tone was subtly clipped, suggesting she was not prepared to argue what she was about to say. "But yes, for safety it would be best not to be here. If things get... tricky... we don't want Berta or Isaac's parents in the line of fire. My suggestion would be the old yacht club warehouse by the docks. It hasn't been in use since the war started - no one around to crew the yachts, and most of the materials inside removed for use in the war effort. No one will be around."

Isaac nodded. "Sounds promising. You think it's secure enough?"

"Yes. Not as secure as the cottage, obviously, but the next best thing. You wouldn't want to live there, but if we chain the doors it'll be safe enough for a couple of nights of the full moon."

"That works for me," Isaac agreed.

Gilda turned to Gerhard. "You need to do this," she said bluntly. "If we're wrong or crazy or it's some kind of hoax, you wasted one night sleeping in a drafty warehouse and you never have to think about any of this again. If not... you'll be glad of it. Do a cost/benefit analysis here, Gerhard. I think the right choice will be clear."

Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

Posted: Fri May 07, 2021 12:15 am
by Quaxo9
Gerhard Einsbrect

"I am not prepared to argue with you, Gilda. I will go to the warehouse, no questions. But, until I know what this all entails, I am not going to say anything to Berta. I cannot tell her what I do not know for certain. Please, if you would respect this one decision, I would be most grateful."

At this point, he didn't really care if he looked like a buffoon in front of his sister. She would probably take it as a joke anyway, a silly story to help take her mind of things. He was more concerned about reality - and if there was something to this werewolf business that might put Berta in harm's way, well, he wanted to be certain to knew the details before he went prattling on.

"Of course, I will give you privacy." He bowed his head slightly, then ducked into the parlour to ask Berta if she wanted to go into the garden with him. Her delight was sincere and she excused herself from the Fishblatts, smiled happily at Gilda and Isaac as she wheeled past them, and allowed Gerhard to push her over the threshold and out onto the flagstones. The door closed softly behind them even as Berta's voice sang out over the sound of the wind.

Re: False Flags (WWII setting)

Posted: Sun May 09, 2021 6:35 pm
by Monkey Kitty
Gilda Engel and Isaac Fishblatt

"Maybe Gerhard is right," Isaac said doubtfully when the Einsbrechts had left. "Maybe it would be best to wait to tell them. I... suppose I don't really know what to expect either. I'm new to this too, after all. The doctor never gave me the opportunity to doubt my situation, but I still don't know all it entails. Perhaps they never need to know."

"Whatever you think is best," Gilda replied. She wasn't sure she agreed with his analysis of the situation. She had seen how much his parents loved him. How delighted they were to find out he was alive. Gilda couldn't imagine anything shaking a familial love like that. But what did she know? She'd never had a parent look with such fondness at her. "You'll have to give them an explanation of why you're leaving, though. You won't be able to hide what's happening if you stay here."

"True," Isaac said, looking pensive. "I'll play that by ear, I suppose."

The playing by ear didn't go as smoothly as anticipated. There would have been a time when telling his mother and father he had evening plans would have been met with just casual acknowledgement. But that was in the Before. Before their separation, their incarceration, his torture... and what they believed was his death.

"Oh, Isaac, must you?" Sara asked, her face the very picture of pained worry. "It's so dangerous out there! We almost lost you once. We can't lose you again. We couldn't bear it. And what about Gilda?"

Hirsch nodded agreement, his jaw tight. "Son, what could possibly be so important that you would take such a risk?"

There was a pause in the conversation. It went on a little too long. Isaac didn't know what to say - and then it became impossible to pretend to be nonchalant.

"Isaac, whatever it is, you can tell us!" Sara assured him. "There is nothing you have to hide from us."

"Perhaps we can help," Hirsch suggested.

His parents' sincerity broke through the fragile wall Isaac had been futilely trying to construct.

"Mama, Papa... I don't know how to say this," Isaac said, looking at the floor. "You called my survival a miracle. In a way, I suppose it was. But it was... not a miracle of luck or chance. I was saved. But I was saved in such a way that I've become... different."

Sara put her hand on his shoulder. "Isaac, I don't understand."

Isaac looked at Gilda. She nodded. Tell them. There were so few people in this world who could be trusted. Gilda felt instinctively, though, that Sara and Hirsch Fishblatt were among those special cherished souls who could be entirely relied upon.

"This is going to sound crazy," Isaac said hesitantly. "You're going to think I've lost my mind, or that it's the trauma. It's going to sound totally unbelievable."

"Many things are unbelievable these days," Hirsch told him. "We trust you, Isaac. We trust your morals and your judgment. You have a good head on your shoulders, son. Whatever you tell us, however improbable it sounds, we know it's the truth."

Isaac took a deep breath and rolled up his sleeve. Not the one that covered his concentration camp tattoo - the other sleeve. Sara gasped.

"Isaac, what happened? Some kind of animal?"

The scars of a bite mark stood out starkly on the skin of his upper forearm. But there was no tearing, no shredding of flesh. Just a single bite, each sharp tooth leaving its distinct impressed trace.

Isaac shook his head. "Not an animal. Mama, Papa.... werewolves are real. I almost died in the camp. I was beaten by a guard. Badly. No one expected me to survive. One of the other prisoners saved my life. This was how. By passing his curse of lycanthropy to me."

For a moment, there was silence. Then Sara said, "Hardly a curse, if it gave our boy back to us."

Hirsch nodded. "Isaac, I don't know what to say. I need to think about this a bit. It's all rather shocking. But... we believe you. And we love you."

"That's all I need," Isaac replied, his voice thick with emotion as both parents hugged him.

***

Later, as they were preparing another round of tea together, Sara turned to Gilda and said, "My dear, there is something I must ask you."

Gilda nodded. She assumed it would be something werewolf-related, and was taken by surprise when the older woman asked, "Isaac is being a gentleman to you, isn't he?"

Of all the things she'd expected Frau Fishblatt might want to ask about her, that one wouldn't have crossed her mind in a million years. She was the one whose body had been used by so many men, who had traded her favors for information and influence so many times. She was the one with no residual virtue. Not kind, earnest Isaac who was saving himself for his wedding night...

"Why... why yes, he's a perfect gentleman," Gilda stammered.

Sara smiled. "Good. That was how we raised him. He's a good boy - a good man, now. I thought he would do right by you. But a mother has to make sure."

"He's wonderful. You raised a wonderful man. I'll admit, I'm a bit surprised this wasn't about..."

"About 'the werewolf thing'?"

Gilda looked a bit chagrined, but nodded.

"It's a bit confusing for us," Sara admitted. "We've never heard of such things as anything more than legends and stories. But we'll adapt. You and Isaac have adapted. We're not too old or set in our ways to accept change too."