Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Note( 02/07/13)
Darkness Called Light – The Paradox of Deceit
By Loren T. Lowery
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â€śCarl, itâ€™s me, Greta.â€ť
Carl sighed with relief and quickly opened the door. Greta rushed in, snow powdering her heavy coat.
â€śI was worried. Were you followed?â€ť
â€śPossibly, but whatâ€™s to be suspected--a sister visiting her brother. Besides, they know we rehearse here for our performance at Le Chat Noir.â€ť She entered, putting her handbag on the piano and walked to a fireplace, the roomâ€™s only source of heat. â€śHave you worked out the music?â€ť
â€śIâ€™ve just finished. Youâ€™ve said the courier to be American, so Iâ€™ve used the International Morse Code. Iâ€™ve made it as short as possible.â€ť
â€śWhat does it say?â€ť
â€śGerman army to invade Sedan May 10.â€ť
Greta nodded. â€śIt has to be enough. Show me the music.â€ť
They moved to the piano. â€śI couldnâ€™t have your voice interfering with the coded notes â€“ the message - so there will be several pauses, with just me playing the piano.â€ť He hit several single notes, some staccato like, others of longer duration to demonstrate what he meant. â€śI will repeat the pattern four times between your stanzas.â€ť He looked at her. â€śThe cabaret will be noisy; Iâ€™m concerned some of the music wonâ€™t be heard.â€ť
Greta moved to a window overlooking the street two stories below, pulling back the paneled drapes. Two men dressed in Gestapo uniforms at the corner looked up at her through falling snow. She drew a breath and let the curtain fall back. â€śCurse them,â€ť she muttered.
â€śNothing.â€ť She moved back to the piano. â€śIâ€™ll wear my most provocative costume. It always quiets the men--at least for a while.â€ť
â€śIâ€™m sorry you have to do this, Gretaâ€¦â€ť
â€śThe Germans will soon be pushing through the Ardennes. Our brother Stephen and his comrades must be warned. Commandant Halder amusingly calls it a Blitzkrieg-â€“a total annihilation. My wearing a suggestive gown is a small sacrifice.â€ť
Carl blushed, hesitant to go further. â€śBut the way you attained this informationâ€¦â€ť
â€śLet God be the judge of the two evils: war or compromised morals. I did what I had to do. Halder is a fool; heâ€™ll never suspect.â€ť She pulled a cigarette from her purse, lighting it. â€śAnd knowing Iâ€™ve outwitted him outweighs any honorable scruples I have left.â€ť She inhaled the smoke, letting it out over her words, â€śAnd you should feel the same for what theyâ€™ve done to our family.â€ť
â€śI do. Iâ€¦I thought our parents would be safe in Belgium. But this change in youâ€¦â€ť
Her gaze became long, her voice wistful. â€śNo one is safe from evil, Carl. No one.â€ť She read the music and began humming unwritten words capturing the core of the melody.
â€śYouâ€™ve a gift, Greta.â€ť
â€śMy words are but pale riders upon your music.â€ť She began humming again. â€śI think the melody should be in A minor and then change to major for the code. It will make an ironic contrast.â€ť Her voice lowered. â€śBaron Reiner, the man who is sending the courier has warned me the code must be destroyed. Heâ€™s unaware of Halderâ€™s current whereabouts. Our safety resides solely in us.â€ť
â€śAnd Godâ€™s providence.â€ť
â€śSafety divinely covered in deception? Can such a paradox exist in God?â€ť
Carl ignored her statement â€śHow are we to know this spy when he shows up at the cabaret tonight?â€ť
â€śHeâ€™ll carry an ivory handled cane. After heâ€™s seated, heâ€™ll pull out a gold watch and nod three times.â€ť
Later, into the session, there was a loud rap at the door. â€śGestapo! Open up!â€ť
Greta and Carl exchanged frantic looks. Quickly Greta ran to the fireplace to burn the manuscript.
Glancing back at her, Carl moved and opened the door. Two brown-uniformed soldiers greeted him.
â€śHeil Hitler!â€ť One said, arm outstretched.
Carl and Greta parroted him simultaneously.
â€śFrĂ¤ulein Maulder,â€ť the soldier continued, â€śCommandant Halder directs me to tell you heâ€™ll be at the cabaret tonight and seeks the pleasure of your company.â€ť
Standing by the fireplace, Greta relaxed and gave an enigmatic smile. â€śTell the Commandant the pleasure is all mine and Iâ€™ve even written a song for him.â€ť
The soldiers left. Carl turned to his sister. â€śHalder will be there, Greta. It seems God does allow such a paradox.â€ť
The enigmatic smile still on her face, she answered. â€śThen we will be in His will and we cannot disappoint Him.â€ť
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