Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: GREED (avarice, particularly for wealth and things) (01/22/15)
- TITLE: The Proposal
By JK Stenger
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“Hauptsturmführer Helmuth Stahlhammer. Open up!”
A German! What does he want?
Fijlstra’s muscles tensed. It was 1942, and the Netherlands were under Nazi occupation. Fijlstra, who lived alone on his farm in the province of Drente, had not been bothered too much by the war, and he planned to keep it that way. He was not like some of his crazy neighbors who openly opposed the Nazis. Idiots they were, some of them even hiding Jews. Parson De Groot was rumored to be a member of the Resistance. These fools would suffer, of that he was certain. But he, Geert Fijlstra, would survive.
He opened the door to face the officer, whose steely blue eyes seemed to look straight through him.
“H-Heil Hitler. W-what can I do for you?”
Stahlhammer strode in and pulled out a chair for himself. Fijlstra bit his lip and took a seat opposite.
Stahlhammer took out a cigarette and lit it.
The officer looked about the room and blew a puff of smoke in Fijlstra’s direction. “We have reason to believe that you can be of service to us.”
“I d-don't know.”
“Many of your countrymen despise us.” Stahlhammer raised an eyebrow. “But you are…shall we say…less fanatical?”
“Oh.” Fijlstra’s hands trembled.
Stahlhammer leaned forward and whispered, “We need someone who…hears things…”
Fijlstra swallowed hard.
“We’ll pay you one hundred Marks for every valuable tip.”
“One hundred Marks?"
Stahlhammer studied Fijlstra’s face. “One hundred Marks.”
Information is easy to get. Fijlstra licked his lips. I’ll put the money under my mattress, and one day, I’ll be rich.
”Well?” Stahlhammer blew out another puff of smoke.
“How will I be paid?”
Stahlhammer smiled. He reached into his pocket and handed him a sealed envelope addressed to SS-Sturmbahnführer Kaltenbrunner.
“You pass this on to Sturmbahnführer Kaltenbrunner.”
Fijlstra’s eyes lit up as he took it in his trembling hands.
“I hope that you will not regret your decision. Nor…” The Hauptsturmführer paused. “…give us cause to regret our decision to trust you.”
“Neither of us will regret it.”
“Heil Hitler, Herr Fijlstra.”
Fijlstra stared at the envelope. I am going to be rich.
Willem tore off the Nazi uniform and handed it to Yvette. “Hide it well.”
Yvette nodded. Smiling, she asked, “And how was your visit with Fijlstra, ‘Hauptsturmführer Stahlhammer’?”
Willem sighed. “Worse than we feared. The man is so greedy; he would sell his own mother. He is indeed a threat to the Resistance. But the problem is solved.”
Yvette turned pale.
“You…you didn’t kill him, did you?”
Willem smiled. “No need. Wait and see.”
Kaltenbrunner bared his teeth and glared at Fijlstra.
“Schweinhund! How dare you insult the Third Reich?”
Fijlstra sucked in his breath. “I d-didn't…”
“Silence, Schweinhund!” Kaltenbrunner read aloud the note that was in the envelope addressed to him.
My name is greed. I have never enough. I am as empty as the head of your Führer. Give us the world, and we still will not be satisfied. Repent while you still can.
Kaltenbrunner crumpled the letter and tossed it in Fijlstra’s face.
An SS-corporal entered. “Herr Sturmbahnführer?”
“Take this pig away.”
“Certainly, Herr Sturmbahnführer.”
Fijlstra’s face turned pale. “I was tricked, I tell you—it’s all a mistake.”
But nobody listened.
The corporal dragged Fijlstra away and stopped at the end of a dark corridor. He jingled with some keys.
A door opened and closed again with a bang.
The cell was dark, cold and dank.
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