I have become rather accustomed to my husband’s droning voice. Yes, I am quite apt at nodding and agreeing in all the correct places.  
   Despite what people say, being ‘well-heeled and well-bred’ is indeed a mean feat, and there are only so many poison-filled propaganda cocktail parties and luncheons with the high-ranking Offiziere and their vile wives that a lady of such a calm disposition can take. That point was passed many years ago. Once upon a time, I would have perhaps been more vocal in my concerns of his long absences and the sickly-sweet scent of debauchery. Now, I am resigned to be the one constant figure in his life, unlike his rouge-cheeked Schlampen, which rarely last the week. 
   Alas, such self-consuming thoughts are wicked and must be suppressed if one is to be a proud citizen of Deutschland, especially so for the wife of such a proud upstanding member of the Party. When he visited Berlin, I wept when he returned with Swastika emblazoned gifts. I tried my utmost to convince him of my gratitude, all the while terrified that he might detect the true cause of my tears. I played the eternally-grateful-for-his-thoughtfulness role that he expects.  
   When I am kept in such finery, how can I possibly worry for the innocence of our children, our next generation of Hitlers and Himmlers, being warped into the image of our great honourable Führer? I shouldn’t. But being unable to breathe without threat of strangulation, think freely without manipulation, and speak without fear of consequence is the removal of our humanity. 
   I used to yearn for the life of an American, which I now know to be as sinful, wasteful, and thoroughly un-German. But the days of a free, liberated Germany are long gone, merely a distant memory that feels more like a story than a reality. Americans know what it is to be free, despite the damning words against them that we are supposed to submit to. Yet much like in the Garden of Eden, one often aches for that which is out of reach. 
   This Tausendjähriges Reich will be the greatest achievement of Mankind. Still, wherein lies the truth of this if an entire populace is duped into relinquishing their morals due to the deceitful propaganda. How many will suffer the unexplained disappearance of a loved one, never to return? How many will hear the approach of the marching boots, feel the cold touch of leather gloves in the night, witness the sinister grin of a serial killer, rewarded with glittering medals and a handsome uniform for his evil deeds? 
   I now know that Man is capable of great and wicked things; I now understand that he can also disregard human life completely without second thought. I am still unable to comprehend how a man can return to his family abode and kiss his wife and his children, stained with the stench of burning human flesh and cruelty. Yes, Man is capable of love, but it is unfathomable how such love and such hate can co-exist within one human being.  
   The spineless, sheep-like mentality of the human race will forever be our greatest downfall. We have all seen our neighbours, friends and even spouses removed from society in the pursuit of a fistful of cash, or through selfish concern for our own affairs. We believe ourselves to be far-evolved from our primitive bestial forms, but in times of crisis, rationale and human decency evaporates and is replaced with pure carnal instinct.  
   Surely, I am myself above such egotism, when I acquiesce to the will of those whom I despise? Is the allure of diamonds and silk worth more than my integrity, my self-worth, my humanity?
The woman, swathed in ivory negligée sighs dis-compassionately, steadying her withered, ringed hands upon the desk of the one she calls Husband. 
   Her wiry, greying hair, falling free of its constraints, gives way to scornful glare in the half-light, regarding the manner in which the documents mock her with their unassuming orderliness. Tears meet, their melancholy manifesting on the pages. 
   A fit of madness seizes her, hurtling the papers across the room.  
   An animal lament escapes her. The desks’ adornments shatter against the marble floor with her resolve. Deflated, she is forced to her knees amongst the débris, her mascara-streaked face smothered by her hands.  
   Footsteps in the hallway. 
   A sharp intake of breath. 
   The door opens, spilling light unto the despair within. 
   Hawk-like eyes search out their prey.


   A scream pierces the stagnant air as his icy fury ensnares her in a vice-like grip.  
   There is no struggle. 


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