Jared Axelrod has been dropping story germs over here as an extension of Mur Lafferty’s News From Poughkeepsie project. Go over their to get all the details. What I’m going to try is to follow each one of his prompts for just a bit. I think that’s a worthy way to put some content over here. So I hope you enjoy:
The New Adventures of… Alfred Schicklgruber
Alfred Schicklgruber was not a noticeable man. He wore faded, unassuming clothes that went well with his faded, unassuming face. In his youth, Schicklgruber was a man of passion, of anger. Now, he was just an old man. An old man on his porch, as much a part of the human race as the rocking chair he sat upon.
Which is why it surprised him to see two men pull up his driveway. The were dressed in identical black suits, with identical fake smiles.
“Mister Hitler, I presume,” one of the men said. “You were not an easy man to find. The world needs you.”
“The world believes me to be a monster, a villain.” Schicklgruber slowly got out of his chair. “I have no use for the world.”
“But Mister Hitler,” said the other man. “Right now, a villain is precisely what the world needs…”
Intrigued, Alfred invited the men in. Ever since he had been moved here and under his gramdmother’s name he had been left alone. Yes, no doubt, he had been a hard man to find. The Allies found him near death in his bunker and somehow managed to both keep him alive and keep the fact that he was alive a secret.
They used him for the information he had and rather than kill him, as he expected they would, they left him alive with the agreement that they could call on him should he ever be needed again. It was of course an agreement he had no problem signing. With that he was given a new identity and a place to live that only a handful of men knew about. All of those men were dead now as was the idea that he would be called on, or so he thought.
Once the kettle was on the gas ring, he turned to face the two agents sitting in his airy, well lit kitchen. They perched on the delicate looking chairs and watched his every move carefully. Nervous energy radiated from them. They wanted to kill him. They believed their superiors when they were told who they would be confronting. Like anyone else they had been raised to believe that the Chancellor, former Chancellor he thought to himself, was an inhuman monster. Confronted with this aged specimen they didn’t know what to do.
“So, I am needed?” His accent had morphed over the intervening decades, becoming the flat Midwestern creature that was the American equivalent of Received Pronunciation. There was still power in his words. The sort of charisma that had made men and women do whatever he asked.
The more mature agent, still younger than Alfred by a good four decades, nodded his blond head. This one would have been indistinguishable from one of his Sturmabteilung or Brown Shirts. The other man was like his younger twin. They hadn’t sent a man of color. That amused him. He retrieved a PDA from his coat pocket and slid it across the table.
Alfred stiffened when the hand disappeared and then relaxed. He walked to the table and picked up the small computer. He had kept up on the technology of the day, always interested in the latest advances. The cabin he occupied had no electricity, in part to keep him off the grid. Still his weekly trip in to town to visit the library allowed him to know what was going on in the world he had left.
The screen brightened at his touch. Light flashed from a sensor near the top of the device, reading his retina perhaps or the shape of his face. He couldn’t be certain. All he knew was that once it was satisfied with his identity lines of text appeared. He read it and then began to laugh. They really did need him. God help the world, they really did need him.