The day started off just like any other. I relaxed into a leather barber’s chair and was draped with a shaving towel. I love the smell of that towel- it smells like me; a comfort among the putrid masses of advisers, lieutenants, politicians and other nobodies I have to deal with on a daily basis. Peasants. But I digress…
My little private barber took longer than usual to perfectly align my mustache with the contours of my nose. Unacceptable. I thought. Well, I had better look exceptionally good today, for all the time he’s wasted. But to the contrary, when I stood and looked into the mirror, I looked worse than usual. I mean, that is- I didn’t look as good as I normally do. The mustache was all wrong; it wasn’t one, but, in fact, several hairs out of place, and he had missed a patch of stubble at the corner of my mouth. I hadn’t time for the barber to fix it, so I resigned myself to a day of humiliation after making a mental note to have the idiot lashed.
I strode down the halls of the Reich to the chamber of war council, pretending to read the endless files that various assistants passed me. One said something about a lack of sanitation in a place called Ravensbruck, but that was about all I could read before the file was washed further down the angular black stream of letters. After ‘finishing’ a file, I would usually pass it to a servant on my left. But today, there was no one to pass it on to. I had to carry the files myself- all the way the war room. Apparently, the file person’s wife was in labor or some such. Who cares? Fifty lashes.
As I entered the chamber, everyone present stood and raised their arms above their heads with the usual salute of, “Heil, mein Fuhrer!” That was nothing new, everyone always saluted me. The only difference this time was that there was a new officer there with only one arm- the wrong arm to salute with. I would have punished him for the error if he’d had both arms, but what else could he have used? So I let that one slide- I’m generous like that.
That meeting was particularly boring, and particularly full of squabbling. Who needs bullets; who needs food; our troops in Africa just realized that Africa sucks. I felt like screaming, “Don’t you imbeciles understand that I can’t achieve world domination if we keep sweating the small stuff?” But those war advisers are pretty emotional, and they usually function worse after constructive criticism. So I listened and nodded and shook hands, and kept the genius to myself, as usual.
The day after that was the day everything changed. I was informed that at some point I had agreed to a meeting with the ‘extra special’ war advisers. I swear I never appointed this many people to positions of power. If ever we lose this war (like that’s ever gonna happen, but if we do), it will be because my men are all bloody useless officers! The drive was awful, long and bumpy- and there was this incessant squeaking under the vehicle. My mechanic was getting sloppy; fifty lashes.
The location to meet was an unimpressive bunker in the woods of France. I hate France. Mostly because it doesn’t belong to me anymore. Confound those Americans. The one-armed man was there when we pulled into the compound. I didn’t remember his name. I don’t bother with names; they’re just one more thing to pretend to care about. I remember now that he looked unsettled, like he might have been sick, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. He was the last one to enter the compound before the steel doors slid shut.
As we clustered around the oak table in the deepest corner of that concrete tomb, I saw the one-armed man slide a briefcase under the table. That, I thought odd, but again I had no time to dwell on it. As the proceedings droned into existence, he was joined by some other nobody, who blocked my view of the one armed man. They exchanged a terse greeting, and then were silent. We were talking about Russia, I think; about the harsh weather there. Why does anyone care about our enemies poor fortunes? I remember thinking. That was a good thing for us. That’s when I noticed that the one-armed man was gone. That troubled me, but I didn’t know quite why.
…And then the bomb went off.
It felt as if steel prongs were driven into my eardrums, and my mustache smelled of burnt hair.
I didn’t come to for several hours. When I did, I was informed by a nurse that the attempt on my life was indeed the machination of the one-armed man and his collaborates. They plan to take Berlin in the absence of my leadership. They call this plan ‘Operation Valkyrie”, as if giving it a cool name will make it any more successful. They say that I am ‘mad’ and ‘power hungry’, and that the only way to end this war is to seek peace with the Allies. Hippies.
Oh, I am not pleased. An attempt on my life is high treason. They obviously don’t care, and I don’t care that they don’t care. Justice will be done, and then some once I find these conspirators. And when I do, you can bet your britches they’re going to get more than fifty lashes…
Love you, Mother
Sincerely, your Fuhrer