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A Laughing Matter

An Excerpt

By Kale RossPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 2 min read

Sicily | 1943

Standing on the parapet of the Lombardia Castle, Nadine and her newly cropped hair watched as the holy, historical landmark - Rocca di Cerere - crumbled into pieces down the side of a luscious emerald knoll.

Ulrich was leaning against the wall beside her, smoking a cigarette and slowly clapping at Nadine’s lust for fiery desolation. Two Sicilian soldiers in plain clothes stood on her opposite side - arguing in Italian as they pointed at the destruction in which the two, smoking Panzerschrecks they were each holding had just created.

A patrol of lingering German troops mobilized at the base of the castle, and shut down the entire area. Having no further need for the two babbling Italian soldiers, she quickly put a bullet into the side of each of their skulls.

She turned to Ulrich, prepared to defend her tactics, but there was no need.

The tall, skinny, skeletal man simply lit another long cigarette with the flick of a match, blew the smoke high above their heads in a crisp, narrow column, then stretched out his left arm - palm up - indicating that he will follow her lead.

Descending the stairs of the parapet, she concealed her pistol within her waistband, then approached the patrolling soldiers who were trying to locate the source of the shooting.

Delicately explaining who she and Ulrich were and what they were doing in Enna, the heavy-set commanding officer of the group immediately ordered the rest of the trigger-happy men to stand down. He was unaware of their mission, and the specific reasons for blowing up the holy site, but he did know about Ulrich, and his dangerously close friendship with Adolf Hitler. If word were to reach the Fuhrer that he was responsible for interrupting one of Ulrich’s missions, he would surely be stripped of his rank, or worse.

Accepting his new orders with enthusiasm, the commanding officer swiftly informed his men to scour the entire hillside for any possible survivors. If they were to find any men, their orders were to kill on site. If they found any women, they were instructed to detain them.

“Oversee the search. I want them found,” Nadine said.

Owing her a great debt for helping to keep him alive after being shot in Canicatti, he took a final drag of his cigarette, spat it out, stomped it flat with the heel of his boot, removed his Luger, then joined the rest of the men in the search.

Embracing the rare moment of being alone, Nadine strolled the lower grounds of the ancient castle. Even for her, she could not deny the subtle beauty of Enna’s elevated countryside.

Using the view to help settle the tornadoes of rage whirling around inside of her brain, she couldn’t stop herself from laughing as three fleeting silhouettes disappeared into the trees halfway down the plateau’s sloped edge.

The pests had escaped once again, but it no longer mattered because she already knew where they were headed.

The Monsignor’s last words, which Nadine happily cut out of him, proved to be quite helpful as she intimately fondled the piece of paper nestled within her pants pocket.

A piece of paper with a single, hand-written word etched into it with black ink.



About the Creator

Kale Ross

Author | Poet | Dog Dad | Nerd

Find my published poetry, and short story books here!

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Comments (2)

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  • Andrea Corwin 2 months ago

    Oh my, Nadine! Nadine! “Cut out of him” 😲 Great job, it pulled me right in.❣️

  • angela hepworth2 months ago

    Fascinating! You really immerse the reader immediately in the setting & it’s clear you’re quite well-versed in history

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