TITLE: Farm Hall
GENRE: Adult Fiction
Outside the little room of smells, a street of boarded doors and broken windows reflected light from a dreary dawn.
All night, we'd been driven through the French countryside in darkness that seemed as hushed as a convent after the continual noise of the war. Paris was notorious for quaint cubbyholes, and the Americans had managed to find one that reeked of onions and ammonia. To complete our comfort, we had petite wooden stools to sit upon and a thermos of cold coffee.
“I wonder if Kant is alive. And the rest,” Gruber muttered.
The three of us had discussed this in low whispers whenever the guards left us alone. How many of Hitler’s pet scientists survived the fall of the Reich? Berlin only surrendered a week ago. Hitler too, in theory. But I doubted an egomaniac of his magnitude would really commit suicide as the Americans said.
Since then, Baba and I had been bandied about by the Americans like prizes from a carnival. Squeezed, admired, and handled carefully. Why? Because they thought we had atomic secrets they needed. Perhaps secrets our captors would kill for.
One of the guards stuck his shaved head through the doorway. Baba smiled at him and said in English, “How much longer, my friend?”
“I am not your friend, you bastard.” The guard glared. “We're waiting for more of your lot.”
“And then?” I asked him.
“Then the Brits will give you a kiss and put you on a plane.” We were treated to a view of his nicotine-stained teeth and the seething hatred in his eyes as he added, “Maybe it will go down in the Channel, just like our boys did.”