fading into screams


The even footsteps echoed briskly on the marble floors, ricocheting off the walls of the elongated hallway. Light fell into the space indifferently, picking up the green hues of the men's uniforms. A shaft of light bared the wide scar across one man's cheek; turning and ending jaggedly, the scar fit the shape of flying shrapnel. A loud hum of guttural yells sounded from the windows, framing the scenes in perfect sequence. A blast went off in the northeast corner of the building, shaking the foundation just as the four figures turned sharply right. One hesitated, catching the eye of a vacant face leaning against a bloodied patch of stone, before wistfully following the others.

The heavy wood door swung shut behind them. The general's suitcase clanked against the large desk in the center of the dimly lit room as he set it down. The lush red carpet sank under their feet, creaking with the floorboards. The last one in squirmed while he watched the general step in back of the desk with ceremonial profoundness. His grim face deepened the wrinkled frown of his mouth. The russet color of his skin looked leathery in the yellow light, enhancing all the aged features of his face. He glanced down and turned on the radio that sat precariously on the edge of the thick wood. It fizzed and crackled to life, whirring oddly in sudden use. The youngest, who stood in the back, scrunched his forehead lower in thought at the distant voice droning behind the loud static. The hissing dissipated and he tried focusing on the words until the voice came clearly through the little wooden radio. His eyes snapped to the frame hanging on the back wall, matching the speaker's voice with the solemn face of the photograph.

"-have sustained no injuries, besides mild burns or bruises…I speak in person today. Do you recognize my voice, citizens?"

A veil of failure hung across the men like heavy, saturated air. The stillness amplified the fading screams of the Reserve Army in the city. The troops would withdraw completely and those who were at fault for the casualties would be conveniently taken care of. Their Fuhrer was alive and well.


a/n.
-Fuhrer: Nazi Germany's title for Adolf Hitler

and this was for The Review Game's Writing Challenge Contest,
based off the given prompt, "how did we end up this way?"

i love reviews. :P