Okay...this one came to me in a dream...and follows one of my favourite characters in The Angel. Florian von Lessner. It's sort of like Everything Changes, but is a lot more focused on Florian's years as a prominent psychologist, and how his homosexual relationship with Auden affects his work and home life as a good upper middle class German boy.
The story starts at the end...or at least at the end of Florian's life, on a cold December morning in 1944.
Hope you guys enjoy :)
Prologue: At The End of All Things
The only noise in the forest on that bitter winter's morning was the crunching of snow underneath the collective weight of a herd of red deer as they quietly ambled through the forests of Nazi occupied Oslo, ripping bits of bark off of the trees and nibbling at patches of grass that had managed to survive the frost.
The deer were covered in winter fur, and the stags had thick antlers which were protected by a velvety overcoat. The little ones, born in the autumn, tagged along behind their mothers, still vulnerable to the predator that did not hibernate; man.
It was still early in the morning, too early for even the most grizzled old Norwegian hunter.
But the younger, less experienced ones were about.
Breaking the peaceful silence was the loud braying of a hunting dog, and, soon enough, the long, lurching shape of the hunting dog cut through the white landscape. It weaved through the trees and as it neared the herd, it's bright pink tongue lolling out the side of its mouth, the deer took off, trotting in all directions through the forest, scattering left and right as the sound of shouting children could be heard in the distance.
Running along the dirt road, now covered by a thin layer of frost and ice, which sliced through the trees, two boys were shouting at the top of their lungs, flailing their arms in the air and throwing sticks through the undergrowth. They could've been no older than eleven. One was tall and thin, with a mop of unkempt platinum blonde hair and the other was shorter, with more a more babyish face and darker hair, more chestnut in colour. They were both wearing thick brown shorts and muddy off-white shirts, their socks were rolled up to their ankles and they wore comfortable leather shoes on their feet.
"Hund!" The blonde one cried into the morning air, his breath forming white clouds in the air as he shouted for the dog again "Hund!"
Soon, the dog came loping back, it's hazel eyes bright with the thrill of the chase. The boys patted and fussed over the dog, making the dog bark with joy and lick the children's hands.
"Hans, look!" The plump boy cried to his friend, and with a fat little finger pointed through the lifeless trees towards a steep bank, his ears attracted to the sound of running water "The stream has thawed!"
The small stream running through the forest barely trickled in summer, so to have it flowing in winter was indeed a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle.
"Wow!" Both boys cried in unison as they trampled through the snow and stood at the top of the embankment and looked down into the stream below. Whilst it hadn't completely thawed, some of it was bursting with crisp, fresh water, bitterly cold yet sweet to taste. Their faithful companion needed no encouragement and bounded down the bank, slipping slightly as his paws struggled to grip the various sheets of ice which lay over the remainder of the stream.
The two young boys slid down to the bottom of the bank and followed the stream, delighting as they discovered more points where water was bubbling to the surface. Sometimes, they would stop and try to break the thickest sections of ice with rocks.
Soon, the steep embankments on either side of them gave way to gentle banks where the stream poured over boulders and rocks, made fatally treacherous by the frozen conditions around them.
The boys were having a wonderful time, and even the dog was having a fun time, sniffing the ground for whatever scent he could find.
All of a sudden, he raised his head and he let out one single, loud bark.
The two boys looked up and followed the dog to where he padded over to a dark shape laying slumped in the snow.
From a distance, it looked like a log, indeed the snowfall from the night before had settled onto the dark shape. Whatever it was, it was laying with its bottom half in the stream, the freezing water lapping under and around it. At the end which lay in the stream, there were a selection of large boulders, making an uneven path down from the higher ground above.
However, as the boys got closer, they made out a pair of leather patent shoes; black, shining in direct contrast with the virginal surroundings of winter.
It was a man.
He was tall, lithe. The trousers he was wearing were soaked through, and the bottom of the huge, thick woolen over coat he wore was also wet. The rest of him was dry though, he was lying on his front, with his arms up and framing his head, as if he had fell whilst being held at gunpoint. Beneath the velvet lapel of his overcoat was a delicate collar made from white cotton. His long hands weren't wearing gloves, and on the ring finger of his right hand was the thinnest of gold bands. It was grubby, as if it hadn't been cleaned in years. However, on the ring finger of his left hand was another golden band, in the shape of a snake, with the serpent eating its own tail.
The skin of the man was pale, the boys didn't know if this was to do with the cold, or it was the man's natural hue. He had a head of rich, dark brown hair, which, even in apparent death, was struck with vivid tones of copper and bronze. The man's head was lying awkwardly on his right cheek, so he was looking away from the boys.
They couldn't see his face.
And, as they ran for help, they didn't notice that the body, for it was just a body, of the man was that of one of the greatest experts in human psychology to have ever lived.
And, perhaps, the most controversial.
The man's face was turned towards the forest, and if he had been alive, he would've seen, with his beautiful blue-grey eyes, the deer as they crossed the frozen stream. He was a man with fine features, a pointed nose, razor sharp cheekbones, a high forehead and thin lips shaped like cupid's bow.
He could've been mistaken for somebody just laying there. But when his lifeless body was rolled aside to reveal the crisp, broken snow underneath, it became clear what had happened.
Where his head had been laying was a small pool of blood, dashes of scarlet blood staining the crisp snow.
And, lying just above the mans head, beside his left hand, was the unassumingly lethal nine-shot revolver used to end his life.
What did you guys think? Just overall opinions on it and how you think Florian's life differs from Oskars. And I wrote this on holiday! :D