April 18, 2013

Three weeks later Max is on a train and he's dead.

And he doesn't even move. Even though he's bleeding. And the blood begins to stain his shirt red. 'What if I told you you were going to save the world?' I said. 'Would that make it any better?' 'I'm going to save the world?' 'I said if.'

'No,' he said. 'That doesn't make it any better.'

'Why am I here?' he asked. ''cause you deserve it.' 'Funny.' 'Don't you remember?' 'The last thing I remember is darkness,' he said. 'I thought they shot me.' So it was just as I said. Sometimes they were too traumatic to remember, their deaths. A man stopped in front of us and I said, 'Do you remember him?'

He stood in the room full of shadows away from the shadows but they still got his feet. He walked through the streets of Lyon and he made real sure not to step in the shadows but they still grabbed at his ankles and tripped him. 'Your secret army is no secret, and certainly no secret to us,' K. taunted. And Max said, you may think you've won, baby, but once you make enemies with the shadows you'll never ever win. It's like a war that no one ever wins except that one side that pretends and thinks it does. And then they all fall down and die one day but they die inside first. They die inside first.

'I remember him,' said Max.

'He did it because he was curious. He genuinely wanted to see how it would turn out. If it was allowed. For three years he was the man to whom everything was allowed. And no lightning came down to strike him, no one stood up to stop him. No one cared, honestly. There's something. There's just something about having someone absolutely in your power.' 'And making them suffer?' 'If you want.' 'Good story,' he said. 'But I don't think it's true.' 'What do you think is true?' 'Only he knows,' he said. 'Or maybe he doesn't. Then no one knows.'

'Are you mad at him?' I said. 'Why should I be mad at him?' he said and took the flower. 'He'll be dead one day too.'

The train pulled away from the station and he sat in the car alone. 'I've always wanted to see Germany,' he said. He looked out that window. 'Not like this.' Beside him a black cat sat on the seat. 'Tell me,' he said, 'are you magical?' 'Now and then,' said the cat. 'What's—she—doing right now?' 'Crying her eyes out.' 'Christ,' he mumbled. 'Why'd I even ask.'

'Should I be scared?' she asked. 'Yes.' She gathered herself in that little cab and her face took on a determined look. 'Then I definitely won't be.'

And at the Headquarters the Gestapo man told her, 'Your brother was working against us. But he died fighting for what he believed in. I'm sorry for your loss.'