I am very new to lj (in fact this is my first actual post) so I apologize in advance for whatever screw ups you may encounter. That said, please enjoy the fic.
Title: Grenzmauer 75
Author: Jakodi Saer
Characters: Prussia, Germany, unnamed guards.
Warning: vague as all get out and meant to be that way.
Summary: The ghost was back again.
The first time the figure was seen it was standing right up against the chill concrete of the wall. Just suddenly there, a slim figure of a youth bundled in a winter jacket. Startled oaths exploded from the guards, guns swinging from rest position to aim at the boy by the wall. His head was titled back, as though trying to peer over the concrete and wire construction so much taller than he. An arm lifted.
Safeties clicked off.
Still facing the barrier, white hair tilted. Dark clad body started to turn-
Stunned silence filled the guard tower. By silent accord those on duty agreed to refrain from mentioning the incident-lest any think they were drinking on duty. What other explanation was there for seeing things that weren’t there?
The second time was similar, a sudden presence standing untouched beyond barbed wire and nail beds. His head tilted up, arms arched as though to channel a shout. The guards reacted faster this time.
Gunfire shattered the silence.
Bullet holes pockmarked concrete curiously free of blood. The boy stood in front of the damaged area, still facing the wall. Slowly he turned. The guards had the briefest impression of red eyes under white hair before the apparition started laughing.
It was a wild, psychotic cackle (full of viscous joy of long gone battles and the shrill, keening edge of grief) that echoed long after the figure faded in the pale winter’s light.
The third time there was no gunfire, only a tense, curious silence on the guards’ part. The boy (ghost they were starting to whisper) went through the same motion as before, seeming to shout over the barricade. No sound reached them, for all that the mad laughter had clawed its way into their ears to easily. Only the sound of the wind over barbed wire and the distant crack of gunfire from distant posts. He was there for near an hour, seeming to call over and over. Then he vanished, disappearing so suddenly and with so little ceremony it took his watchers a moment to realize he was gone.
The ghost became a near regular occurrence after that, abruptly appearing and disappearing, always at the same time, always at the same place.
Eventually the tale of the ghost spread, a few men attempting to shift posts solely to see if the stories were true.
Theories abounded as to his origin-bullets passing though his body as though he were made of air confirmed he was some sort of specter-but none could agree the type. Some said he was the ghost of a single person, others whispered that he was every soul killed at the Wall. No one knew. The guards just kept watching “their” ghost.
And the ghost kept coming. Eventually words made it past the wind and to the guards’ ears. Just two words, repeated over and over and over. Sometimes a strident call whose tone all but demanded attention-others the desperate, grief stricken scream belonging to someone who had lost too much. (Those nights the guards went home with uneasy hearts and held their families tightly, a ghost’s sorrow drenching them to the bone). Always two words, over and over.
The reason for calling West was never truly discerned, for all the claims that it would make sense for someone standing by the Wall. “Ludwig” was even more useless, lacking the family name that could have allowed them to look up records, possibly finding their ghost’s name. (An older guard joked that maybe it was the Ludwig he had known during the War, “Tall fellow, always had this Italian following him around-”. The joke was dismissed as such.)
Once, just once, one of the men swore he heard a reply from over the Wall. Just one word.
When the wall was overrun and the order came (“Do not shoot”) one of the tower guards was near the gates, watching the joyous sea of people. A glimpse of white hair caught his eye-a young man in a far too familiar dark coat. He watched with wide eyes as the ghost disappeared behind the ever shifting mass of people before reappearing wrapped in the arms of a tall blond, both gripping the other as if terrified they would vanish the moment one let go. The ghost looked so very human, tears running down his face as he laughed, the rough cackle lost in the sound of the crowd. The ecstatic mass of humanity shifted again, obstructing the stunned guard’s view. A moment later his view cleared.
The ghosts were gone.
Notes: There were four versions of the wall, each larger and harder to pass than the last. The fourth version of the wall, the one most think of with its guard towers and barbed wire, was known as Grenzmauer 75.