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Shadows at Dusk

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Sometimes, the rain is cold.

Amon drowns in it when it comes, reveling freely in the glory of the sharp, stinging pain it unleashes on him when he stands on the balcony alone. The dead of night relieves him of duty, it gives the illusion of a man in his high tower looking upon the world on his own. There is no evil within him in those hours, just a king in his castle, laughing under the weight of his guiltless soul.

It gives him gratification in knowing someone else understands his sorrow as well as he does. Mother nature in all her golden, flaxen beauty lays her wrath on Plaszow, dazzling its inhabitants with snow, sleet, and hail, all of which burns Amon as much as it does them. He loves the agony, the cold, and the fire he feels in place of the emptiness inside. She provided for him where his broken body had failed; even an external force was better than none. The influence made him feel whole where death did not.

Oskar warned him about this once. Amon could see him now, even through the rain, the pale glow of his face beckoning like the moon on a windless night. Cigarette smoke wafts about his mellow features—mere mist in the sky.

"The most beautiful stages of a person's life are at birth and death. Life comes once and electrifies, death sets the rest aflame with no chance of protest." He looks him in the eye. "Did the fires consume you?"

Not even Hades himself could have told him such a thing and gotten away with it.

The water rushes over his head, cooling him. He flicks his hair back and sighs. Perhaps he had been searching for completion all along. He just did not know where to find it. The killing had not quenched the flames; women and booze certainly did not either. He sought solace where there was none. He wanted something he could never have. Silly little things like joy and love...maybe even necessity. Feelings that most took for granted but slipped through his fingers like sand.

He wanted Helen.

Only she could protect him from his affair with the elements. She could be the cold that he needed, the rain that came to his embrace in the midst of night. Mother nature was a poor mistress compared to her.

If only he had not said those words—"Heil Hitler." Seeded with evil, fresh with power, that one little phrase destroyed it all. He was an outcast in a sea of lies. Perhaps he could have had her now without it. She would be by his side, his anchor in the storm, the dawn to his dusk. The darkness that gave him rest and much needed reflection.

His hands, tied behind his back, feels the brush of her hair against them. The static before his eyes thickens. Wood splinters and snaps beneath his feet. It reminds him of the sound of crashing glass, the groan of a shelf toppling into darkness.

He falls and she flies.