NOW AVAILABLE IN KINDLE FORMAT:
THE NOT-SO-INNOCENTS ABROAD!
"When a person cannot find a deep sense of purpose, he distracts himself with pleasure."
- Viktor Frankl
Freud studied me intently. "We come to the Letter W, Roland. What occurs to you?"
I looked over his shoulder and went cold. "Wyrd!"
When the three Norse Norns merge,
they become the tall, angular spirit, Wyrd or Fate, from whom there was no escape.
When I saw Wyrd float towards the shadows in the rear of Meilori's, I heaved a sigh of relief.
Neither Freud nor Twain had spotted her.
Mark snorted, "I think the same thing when I look at old Saw-Brains there, Roland."
Freud snapped, "What is your problem with me, Twain?"
Mark's arsenic blue-grey eyes glistened in the shadows. "More than one, esteemed doctor."
He made a face as if his cigar tasted bad.
"In 1938 Vienna, you were granted an exit visa and allowed to list the names of six people to take with you."
Mark angrily ground out his cigar on the table.
"You listed your doctor, your maid, your dog, and your wife’s ... sister,
but you didn't list any of your own sisters!
All four of them were shuttled to the Terezín concentration camp
where they died badly, while you, their brother, lived out your last days in London."
Freud was pale. "I had limited money. I could not afford ...."
"Your friends, your colleagues would have given you the money had you asked!" snapped Mark.
"Perhaps it is easy for you to ask for money, Twain, but I ...."
Mark shook his head as if ridding it of gnats.
"Now, I have been accused of hubris so often that finally I had to look it up in the dictionary."
Mark glowered, "I only saw your picture. Now, I know why."
Freud was about to speak when he froze. Mark and I joined him.
Wyrd, her grim eyes skewering the psychiatrist,
now towered above him and spoke like the crushing of dying leaves underfoot.
"The Scribbler spoke of your wife's sister, Minna Bernays, but withheld his words. I will not."
Wyrd traced strange burning runes on our table's surface.
"Your sister-in-law's sleeping arrangements in your wife's and your apartment would be called by my name -- weird.
Minna’s small sleeping quarters were right next to your and Martha’s bedroom, and separated only by a flimsy partition, not a wall and door.
The only way Minna could get to her room was to walk through the bedroom that her sister and brother-in-law shared."
Mark raised an eyebrow, but Freud snapped, "You would have had to live there to understand."
Mark snorted, "A situation I am glad to have been spared!"
"In 1898, during a two-week vacation in the Swiss Alps, you and Minna registered at an inn as “Dr Sigm Freud u frau” —
as man and wife.
You took the largest room in the hotel, but one that had what is described as a 'double bed.'
Soon after you both checked in, you sent your wife a postcard that regaled her with details about the gorgeous scenery,
but described your lodgings as 'humble,' even though the hotel was 'the second fanciest in town'.”
"I ...." began Freud, but Wyrd shook her head, disappearing and left only fading words behind.
"Now, you know why you are doomed never to leave Meilori's."
Mark cleared his throat. "Well, as exit lines go, that one was a killer."