The full moon shone through the window. Jacqueline’s fingers gripped a green mug, filled with chamomile tea. It was Tuesday. She met with Hitler every Tuesday.
The scripture said to keep your enemies closer than your friends and this ghost of a man had convinced her that he was her ally. Somehow, he’d spun his story into a tale of heroism. He’d framed the killings as political accomplishments. She sighed. The man’s eyes bore through hers, charismatic and filled with sorrow, shame, and sick pride. He was the kind of man you’d believe in a jury if he said he wasn’t guilty.
He sat down, dressed in a stiff suit and tie. It was a red checkered one. Maroon, actually: the color of the bloodshed he was responsible for. She wasn’t sure if she could ever fully trust him, but, somehow, she wished she could as she looked into his eyes. His intentions seemed pure, at least towards her.
“Hello, Jacqueline, my love.”
“Hello, handsome devil.”
“Chamomile today?” He asked, as friendly as a dog in heat.
The woman nodded, her entire body shuddering against her will.
“Don’t be scared. You’re white, you’re blonde, and therefore, you’re superior.”
Jacqueline wasn’t sure what to think about this. She liked it, just a little bit, to be thought of as superior. There was that dark side of every human that wanted power more than kindness.
“Why do you think that?”
“I read it.”
“Where exactly did you read that, Hitler?”
The man sighed and took a sip of his tea. It went right through him and spilled onto the floor.
“Well, it was in a fascinating text written by the incredible Charles Darwin,” He sighed, “Darling, I honestly don’t know why no one calls me by my first name. Really, there’s no need to be so formal.”
Jacqueline rolled her eyes but blushed a little despite herself.
Mass murderers were not supposed to be so charismatic…They were not supposed to seem so trustworthy.
Hitler looked into her.
“Yes, dear, that’s precisely why we get away with murder.”
I can’t believe he can read my mind.
“Yes, Jacqueline. Be careful what you wish for. I know everything you’re thinking.”
“I think it’s time to go.”
“Don’t be silly. You haven’t even finished your tea and I’m afraid we have more to discuss.”
“So the text you read told you to kill the Jews specifically? Is that what it was about, Adolf?”
She took a sip of her tea.
“In a matter of speaking.”
“The text said that only the strong survive by adapting to their environment. The strongest humans have blue eyes and blonde hair.”
Jacqueline raised a hand, “Stop right there, Mister.”
He shut his mouth reluctantly and rolled his eyes.
“I do hate being interrupted in the middle of a story, but I shall, for you, my dear.”
“You are not blonde, my dear.”
Irony danced on her tongue as she said it.
“No,” The man chuckled, “I’m not a pure-bred German either, but I am a fabulous public speaker and I promised people money and power. People will do anything for money and power.”
“Not all people.”
Hitler was quiet. He looked around her house. It wasn’t fancy. There were dings on all of her cupboards because she’d lived there for so long. She had a few rusty old pots and pans and all of the napkins had stains on them.
“Surely you wouldn’t do anything for money, Jacqueline. Would you like to play a game?”
“What kind of game?”
“Truth or dare,” He muttered, lifting his pinkie finger as he sipped his green tea.
“Are you sure that's appropriate for night time, Adolf?”
“Well, darling, ghosts can’t really drink anything.”
It dropped onto the floor.
“I like a good adrenaline rush though, or at least the idea of one. You’ll need to fix the wooden floor soon at this rate.”
As he grinned, Jacqueline’s heart skipped a beat. She smiled despite herself.
“Let’s play the game,” She said, her whole body filled with excitement.
“Truth or dare?”
Truth or dare? Truth or dare? Surely this man could dare her to kill her best friend. He’d always been good at talking people into that sort of thing…
“Would you do anything for money, Jacqueline?” He paused, staring at her as though she was a prime piece of steak.
“Are you sure about that? What if you needed medication for your lover? Henry, isn’t it? What if your dear Henry was on his deathbed and you couldn’t afford the medication? Hmm? What then, Jacqueline?”
“I suppose I might steal the medicine, but I wouldn’t kill anyone for it. I’m not a murderer.”
“No one ever thinks they could kill a man. Not until the day they do it. Not until they have the blood of another dead body on their hands and realize their sin. Everyone is capable of sin, Jacqueline. No one is innocent."
Allison shook her head.
“How do you think we know each other, Jacqueline? Don’t you remember? In your past life, you were my first in command. You shot many Jews. You just don’t remember it. The machine guns, the suffering, the concentration camps. The satisfaction you felt at all of the carnage. Nothing made you more stimulated. I’m surprised you’ve forgotten it all so readily, my dear.”
“Adolf, I think it’s time I retired,” Allison said, her voice shaking.
“That's a shame. We’ve only just started the game and I haven’t even had my turn yet. Don’t be a sourpuss.”
The man looked down at the floor and poured more tea on it.
“At this rate, you’ll have a fortune in repairs.”
Allison faked a smile.
“I’ll ask you a question now. Truth or dare.”
“Whatever people might say about me, I’ve always been an honest man. That’s what The Bible taught me: how to speak my truth.”
“Are you scared of guns?”
The man nodded, was silent for a minute, and then spoke.
“I’m terrified of them, my dear. They scare me more than anything in the world.”
“There is nothing more powerful than holding a weapon that can take human lives in one’s own hands.”
“Why’d you do it then?”
“Because I could. It’s getting late. You have work in the morning. I must be leaving now. Goodnight, my dear Jacqueline.”
“Goodnight,” She whispered, but the ghost of a man had already disappeared.