Kingdom of Night

He played the violin in the moments before his death, played Beethoven as if it were the only song ever written.

The Germans had disallowed the works of their great musicians to the likes of him, but here in the meadow between earth and the kingdom of night, the Germans had no voice.

Snow fell like ash over the frozen ground, and felt almost warm as a blanket. Corpses were scattered around them both, half-buried in the white, their strength finally stolen. In the shadows the boy heard the song, sweeping away the hunger and pain in his belly.

He played the violin in the dark until breath left him, and he was one more unmarked barrow in the black forest. The song rang forever in the boy’s ears, in the void beneath his ribs.

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