“Haha. I was a student there 40 years ago! The gymnasium still smell like fish?”
“Haha. That’s because of ME!”
“Haha. For my senior prank, I carried 50 pounds of German Cod from the
harbor to the gym. Then I formed the cod into the shape of basketballs,
painted ‘em like basketballs, and then made ‘em bounce like basketballs.
Not easy. Cod don’t naturally want to bounce!”
“Haha. Then I took all of the gym’s basketballs and carried them to the
harbor and formed them into German Cod, painted ‘em like German Cod, and
made ‘em NOT bounce like German Cod. Not easy. Basketballs don’t
naturally want to not bounce!”
“Haha. Anyway, by
the time I got back to the gym, a big basketball game had broken out
between the teachers and the students. Every teacher vs every student.
Lotta players, so they needed a lotta balls. Guess which balls they
used? My German Cod basketballs!”
“Haha. Yeah! By
the end of the game, the whole gym stunk of German Cod! That’s the
smelliest fish in Germany, kid! THE SMELLIEST COUNTRY! That smell is my
legacy. I’m dying tomorrow, by the way. Got a disease no doctors want to
bother learning about. Don’t blame ‘em! They learn about enough
diseases. So I’ll be gone tomorrow, but that smell will be there
“Haha. You’re probably wondering what happened to those basketballs I passed off as German Cod?”
“Haha. I wonder too, kid. I wonder too.”
Just then, somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, a fisherman pulled in the biggest German Cod he’d ever seen.
“This is the size of a 40-year-old basketball,” said the fisherman.
Poseidon, watching from his leased studio apartment in Heaven, smiled
down at the circumstances. He raised his magic trident and cured that
old man of his unknown disease.
The other three were laughing and sharing childhood memories, but not Edward. He was sitting alone, closest to the fire but a noticeable difference from the other 3. Alone. He was always alone. He had been alone his entire life.
Richtofen continued to stare at the wreath on his visor cap. His scar ached. The wreath. Evergreens. Christmas. Christmas.. The orphanage.
“How about you, Doc?” Tank asked as the other three turned their attention to Edward. He didn’t hear them. “Richtofen..?” Nikolai followed. “You alright, Ed?” Tank asked again, showing some concern.
The ticking was growing louder. He heard that damn clock echo in his subconscious since the day it broke. His eye was twitching. His scar was burning. The fire was growing hotter. His blank stare twisted into a grimace as his nostrils flared and he could hear the childrens’ mocking laughter.
15 year old Ed fell to the floor. Picking his head up he winced as he reached up to hold the split under his right eye. He had never been hit before, but he had also never raised his voice at the other kids before. He imagined this was the consequence, hence he avoided retaliation. But he had ignored the others all he could. When asked by Mrs. Lehmann what they wanted for Christmas, Eddie replied “to see my mother again” to which the kids snickered at.
Later that Christmas Eve, the children has since ceased taunting the young Ed with the typical “Teddy” nickname and adopted “mamas boy”. Edward had heard enough. He stormed across the room, shouting and shoving everyone in his way until he reached the boy who started it all:
A stalky, albeit somewhat short, broad shouldered individual with Aryan complexion and a flat top haircut. Almost identical in appearance to Dempsey. Perhaps the similarities helped feed Richtofen’s distaste for the American. Clyde took the frail Ed’s punch with a grin, and promptly slugged him under the eye with the force of a Panzer.
Ed fell to the floor. Picking his head up he winced as he reached up to hold the split under his right eye. He had never been hit before…
Richtofen looked up from his hat at the others. “I’d rather not talk about it..” He said, wiping a drop of blood from under his scar.
Atlantic cod talk to each other,
and they have accents. However,
as climate change forces American
cod to swim north, they will likely
run into European cod, and
scientists worry they won’t
understand each other well enough
to reproduce because their
vocalizations are so different. Source