top of page

AWOL Manuscript

I guess I lost the manuscript for ‘Two Vermin and A Mischlinger.’ It isn’t a big deal. At least, I feel like it shouldn’t be a big deal. It was essentially a school story with Nazis and ghosts, all the villains were cardboard cutouts and the only really interesting part being the setting. It was originally an origin story. It was a “This is how our group of intrepid protagonists met and became such solid friends” kind of thing, which may have been interesting if there were something else going on. I mean, there was a lot going on, historically: the country was defeated in a war, the money got devalued so hard that people were reduced to using cigarettes as currency, and chunks of the nation was divided into 4, 3 and then 2 countries. Then the Berlin Airlift happened. But in story, what happened was that 7 kids went to school and were picked on by bullies. Plus a teacher who shouldn’t be anywhere near kids picked on them. A ghost also gave someone a house.

Then there were the mistakes. I misread the maps of Western Germany, and consequently put the fictional town of Lieslburg in Thuringia. I then made all the soldiers American and had the town follow the pattern of an American zone of occupation. Except we Americans really only had Bavaria. Thuringia was part of the Russian zone of occupation, which is as different an experience as night is to day. We Americans may have been aloof, culturally clueless, and unsure what to do, but we only stole luxury goodies and souvenirs. The Russians became famous for raping anything in a skirt and swiping everything that wasn’t nailed down. Stalin even encouraged it. Any one equating the two types of occupations has oatmeal for brains. So, that was a big oops on my part. I also inserted Rosh Hoshannah in September when it was nearer November that year. It was all kinds of dumb, plus there are way too many native able-bodied males in Lieslburg for 1945. I certainly came up short on the research department.

All this is to say that I wish I had gotten serious and gotten a beta reader to review it ages before now. There would be someone sitting on me then, and perhaps an extra copy to fall back on. Well, I live and learn. Onward, ho and all that jazz. I'll just make something better.

bottom of page