Fascists In The Belfrey

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes.  Here is what I came up with.  I hope you like it.

As they moved him into the rest home, his children found most of his memorabilia:  Fritz Julius Kuhn’s autograph; a brief, yet presumably inspirational letter from Father Coughlin; posters and pamphlets from The German American Bund’s rally at Madison Square Garden.  1939.

1939.  He had driven down from Pawcatuck, Connecticut, to attend.  He wore a suit with a special inside pocket for his blackjack.  He had told all the boys at the soda fountain that he’d sap a “red Jew” first chance he could.

Franklin Delano Rosenfeld and his Jew Deal.

His wife and he had started a family on the late side; both his children had been born in the early-1960s, long after…

It wasn’t a big topic of conversation around the house.  When local journalists began writing “What Did You Do In The War?” pieces for the weeklies, his name was never mentioned in print.

He was in jail.  30 days in 1942.  Disturbing the peace for busting up a delicatessen.  Draft dodging on top of that.  He spent the war wheat pasting Franco posters to telephone poles and crank calling a yeshiva located in Boston.

His wife divorced him in the early seventies.  She joined a church social group and her attitudes towards blacks and Jews softened considerably.  No one would ever mistake her for SDS, but she eventually stopped trying to act as her husband’s emergency reserve of viciousness.  She made friends, and was honest with them.

One day, he was walking past a synagogue.  A celebration was going on inside.  He stopped and stared at the building, with its ultramodern exterior of shimmering glass and thick sturdy wood.

He vandalized a car in the parking lot.  The windshield.

When the police arrested him…

“I didn’t do it because they were Jews.  I did it because I don’t like Jap cars.”

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