“Four men,” she reported, “possibly more.” She cocked her head as if the gesture allowed her to hear more clearly. “They’re not Irish,” she added.
“Middle Eastern.” It was said as a statement but Vicki sensed that Sam was expecting confirmation.
After a moment, she said, “No. They’re German.”
“German?” Sam did not attempt to conceal his surprise.
“Yes,” she said, her voice firm. “German.” Instinctively, she moved further into the shadows.
Their voices grew louder as they moved closer. Then a light appeared at an angle from their cell; a light that danced and swayed like the torches had in the stairway. As the men emerged, she realized two of them carried torches; one to lead the way and the other taking up the rear. They illuminated the area around them quite well.
They wore field gray uniforms with wide black belts and tall boots. As she recognized the way the pants billowed before disappearing into the boots, her mouth went dry. Her eyes swept upward, knowing as she stared at them that her own expression must be incredulous. Even before she saw the collar insignia and shoulder boards, there could be no mistake of their identity. The red armband with the distinctive swastika left no doubt.
She could feel Sam’s confusion as she described the uniforms. Yet she knew these were not reenactors of some type. Their fit, chiseled appearance and the strong, almost harsh inflections in their voices were as easily recognizable as the Nazi symbols they wore.
They did not stop at Stephen Anders’ cell but continued past it as if they were unaware of their presence.
As Vicki watched them, she could feel her jaw dropping and the blood draining from her face. She felt a wave of fear and panic as palpable as though she was a political prisoner in a den of German soldiers. But as she watched them wide-eyed, they abruptly disappeared.
She gasped, her hand instinctively moving to her mouth. She continued to stare at the hall, now dark and empty. As she moved closer to the cell bars, she stared in the direction they’d been moving. They had not rounded a corner or ducked into an adjoining cell. They had simply vanished.
Dylan's Song is scheduled for release in the spring of 2013, hopefully in time for Book 'Em North Carolina!