A Midnight Collection
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A beam of moonlight shone through the window of a speedily moving car on a dusty road in Germany. Inside, Dr. Ebert sat, staring out at the stars above. An hour prior he had arrived at Munich Airport at the behest of his superiors for the retrieval of a potentially anomalous object. Now he sat next to his bag, waiting for the cab driver to pull up in front of the house he was to arrive at.

He stared out the window as the car pulled over in front of a dimly lit home. A squat two-story house beckoned at the end of a gravel driveway. Ebert stepped out of the cab, his boots making the gravel crunch beneath his feet. He walked to the house after assuring the driver he would be in there for only a few minutes, his feet crushing the gravel and making the familiar crunching sound.

Ebert gave the front door a repetitive few knocks. From within the house the sound of shoes hitting hardwood in an anxious manner pierced through the house's walls. A moment later the door swung open, a scraggly haired, middling-aged man peeking out. "Who are you?" The man hissed at Ebert.

"My name is Frank Ebert. Are you Fritz Weber?"

"Fritz Weber… yes, yes, that'd be me. Come inside." The scraggly haired man beckoned Ebert inside, walking him into a cozy living room, a fire stoked in a quaint brick fireplace and books poured out across a tiny coffee table in the center of the room. He sat him down and sighed, "I… I've got the thing. You wait right here."

"Thank you for your time, Mr. Weber. Thank you, especially, for not hesitating to inform us of this." Dr. Ebert got comfortable on the couch, crossing his legs and staring about the room. Weber walked near silently up the stairs, returning several minutes later carrying a lump of fabric tied around something.

Weber quickly sat himself down next to Ebert, placing the piece of fabric down onto the coffee table. He diligently picked apart and unraveled the fabric, revealing a circular helmet with a small spike at the top. "This… is a Pickelhaube. It belonged to my grandfather, he fought in the first World War," he sighed and wiped his eyes, "you see, about a week ago my son found the damned thing. When I checked up on him later he… his neck was sliced open, and he was bleeding."

Dr. Ebert nodded, prodding the metal helmet with his finger and scanning it over with his eyes, "I'll be frank, Mr. Weber. There's not much we can do beyond taking the thing and putting it away where no one can get hurt. We have a plan beyond this to deal with the death of your son, but… that's not my job."

"What are you going to do with it?" Mr. Weber sat, hunched over staring down at the floor.

"The thing's coming with me. We're putting this thing away where no one can get hurt with it and where we can put it to good use. That's as much as you need to know."

"And what about my son?" Weber stared into Dr. Ebert's eyes, shining with a mix of sadness and anger.

"There's not much we can do there… but what we can do is make sure nobody knows what happened. We can make it look like it was just an accident; even to you."

Weber sighed and placed his hands over his face, hiding the tears rolling down his cheeks, "Fair enough. Just take the damned thing. I don't want it." Dr. Ebert stood up, placing a hand on Weber's shoulder, staring down at him. There was something about him that he couldn't let go of.

Two years later, Ebert sat on a park bench somewhere in Munich, staring at the sunset. It had been ages since he last had time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Now that he was back in Munich for vacation, however, he could. Yet the thought of a man always dogged him. The faded yet lasting memory of that man, Weber.

He shut his eyes and sighed. It was probably a mistake to come back to Munich. He hoped he could muster the confidence to meet that man again, even if the chances of him remembering him were slim to none. Yet, here he was, sitting in Munich.

When he opened his eyes, the visage of a weary and middling aged man stood before him. "Excuse me, sir, but… but what is your name?" The middling aged man stared down at Ebert, giving him an anxious smile.

"My name? It's… Frank. Frank Ebert. And you're Fritz Weber, aren't you?" Ebert nearly jumped out of his seat, seeing such a man he adored in front of him. Weber sat down on the bench next to him, packed against his new companion. The pair sat close together, staring at the now distant and fading splash of orange and reds across the sky. In unison their hands touched, clasping each other.

Ebert leaned against Weber. In silence they watched the sun finally set below. An hour of silence later, the moon had begun shining down its familiar rays that Ebert could distinctly remember from two years prior. The pair stood up, leaning against each other in a chaste kiss. Phone numbers were exchanged, and, minutes later, Ebert stood, once again, alone in the park, staring up at the moon.

Now, and only now, he could fully understand why he could never quite let go of that distant and fading memory of Weber.

Fritz Weber stood outside on his home's sagging porch, smoking a small cigarette in a fruitless attempt to warm himself up. Around the corner a small truck drove by, dropping off the mail. Minutes after is had disappeared down the seemingly endless rows of trees, Weber walked down towards his mailbox.

Within the mailbox was a neatly sealed, with wax, envelope. Across the top were the words "TO MY DEAREST WEBER." He gave a crooked and stupidly happy smile. It had been months since they had kissed under the moon. They had since only passed letters between each other.

He took the letter back into his house, and ate his breakfast in silence. When he was done, he slowly opened the letter. After tugging the compressed letter open, he gave it a cursory look.

Dear Fritz F. Weber,

Weber, its been so long since I've seen you. I'll be blunt, this letter will be short, and it has one purpose. In our previous chats you mentioned being a lawyer — this presents a unique opportunity for us to be together in person. I've put in a few words, of course, and if you can come to Hamburg, then I believe you'll be employed with the Foundation that's captured our love.

If all goes well, and you accept such a turn of events, I'll be seeing you soon. I love you.



It was but five months later that they slept, tangled together in each other's arms, gold bands on each of their ring fingers. The pair had never been happier. They had never felt more secure than now.

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