DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
JOINT EMCOM REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS
U.S. ARMY WAR COLLEGE, CARLISLE BARRACKS
REPLY TO THE ATTENTION OF:
COL. T. MARKER, FACULTY INSTRUCTOR
TO: DR. J. ERNESTINE, DEPT. SOCIOLOGY, U. PENN.
Per agreed-upon material-handling protocols established at the Joint EmCom/War College/U. Penn. meeting, enclosed with this memo are a set of five leather-bound notebooks, handwritten, retrieved from an abandoned Old Order farmhouse (PA Agricultural Reclamation Zone 7). These fit the criteria for original textual documentation, per your request to EmCom and the outputs of the aforementioned meeting with Joint EmCom and War College representatives.
The point of contact for this action is the undersigned, at secmail
Terrence E. Marker
Col., Joint EmCom
Faculty Instructor, U.S. Army War College
Hey, it was great seeing you, and maybe when I'm up your way later in the summer I'll bring by that bottle of scotch we talked about. Glenmorangie, eighteen years old. Not much of that around anymore. I've been saving it. Special occasion, which I'm sure it'll be.
The diaries are, well, I've read them. They appear to be exactly what you told me you're looking for. The right timing, both pre and post-event. Some odd details. See what you think.
Look forward to seeing you again.—Terry
I hold her, tight in my arms, and she screams.
It is the morning, it is dawn, and the red sun fills the bedroom with late summer heat, and as she strains I hold her tighter, and still she screams. Her eyes are wide and unseeing, and her arms lash out, a dress on a clothesline before a storm.
I feel her body, my little bird, my little Sadie, her back pressed to my chest, taut as bent wood. I feel my arms, tired from the holding. My ears ring. And still she writhes and bucks, her head casting back and forth.
This is a long one, the worst seizure in weeks. I do not know how long it has been, but it was night when the cries began, and now day has come.
Hannah was with us, for a while, but now it is morning, and there is much to be done. Jacob is helping Hannah, I am sure. The tasks of the day play across my thoughts. The horses. Preparing the field. That unfinished chair. But I cannot focus, not even enough to pray.
There are words in her screaming, and names. Some I understand, though I do not know why she calls them out.
"Danny, oh God, Danny, oh God, oh God."
I do not know a Danny.
Her voice rasps, flayed and weakened, but still she cries out. "Doe Wah Jew Say Oh! Doe Wah Jew Say Oh Han Nan Neem!" Not English, not Deitsch. Words with no meaning, just sounds.
And always, always, she screams that they are falling. "They fall! They fall!" And about the beautiful wings. And about the angels. It is beautiful and horrible, whatever it is she sees with those unseeing eyes.
Her voice stills, and she pants, breath rapid, in and out, in and out.
And then, just as sudden as the first cry in the night, she shudders.
Then her voice, familiar, like sand, like dust.
She turns, and her eyes are tired. "Oh, Dadi."
That was how today began. And then the labors of the day came, and I am so tired now that I can barely write. But I write just the same.