Herr Schmidt

Gregor awoke with a jolt, a clammy sweat clinging to him like a shroud. The dream, thankfully, had faded, yet a tendril of unease remained. It was always the same. A cramped, airless office, the walls plastered with maps crisscrossed with nonsensical red lines. His boss, Herr Schmidt, a man perpetually shrouded in an aura of damp wool and stale cigars, stood ranting about purity and Lebensraum. Gregor, however, felt only a gnawing nausea, the guilt a physical weight in his gut.

He wasn’t a Nazi, of that much he was certain. At least, not truly. He recoiled from the harsh pronouncements and brutal rallies. Their fervent speeches felt like incantations, a dark magic he couldn’t comprehend. Yet, there he was, tethered to Herr Schmidt by an invisible chain. Their partnership, once a beacon of financial security, now felt like a pact forged in a fever dream.

The Ministry had hinted at an “expansion,” a euphemism that sent shivers down Gregor’s spine. Their business, once a humble stationery shop, had begun churning out maps unlike any he’d ever seen. Maps that warped reality, continents twisting like melting wax, borders redrawn with a butcher’s hand. Gregor, tasked with the mundane details of ink and paper, felt complicit in a grand, horrifying design he couldn’t grasp.

He shuffled through the day with a leaden weight in his chest. Every customer, every transaction, felt like a betrayal. Was he merely a cog in the machine, or was he, in some small way, responsible for the encroaching darkness? The lines blurred, the air grew thick with unspoken accusations. Perhaps, Gregor thought with a growing dread, the real transformation wasn’t some monstrous physical metamorphosis, but a soul twisted and contorted, becoming something he barely recognized. He wasn’t a Nazi, no. But in the suffocating confines of their partnership, was there truly any difference?


Gregor Samsa shifted uncomfortably in his scratchy uniform. The crispness of the morning air bit through the thin fabric, a stark contrast to the stifling heat that had clung to him all night. The accusation – a Nazi? – echoed in his mind, a foreign word, a monstrous label that seemed to clamp down on his meager existence like a rusted vice.

His boss, Herr Wieser, was a member of the Party, yes. A necessity, the whispers went, a small price to pay for a foothold in the market. Gregor didn’t understand the politics, the grand pronouncements and Partei rallies. He understood numbers, the rhythm of deliveries, the quiet satisfaction of a balanced ledger.

But the world, it seemed, wasn’t content with such mundane understanding. The line between necessity and complicity had blurred, painted over in harsh, unforgiving strokes. Gregor felt a cold sweat prickle his skin. Was his loyalty to Herr Wieser, his silent acceptance, a form of participation? Was mere proximity to evil enough to stain him?

He shuffled through the morning routine, every task taking on a new weight. The clinking of bottles felt like a coded message, the whirring of the delivery truck a menacing hum. The world, once familiar and predictable, had become a labyrinth, its walls adorned with shifting accusations.

Gregor wasn’t a Nazi, not in his heart, he desperately clung to that conviction. But the seed of doubt had been sown, a tiny, monstrous thing that threatened to consume him. In the landscape of the times, mere proximity to power could twist an ordinary life into something fraught with meaning, a meaning both terrifying and unclear.


Gregor awoke that morning to a disquieting sense of inversion. The room, usually tidy and predictable, seemed warped. The furniture, once aligned at precise angles, leaned precariously. Even the light filtering through the dusty windowpanes felt oddly accusatory. A tremor, originating not from the outside world but from deep within him, rattled his very core.

He shuffled to the ornately framed photograph on his mantlepiece – a younger Gregor, arm in arm with a man whose smile seemed a touch too wide, a touch too eager. Herr Winkler. Business partner, yes, but a weight upon Gregor’s conscience heavier than any ledger book. Herr Winkler, whose Party pin gleamed on his lapel in the photograph, a stark contrast to Gregor’s own carefully blank one.

Gregor had clung to the delusion of neutrality, a tightrope walk between survival and principle. He’d provided the steady hand, the meticulous accounts, while Herr Winkler, with his Party connections, secured contracts that would have otherwise been unattainable. A necessary evil, whispered Gregor to himself every morning, a mantra that grew increasingly hollow.

The tremor intensified, the room tilting further. Was it a summons? A reprimand? Gregor yearned to understand, to plead his case. But to whom? To the faceless bureaucrats of the Party, their pronouncements delivered through crackles of the radio? Or to a society that seemed to have sleepwalked into a nightmare?

He reached for the photograph, the glass cool against his sweating palms. Herr Winkler’s smile seemed to widen, a silent accusation. Gregor’s reflection in the frame stared back, a man trapped in a web of his own making, the lines between complicity and innocence hopelessly blurred. The room lurched once more, the tremor reaching a crescendo. Gregor crumpled to the floor, the photograph clattering beside him, its broken glass a mirror reflecting a truth he could no longer deny.

Weimar Somocistas

They dream in flickering black and white newsreels, these squares with crew cuts slicked back with Brylcreem. Weimar? A hazy postcard of flappers and jazz, a decadent playground for the swells. Blind to the shadows at the edges, the thuggish brownshirts goose-stepping down cobblestones, a guttural roar rising from the radio static. Somoza in a pinstripe suit, a Stetson tilted low, a cigar clamped between his teeth – that’s the strongman they crave, the one who’ll “clean things up.”

They wouldn’t recognize the jackboots on their own front steps, the stench of fear a cheap cologne. Delusion a virus, replicating in the petri dish of their skulls. Good guys? Pull the other leg, chum. They’d be goose-stepping in time with the worst of them, faces contorted in a rictus grin, blithely saluting the swastika rising like a malignant tumor on the horizon.

Sleepwalkin’ into a nightmare in their star-spangled blinders, convinced they’re heroes in a John Wayne flick. Brainwashed by AM radio static and reruns of Leave it to Beaver, they wouldn’t recognize a jackboot on their lily-white asses until it was crushing their discount cigarettes.

That would make all the good ol’ boys just a buncha Weimar squares, huffin’ on fascism like it was Lucky Strikes, blind as bats in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. They think they’d be fightin’ the good fight, wearin’ their white hats and singin’ that barbershop harmony, all the while goose-stepping right into der Fuhrer’s meat grinder. Don’t get me wrong, they’d be the first to string up a pinko, but put a swastika on it and suddenly it’s apple pie and Chevrolet. Delusion, man, pure uncut delusion. They’re livin’ in a dreamland paved with Coca-Cola bottles and barbed wire, where cowboys are the master race and the only good Indian’s a lobotomized one on display at the state fair.