I lay on the bed once more – equipped as before, but with the addition of a butter knife and a shaded torch. I had changed the time on the whiteboard above me to 03:00. All I could do now was wait…
I awoke on the same paving stone – but now it was dark. The only relief came from a handful of sputtering gas lamps. That suited me fine.
I rose and looked both ways down the street. Nothing. I then moved over to the Hitlers’ domicile and vaulted over the fence once again. Switching on the shaded torch, I made my way around to the back garden.
It was all too easy. I knew the Hitlers had no dog (a potential problem that had not occurred to me before) and having seen their windows, I figured the butter knife would be sufficient to gain me entry – it was.
Once settled in the kitchen, I moved with the speed of an arthritic snail. Inch by inch, I crept up the stairs to the bedrooms. I began with the front one. Turning the knob millimetrically, I slipped into the room. As I had suspected, it was Alois and Klara’s.
I unhitched the two stun-guns and moved like a ghost until I was hovering over the sleeping couple. I positioned the two weapons over their necks and – zap, zap.
Poor little Klara went out like a light, but it was almost a minute before I was sure Alois had breathed his last. He was a tough son-of-a-bitch, I had to give him that.
Next I crept slowly across the landing to the rear bedroom and again let myself in with minute precision. This time, two kids were in the bed. They had to be Alois Jnr and Angela – the children from Alois Snr’s first marriage.
In my time, they would not have been allowed to share a bed – but the Hitlers were that kind of family. They made the Addams Family look like the Waltons.
And having read how the two had turned out, I had no qualms about saving the world and them a lot of trouble. Zap, zap.
Finally I could relax a bit – but I still had Adolf to deal with. Where the hell was he? The house was detached, but small. It only had two upper rooms. I returned to the front bedroom, my eyes now more accustomed to the gloom. In the corner of Alois and Klara’s room, I saw the cot.
As I looked down at the baby Führer, I saw how similar he was to the infant I had zapped last time. I had reckoned the task would be easier this time. It was not. Particularly when Adolf suddenly opened his eyes and smiled at me.
I could not do it.
I had to do it.
I kissed him on his little bald head – and zap.
Feeling sick, I then began the second phase of my plan. I knew that even in 1889, a coroner would be suspicious if a family had all had heart attacks on the same night. So, having blown out the pilot, I turned the gas lamp fully on. Then the gas fire.
I then did likewise with the lamp and fire in the children’s room.
And with the lamps on the upstairs landing – and those in the front room and living room, for good measure.
The smell of gas was now becoming oppressive, so I returned to the kitchen and making sure that lamp’s pilot was on – I slid over the window-sill and carefully closed the window.
The job done, I moved around the house, checked the street was empty, hopped back over the fence and headed for the park.
When I reached it, I climbed the hill and sat on the bench at the top. From there, I could clearly see the residence in question.
I knew that gas was a tricky thing. The mix in air was critical. It could cause a fire, an explosion – or if someone turned it off before the level became dangerous, nothing.
I had no way of knowing how long it would be before anything happened. Perhaps an early caller to the house would prevent anything dramatic happening at all.
But at least the gas – poisonous in those days – would explain all those clean corpses. And that could be important. I already knew how even a tiny variance in the time line could have far-reaching consequences.
I also knew it would be a while before I could sleep, so having nothing better to do, I watched the house below. After three hours, my patience was rewarded…
A spectacular fireball blasted the roof off the house and a split second later – ka-boom! I could feel the concussion where I was.
The sound must have woken up the whole village. It was accompanied by the sound of a lot of breaking glass. I reasoned the local glazier would have a busy day tomorrow.
What remained of the house burned fiercely. Let the coroner try to sort that lot out.
After a while, my reverie passed and I began to think about my situation. I was now beginning to tire and would soon fall asleep.
What would I find upon waking? Would I even still exist?
I began to slip away…