Finding the precise address where Alois and Klara Hitler had lived in Ranshofen proved to be no easy task. But after extensive use of my computer’s translator, coupled with an exploration of many websites – including some decidedly dubious ones – I now had the address I needed. It had to be correct, considering what I intended to do…
I spent several days acquiring what I would need. My earlier source of period money came across with the necessary finance. A theatrical costumier supplied me with a nondescript period outfit. And one of those dubious websites led me to a Thai company who sold stun-guns.
And being adept at electronics, I knew how to convert them into lethal devices.
This last was a relief. I knew I could not strangle a baby. I also knew lethal injections are less easy to deliver than TV programmes like “Dexter” would have people believe. And I balked at driving a blade through the infant’s heart. I was killing Hitler, not Dracula.
No, technology would make the job comparatively easy.
Thus it was that I finally lay down on my bed, ready for action. I had my costume on, with the period money in a pocket. The Device was in the bracelet, secured to my left leg. Two of the modified stun-guns (in case of failure) were strapped to my right. The batteries in both would be good for ten minutes – more than enough for the job.
Suspended above me was a whiteboard with a picture of Klara (she looked quite sweet) and another of the baby Hitler at around six months of age. He looked cute too – but I could not think about that.
Underneath the pictures was a c1900 map of Ranshofen with the Hitlers’ residence circled in red. And underneath that, the words, “10:00 – July 20th – 1889” written in large, bold characters.
I knew from my research that Hitler’s three younger siblings all died in infancy and his two older ones would not be born yet. Alois had two kids from an earlier marriage, but they would be at school.
And Alois would be at work, so all I had to deal with was Klara and a three-month-old baby.
Again, it was a long time before sleep enveloped me.
I woke up, lying on a pavement. I quickly got up and looked around. Luckily, the street was deserted, save for an old lady who was walking away from me, her back turned. I began walking in the other direction.
At the end of the street, I checked the names on the signs, comparing them with a smaller copy of the map, which I had also brought with me. The latter was hardly necessary as I had studied it for so long, I knew it by heart. I was on the street where Hitler lived.
Having prepared so carefully, I now had to improvise. I checked my watch – it was two minutes past ten. I began walking towards the house. I had figured I would simply knock on the door and when Klara answered, leap on her – as I had Eddy 8 – and zap.
Then I would find baby Adolf and zap again.
But suddenly, I saw a woman walking toward me from the other end of the street, pushing a pram. I slowed my pace, but continued. She stopped at a front gate, opened it and pushed the pram through. As she closed it, I passed and nodded. I had just met Klara Hitler.
I continued walking until I reached the corner, then sat down on a convenient bench. I watched as Klara pushed the pram up the garden path and parked it by the front door. She opened the door, bent down and looked inside the pram – then left it where it was and entered the house, closing the door behind her.
She had obviously figured her child would benefit from the fresh, summer air. Not today.
The street was still deserted, so I made my way quickly back to the house. The number was correct. The woman was Klara. There was no possibility of error.
I crept up the garden and looked into the pram. Even though babies look similar, this one looked exactly like the picture of the baby Hitler. I had to go through with this. Zap.
The task completed, I walked quickly back down the path, vaulted over the gate and strode away, my heart pounding.
I walked to a public park that I knew of from the map and selected a bench. The park was built on a hill, but as it was a hot day, I chose one near the bottom, under a shady tree.
My original thought had been to make for a hotel, but I had dismissed the idea as being too risky. I had no papers and my command of basic German was minimal, let alone the Austrian dialect.
And even though I had period money, I had only taken that for emergencies. I dare not buy anything – not even food. No, I would just wait here until dark, then go to sleep on the bench. I could eat when I got home.
Of course, that was always assuming I had a home to go to. And assuming I even existed in the second new world I had just created. But I would find out about that in due course. Or not, depending.
The serenity of the park, coupled with the warmth from the sun was soporific. I felt myself succumbing…