Günter took his cello case and walked up the stairs into a city he did not recognize, a city no more. The air raid sirens had begin screaming late the previous afternoon, and he had dutifully gone down to the cellar to await the all clear as he had many times before. This time it never sounded.

The cold air smelled of burned meat, acrid wood, powdered plaster. No buildings remained standing. The Frauenkirche was gone, the Royal Library, the Kirchewald Apartments.

In the streets lay blackened logs. He could see they’d once been people.

Mozart’s Requiem, he thought. Perfect.