Hans Möller was the chairman of Ostbayerische Motorenfabriken for sixty years, steering it through the years of war and Soviet occupation, through Glasnost and Perestroika. A paragon of frugality, a man of rigid habits known to dine on cold kraut and a single sausage for breakfast and dinner, lunch always omitted. It pained him to part with a penny, and his company set the standard for efficiency.
After his death it was discovered that he had the largest private collection of European automobiles in the world, each car a peerless example of perfection on which no expense had been spared.
I rise through the ceiling. It is impossible, yet I do it.
There is no feeling, but I can see my hands in front of me , solid as ever.
The night sky has no temperature, very little light.
Above me I see only the distant stars.
Then I am in a corridor.
I float face up, yet I can see ahead and behind as well.
A curious smell saturates the air, yet the odor reminds me of music.
Emotions course through me without cause or effect, like paint on a canvas.
I am wholly alone, yet we are all together.
Pain. At first, just that. Pain. Blood in my mouth. Eyes gummy with it.
As it starts to get light, my surroundings begin to clear. The train yard. I must have fell from that bridge above.
No, not fell. Dropped. I remember now. A little.
I can see my hand now, curled on the steel rail. It looks all right, but I can’t move it.
What else? My legs seem to be bending the wrong way. The right one looks like it has two knees.
My ear is pressed against the cold steel rail. I feel it start to thrum.
Our miller’s transgressions were so slight that but for the circumstances he would have evaded detection, though it is true that God sees everything and surely would have condemned his soul when he came to Judgment.
It was the girl who found him out, of course. The angels that whisper the secret knowledge of our doings spoke yet again, came to her in the night and showed her the thieving Miller. Upon waking, she ran to Father Gilles to denounce him. He denied everything, of course.
Father Gilles decreed to let the punishment fit the crime. Burn the mill after.