Page 45 - To Family with Love
P. 45

noon Tyke got a Jack of Clubs and, as he was bringing lunch packs back for the crew, wandered into a minefield and lost his sight and both legs, while the boys were left without any lunch.
They didn’t take it as a sign, a warning, an eye-opener – my old man and Bobby continued to play schnapps for two with equal zeal, still picking cards to decide who would get various military duties and orders done. The King of Hearts – you take off, shoot some enemies and come back; the Ace of Spades – you steal a lamb on no man’s land for the cooks to roast; the Queen of Clubs – you go on leave; the Ten of Diamonds – you go chop some wood and bring it to the kitchen. They would do that for every task, until one evening Bobby got a Jack of Clubs, left and never came back. And only then did it hit my old man that they were being systematically and thoroughly exterminated by The Jack of Clubs. From that moment on, he would only play solitaire with a deck from which he threw away all Jacks of Clubs, and he would never pick a card. Never ever.
But all of that was in vain, because every night, as soon as he would fall asleep, he would dream of playing belote with Bob- by, Tyke and Cobra. In the dream, they have all already picked out their respective Jacks of Clubs, and it’s his turn to pick, and he knows what awaits him, but he can’t say no to them and he’s sweating all over, he’s in agony. With a savage howl, he picks out the Jack of Clubs, who grins in his face and calls him with his finger to join them. The howl, which would wake him up from that nightmare, would also wake up half the skyscraper and make them rush to the shelter, and me to the toilet.
− Dad, Daddy, you were just dreaming your stupid dreams. It’s nothing. Do you want me to tell you some colorful, beautiful story, about the most colorful tropical fish or the most colorful tropical birds, so you’ll dream bright colorful dreams, instead of

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