Rammstein: Das Wasser

Come in my boat
a storm is rising
and it is becoming night

Where do you want to go
so completely alone
you are drifting away

Who holds your hand
when it pulls you under
Where do you want to go
so boundless the cold sea

Come in my boat
the autumn wind
holds the sails taut

Now you are standing by the lantern
with tears in your face
the daylight falls on the side
the autumn wind sweeps the streets clear

Now you are standing by the lantern
you have tears in your face
the evening light chases away the shadows
time stands still and it becomes autumn

Come in my boat
the helmsman feels longing
Come in my boat
the best seaman was I

Now you are standing by the lantern
you have tears in your face
you take the fire from the candle
time stands still and it becomes autumn

They only spoke of your mother
only the night is so merciless
at the end I am left alone
time stands still
and I am cold

~ Seemann (Rammstein)

************************************************************************

I can’t sleep and the silence is so loud it rings in my ears. The bed is cold now except in the little furrow barely warmed by my meager heat, and as I return to full wakefulness, I notice that my toes and fingers are very cold. None of them want to move.

Opening my eyes, I stare at a white wall decorated with moving lights and shadows, and slowly realize I’m feeling the slight swaying motion of the bus going down the road. I try to grope for absent pillows, but my fingers are stiff. Glancing at them, I see that they are both wrapped up tight in white bandages, but I can’t remember why. They look like white clubs with just a thumb tip showing.

I move to look down from my bunk to the floor. Two white pillows lay haphazardly in the narrow cubicle room, propped up askew by the narrow space. I want them, but moving to get them is out of the question, so I lay back, close my eyes, and categorize the loud humming sound as the engine. Under it, faintly, I hear voices.

“Damn it, Paul, shut the fuck up! I don’t want you to even put the idea into his head.”

“I’m just saying we should be careful, that’s all. Keep an eye on him. I wouldn’t say anything to him about it, Chris.”

“Give it up, you two. We have to go on, find a way to go on, and help each other.”

“Flake’s right, let’s just get back to the hotel and try to sort out what to do.”

“I wasn’t going to mention it to him, though.”

“Drop it, Paul, please. We’re all tired. I hope Richard is still sleeping, and if you wake him up, I’ll kick your ass.”

“Hey!”

“Chris, picking on Paul won’t change a thing. Now just please, let’s be quiet and let me think.”

“What about Oliver? Have they gotten him settled?”

“Yes, that was the nurse calling. She said they have him stabilized and he’s already there. Gert got us the plane, so we can fly home with Oliver in a few days, if…”

“How’s Gert taking it?”

“How do you think?”

“Paul, please go sit up front.”

“Flake, I was just asking. Chris’s just in a snit, that’s all. None of this is our fault, including me.”

“I know – but would you please just go up front? The two of you together can’t seem to stay quiet, and I don’t want Richard disturbed.”

“God, he drives me crazy sometimes.”

“Paul’s just scared. We all are. He can’t help clinging to inane trivia; it keeps him from screaming.”

“Well, I’m sorry for being an ass, but just sitting around makes me crazy. He’s still out there, Flake. What if he’s … hurt?”

“I don’t know, Chris. I just try not to chase it all in my head too much when I can’t change it anyway. We have to be able to carry on. We have to make sure Oliver gets better, and we have to take care of Richard. We’d get ourselves killed if we tried to help them. Let the professionals handle it. It’s all we can do with Oliver and Richard.”

“Oliver will be okay. It’s just a broken leg, and the hospital got it fixed just fine. Richard’s hands will heal, the doctor said there was no nerve damage, and nothing vital was cut – but, Flake, he’s…”

“I know.”

I listen to the hum of the engine twine around the voices, but my toes are still so cold and my fingers hurt. I open my eyes to look at them, wrapped up with white bandages. They look like clubs. Why aren’t they warm?

Sleep tries to claim me again, but sleep brings the dream: the wet slap of water crashing into the side, the sickening crunch of the hull smashing into the rocks. Then I feel the hands pulling me up out of the icy water, half inside the boat, the press of its wooden side in my belly cutting off my breath. The wave comes again, toppling the boat, and I hear a shout and a splash, then only the silent whirling crash of the storm. Crying, somewhere, someone is crying, screaming. Oliver screams too, with his leg turned strangely below the knee. He is screaming a name. I am hit by water washing over me, almost pulling me back into that black cold, until Oliver grabs my hand. His hands are so strong. He screams over and over, the same name, but he never lets me go.

I startle awake again, the cries echoing in my head, which is flat on the bunk. Pillows. They are on the floor. Whose name had Oliver been screaming?

The moment I sit up, the little thin door to the cubicle opens. Flake stands in the dim light and then, seeing the pillows on the floor, bends to pick them up and give them back to me, fluffing them on the bunk.

“Thank you, Flake. They were missing and I need them. I-I missed them and they were gone. Gone,” I whisper, my voice trailing away.

He comes up to the bunk and gently pushes me down again, helping me arrange the pillows.

“Try to sleep,” he whispers. “We’ll be at the hotel soon, but you need to rest. You should have ridden from the hospital in the nurse’s van with Oliver. They said if you insisted on riding with us, you had to obey their rules.”

“I know. I try – but the waves come and they hurt Olli, and then the pillows are on the floor, and I can’t hear who Olli is calling to.”

“Don’t worry about that right now, okay? We’re going back home soon, but we have to wait a few days, first. Please try to sleep. Do you want to go back to your own bunk? It’s farther from the engine noise, I think?”

“No!” I clutch at his hands. Flake’s hands are strong, too, but not like those other hands. “No, I want to stay here.”

“Okay, Rich, okay. Will you try to sleep?”

~ ~ ~

I can’t remember when he left. I can’t remember when the noises changed, but I heard Oliver once. I’m still in bed, though it’s not the same. The scent is wrong and the room is strange. It’s not the bus. I hear Gert’s voice from a distance. When did he get here?

“Oliver is going to sleep for most of the night now, so don’t worry. The nurse will watch him.”

“Thanks, Gert, for everything. I don’t think we could have handled a regular flight home. I hope we’ll all be going home together.”

“Me, too. A lot can happen in a few days. Are the girls okay? It’s just Oliver and Richard who got hurt?”

“Well, yes, everyone else is all right, but … Richard isn’t coping well.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’ll say it if you two won’t – he’s gone nuts, Gert. ‘Not coping’ is an understatement.”

“Keep your voice down, Paul, for fuck’s sake.”

I was always good at telling what bed I was in, even with all the hotels and tours. If I was home, I knew that bed too, the one in New York and the one in Berlin. This one was new to me.

I hope Oliver is warm. My toes are warmer but my hands are throbbing. Why are they all mummified up? I raise my right arm and put my teeth to one of the bandages, trying to get it loose.

“Richard! Don’t – leave those alone,” Paul admonishes me.

He comes into the new room and sits on the edge of the bed and holds my bandaged hands. He is warm, but he isn’t very relaxed. He almost looks afraid. Do the waves frighten him, too?

“Paul, don’t be afraid. The water can’t get you here. You’re safe.”

“Rich, did you know that we’re fifty feet up a cliff from the ocean, in a hotel?”

“No, but see, that settles it. You’re safe.”

“Yeah, that’s right, Rich. We’re all safe.”

“Not all of us.”

“Not all? Did you remember something?”

“Yes. The water – it keeps trying to take me away, but he won’t let it.”

“Who?”

“Paul, damn it, leave him alone!”

Chris is angry but I don’t understand why. He makes Paul leave and then leaves me alone, but I’m not so afraid of the water here. Chris won’t let it take me, and he is strong. Is he the one Olli was screaming for? I give in to sleep.

~ ~ ~

The hands have me, but they aren’t wet, they aren’t cold. They are as I remember. The hands touch me and make me warm. He touches me, everywhere, leaving fiery traces on my skin. He takes me, makes me real, and fills me. I feel raw and alive, needing him, always, his scent in my face, on my skin. Am I dreaming? Is he here?

I startle awake and see a nice sterile hotel room around me. The door opens and Flake walks in and sits beside me on the bed. He looks concerned and I wonder if he knows that I was dreaming?

“Richard, are you all right? You called out in your sleep.”

“Where am I? It’s all wrong, Flake. This isn’t the right place.”

“You’re at our hotel, in your bedroom, Rich. You need to rest and get well. Olli’s fine, too; he’s in the next room and his family is watching over him.”

“Oh. I’m tired of sleeping. Can I have the television on?”

“I suppose, for a little while. I guess you’ll want MTV.”

I sleep again anyway but the noise draws me awake now and then. Once, I see myself on the screen, in a photo with others. The disembodied voice chatters on about the story at hand in America.

“Once again, just at dusk tonight, on Lake Michigan, a boating accident has left two injured and two missing. The German band, Rammstein, on their American tour with some of their friends and spouses, went on a boat trip and ran afoul of a freak storm on the Great Lakes. The Coast Guard continues the search for a missing man and woman, but authorities aren’t releasing further details at this time. Again, here’s that number to call if anyone in the Great Lakes region sees anything in the area, or has any information that might help the rescue efforts. And here’s Ich Will for the fans. Let’s hope they find them safe and sound.”

I watch the others and myself, but I don’t feel a part of it. Soon I hear Chris’s voice, talking to Flake.

“You’ve got him watching MTV? Flake, the story is all over that channel!”

“What? They never pay attention to us in America.”

“They do now,” Chris growls as he opens the door.

They both stand just inside the room and stare at the television’s flickering images, but I don’t want to; I want just the chatter of the voices to keep the water at bay. Chris walks over and grimly turns off the television.

“I want to go, Flake. It’s not right. I want to go to him. I can’t sleep without … without his … scent. Please?”

~ ~ ~

In the middle of the night, alone, I slip out of the bed and go across the living room area of the suite. I knock on the other bedroom door, and there’s no answer, but I slip inside anyway. Everything is still the same here – and the scent is here. I climb into the bed and, breathing deeply, drift off to sleep.

~ ~ ~

I am warm in his bed, and the hands stroke my thighs. I feel his lips on me, gently suckling as I slide into hot pleasures, quickly fulfilled. I bury my face in his chest as he lies beside me, breathing in his scent from the warm dark hair on his skin.

You’ve forgotten us, his voice whispers in my ear.

“No, I – us?”

Yes… The blood on the wood, find it by the water, or it will soon mark both our graves.

“No! But – I can’t think when I’m awake. It’s like living in a fog.”

Remember, Reesh, remember and come. I need you now.

Moonlight glows in the room when his summons wakes me. I grope for him with my bandaged hands, knowing I am not alone, but the bed is empty.

“Hey, Richard… Are you feeling okay?”

Paul’s voice in the room with me; I turn to see him sitting in a chair nearby. The summons lingers, echoing in my head, but I must be careful. I know what they all think of me now – that I am mad. Flake and Chris won’t let me go help, and Oliver is hurt.

“Paul, will you help me?”

“What do you need, Rich?”

I wince at the familiar nickname, though none of them say it like the other does.  It’s hard to focus on anything.

“Paul, I need to go and find them. I think I know where to look, but I can’t do anything useful with my hands like this.”

“I can’t take off your bandages, Rich, I’m sorry. You need them to heal.”

“Then you will have to be my hands.”

“You’re serious? You know where to look for them? How can you know that?”

“He told me.”

“Who?”

“I don’t know, I can’t think anymore. Will you help me, and not tell the others?”

“They’ll kill me, but yes, I’ll help. When are we going?”

“Now, while they are asleep, we can go. There’s no time left.”

With agonizing slowness, Paul helps me dress warmly. He fetches his own coat from his room with me in tow, careful not to wake Flake in the next room. We ignore the meager night staff in the hotel and go out.

The night is thick with fog and the air is so wet that breathing is hard for me. We have no flashlights, only my lighter, and the few lights along the patio just make the fog thicker. Paul takes my right elbow in his hand and helps me balance as we make our way across the patio and pool areas. I don’t look at the pool. One glance and the still dark water makes me too dizzy to stand.

Paul helps me to the first landing of the stairs that lead down to the beach. The white painted wood is wet and slick, with thin strips of black on the edges of the steps to give some purchase for feet.

“This isn’t the safest way to go, but it’s the fastest way to the beach without a car. You want the beach, right?”

“Yes.”

“Okay. Chris is already going to kill me for this, but if I get you back to them alive he’ll go easier on me, so you have to be careful. We’ll walk down together, step by step. I’ll hold the railing on the outside, you keep your free hand touching the other railing, but we’re going to hang on to each other, too. Here, put your arm through mine – that’s right. Here we go.”

I can’t see a thing in this fog, and the abrupt sound of the waves assaults me, making me shake. Paul holds my arm tightly, or I would fall. I can’t feel the railing with my bandaged hand, but I feel the slip and bump of it underneath the wrappings. How many steps are there? How many landings? I can’t remember. The only one of us who went down this way before was…

The waves get louder, but all I can see is fog.

“Here’s the first landing, now it turns back again. Ready?”

I nod and follow along with him, step for step, as we turn about and reach the next flight of steps. I dimly remember them stacked up on top of each other and weaving back and forth, as I saw them from the patio above in daylight. I remember watching that strong back going down them, to the sea, the first day we arrived. He had to be in the ocean as soon as the bus had stopped … but the boat had been my idea.

Down, down, down, and down – Paul talks on in a quiet voice but I don’t hear him. How many landings? How many steps have we gone down? I don’t remember. The waves are crashing too close to me. They want me, I shouldn’t have escaped them, I know. I wish I hadn’t. The water would be better than this mindless groping, this mad fog. Yet, wishing I’d been consumed by it didn’t relieve me of my fear of it. The rhythmic crash and wash of waves below us nearly paralyzes me. Paul tugs at me to make me move with him.

“Here are the last steps, Richard. Now listen to me, the water doesn’t come up to these steps. We’ve got beach sand at the bottom for a good fifty feet before the water starts, okay?”

“Yes.”

“Let’s go, then – not too far now,” he says and gently tugs at me again.

I feel the soft pliant give of sand under my shoes before I know it and wince. I hear the water all around us, loud, and I cleave to Paul and shudder for a moment.

“You know they’ve already searched this beach, Richard – more than once.”

“I know where to look. They don’t.”

“Okay… I’m following you then.”

I feel his hand take my right elbow again and I am relieved. If he had lost contact, I would not have known where he was, or the waves might have come and taken him. Shaking and blinded by fog, I move cautiously forward over the sand. I keep the water on my left and Paul on my right. If it comes, it can have me, not him.

“It’s hard to see a thing out here. I can barely see the cliff we came down.”

Used to Paul’s habit of chatter, I don’t answer him. I walk through crusted sand and try to sense for what I know is here. They searched here once, twice, already, but not at the right time. The water keeps its playthings a while before it decides to take them down or spit them out.

“The temperature is dropping again, Richard. We shouldn’t stay out here too long.”

“The blood on the wood, the blood on the wood. Where?”

“What did you say?”

At the end of the smooth sand there had been a windbreak, a worn wooden fence of loose weatherworn slats held together by rusting wire. The water had been trying to pull it down for years, and more than half of it is now awash in the surf. There is no hope of seeing it ahead of time, but if we stay near the cliff, we will run into it soon enough.

“Richard, are you warm enough? I’m freezing. Shit! What the hell is that?”

Looming up out of the fog, dark like black fingers clawing at us, is the little forlorn fence – taller than I had remembered it. I reach out to touch it but I can only vaguely feel its worn slat tops with my wrapped hand.

“It’s the blood on the wood, we’re here.”

“Richard, you are really freaking me out. All I see is black sticks in fog. There’s no blood, none you could see in this mess, anyway.”

“They’re here. Follow me.”

I walk carefully down the length of the wretched fence, listening to it creak quietly in the wind, the sound swallowed by the roaring of the waves ahead of us. My fear of the water intensifies with every step, but I know what I will find. Perhaps we can all get away before it comes for us again.

As the waves come closer, I slow my steps and soon my shoe strikes something before me. I stop and drop to my knees, instantly soaked.

“Oh, fuck, oh shit, what is it?” Paul steps around to my side and fumbles for the lighter in my coat pocket.

I reach out and touch cold wet flesh as he clicks the lighter flame on. The light is stolen by the wind in an instant, but it’s enough for him to see what I know so well by touch.

“Oh, my God… Richard, listen. I’m going to go and get help. I want you to stay right here, but out of the water, okay? I’ll be right back. Get out of the water!”

He huffs out a breath as he turns and runs back down the sand. I hear his shoes strike the first of the steps and his scream vaults up the cliff to anyone who might be listening. Soon, the thudding of his feet on steps in the distance is drowned out by the wind and waves.

I can’t move; I can’t leave. I reach out to the first one and touch things that are wrong. Sluicing into the wet sand and thin reach of waves, I touch the other one, but both are just as cold as the water. I lay down next to the still forms, between them and the waves, to keep the water from their faces, and feel the wet seep into my coat, pants, and sweater.

A wave comes creeping up to nibble and tug at my foot, making me scream – but I won’t move. I lay as close to them as they are to each other, locked together. I am not warm, but perhaps what little warmth I have will help. No movement stirs beside me, but I hear the hotel come alive above us in the distance.

Another wave comes at me, curling its gurgling mouth around my shoe. The tide is turning – the water remembers my taste. I bury my face into the broad cold chest beside me and scream like a child with every wave.

The water splashes up and douses my face, bringing me to my senses a little. I pick my head up and stare blindly at it through the fog. If it can take me now, I’m ready … but I won’t go without them. Tears wet my salt-stung eyes as I try to wait patiently for the water to finish its work.

Then other noises intrude on my abruptly silent waiting. There are many feet on the steps and a motor coughs to life somewhere above. Voices shout to each other, frantic.

“Down there, at that little fence thing, do you see?”

“You found them?”

“Richard found them.”

“You left him out there?”

“I couldn’t make him run up the steps! He can barely walk. I told him to get out of the water.”

“He didn’t listen!”

“Oh, my God, Chris, he did find them.”

“Richard, Richard come with me, get off of him, we have to let the EMTs see them.”

Chris’s strong hands pulling me up, as impossible to fight off as the waves. He lets me stand against him and he is warm, but I struggle to see and he allows it.

People are everywhere. Flake is hanging onto Paul and making him talk to him, probably about our journey here. Gert is helping people in white and blue to move the broken one out of the grip of the other. They all move in the fog like ghosts.

Then lights on the other side of the wretched fence blind us all. White, blue, and red lights, whirling, and a siren shrieks behind them. The people are turned from ghosts to black silhouettes that shimmer in and out of the lights. I squint to see as they carry away first one and then the other one. Some of the lights and sirens turn to go away. More people are here, too. I don’t know any of them.

“We can answer all the questions you like, sir, but we have to get Richard out of the cold.”

“You three can ride with him in my car, and Henson will bring the rest. Turn those cameras off, you bleedin’ vultures!”

“Come on, Richard, we’re going back up to the hotel.”

Chris walks me with him through a small gap in the fence I hadn’t seen before, just above the waterline, and Flake comes with us. Someone gives them a blanket and they wrap me up tightly in it. They get me into a police car between them in the backseat, and when Paul gets into the passenger seat, the car drives off around to the road and back up the hill.

~ ~ ~

I wake in a different bed than the one I had left to go to the water. I am clean, dry, and almost warm, but the scent is not here. Restless, I look toward the sound of a lighter clicking and see Chris standing there, lighting a cigarette. My face must betray my own craving. He hands me the lit cigarette, placing it in my lips, and fishes out another for himself.

“How are you feeling, Richard?”

“Where are they?”

“They’re at the hospital. We’ve moved to a hotel next door. How are you?”

“It couldn’t get me because Paul brought help.”

“We’re staying here a while longer now, so you and Oliver can rest. You should try to sleep as much as you can. I’ll sit with you for a bit while you finish that, but then back to sleep, okay?”

He takes the cigarette and taps off the ashes into the ashtray by the bed and gives it back to me. When it is finished, he takes it again and crushes it out. I try to move my hands, but they are wrapped up again – snowy white clubs. They feel numb.

“You didn’t kill Paul, did you?”

“Of course not.”

“He said you would.”

“I wanted to, when I realized he’d taken you rappelling down that treacherous little stairway in a fog. For taking you out of bed at all, in fact, but I can’t deny that you both had a good reason – whether or not he knew it at the time.”

“He trusted me. I had to go and I needed help.”

“Well, I’m just happy you’re okay – so Paul gets to live.”

~ ~ ~

Waves and wind, crashing roar, and splintering wood… I am pulled by strong hands out of the wet cold and folded in half over the hard wooden rail, which steals my breath. The punching crush of the hull on the rocks echoes in my head as waves topple the boat, almost capsizing it, and I hear a shout, quickly eaten by the noise of the storm.

Oliver, broken, screams a name. The water reaches for me again, but Oliver grabs my hand. His hands are so strong. He pulls me to him and screams over and over something I can’t understand. The storm becomes our world.

Then I hear the angry motor sound of the other boat, the one that picks us out of the wreckage and the water, to flop wherever we all fell, like dolls. I see the terrified faces that I know, but two are missing and when I realize that … none of the faces matter anymore. They melt into empty circles of white, dripping over their wet clothes.

~ ~ ~

I wake with a start. Frantic, I look over at the chair where Chris still sleeps. I am relieved to see his face, his normal face. He and Flake, Oliver, Paul, and then Gert had slowly become clear to me again. The others are faceless and nameless still – and I can’t remember much more.

Trying to move, to get more comfortable, I feel something snag at my arm. I look to find a clear plastic tube taped to my forearm. It runs around my arm and then leads up to a bag on a pole, where something drips inexorably into me. I wish I had the energy to pull it out of me. I know it is making me sleep and allowing the water back in.

~ ~ ~

My sense of time blurs. I do not recover well, although they all say my hands are fine. They unwrap the heavy bandages and leave me with light gauzy ones and a pair of soft wooly gloves. Eventually, they remove the plastic tube, too, but the nightmares still come.

Paul is here once and tells me about a little windbreak fence on the beach. He seems to attach a lot of importance to it, so I try to listen, but all he does is ask, over and over, if I know that it had ‘Warning: Rocks’ painted on it in large red letters. I have no idea. The only fence I know is the one in my dreams. It is huge and black … and it is bleeding.

~ ~ ~

I hear voices in the hall outside the room. Each time they try to be quiet, but I always hear them.

“When are we going to tell him?”

“When we have something good to tell him, Paul.”

“But, Flake, the family already said they won’t wait, and then he won’t even know? It doesn’t seem right.”

“I know, but we can’t afford to shake him loose any more right now. He’s hanging on for us. When we have good news for him, then he can know the bad, too.”

~ ~ ~

Oliver comes to see me now and then. They have him in a wheelchair now, and they all say he’s fine, just fine, because that is how they talk here. Everything is fine, just fine, no matter what I remember to ask them. I do remember to ask Oliver whom he’d been screaming for, but he just looks sad and won’t tell me. I never remember to ask what day it is anymore.

~ ~ ~

The water wants me, but he won’t let it take me. He beats it back with strong strokes of his arms, carrying me safe to the land. I’d seen an American film with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr on the beach, kissing in the surf. He kisses me just like that, ignoring the treacherous waves that suck sand out from under our limbs in their effort to pull us back in. He drives back my fears and makes me feel alive again – until the fog returns.

It always returns … and then we are lying under the bleeding fence, tortured by the cold water and neither of us can move or make a sound…

~ ~ ~

“Richard, wake up.”

Flake’s voice, sounding happier than he has in a long time; at least he waited until the dream went bad before waking me.

“What?”

“You have a guest.”

“I don’t want to answer any more questions, Flake.”

“It’s not that kind of a guest. Here, sit up.”

He helps me to sit up, propping a mountain of pillows behind me. I watch him smile and then he leaves, closing the door behind him. It is quiet, and I start to fall asleep again.

“Reesh…”

His voice calls my name softly, the way only he says it. I smile and will the dream to be good.

“No more waves,” I whisper, “no more fence bleeding into the cold wet sand, no more boat.”

“No, no more boat.”

I sigh and smile languidly. His fingertips touch my cheek. I take his wrist in my hands and bring the big hand up and kiss the palm of it, then place it over my heart.

“You know, I miss you when you are gone. Sometimes I remember both our names.”

“Only sometimes?”

His thumb rubs over my nipple, making me gasp, but then he takes his hand away. I moan and turn on my side, tired of dreams and nightmares. They both always end the same.

“Reesh, wake up. Please?”

I stiffen. If I turn, and it is a dream, I might die. I’ve already been grieving inside forever.

“Please?”

Slowly, frightened to know the truth, I turn back to the voice I thought was in my head. I fear to open my eyes, but the entreating tone in the voice is too much for me. My eyes open and I see him there, sitting beside me on the bed.

“You’re … here?”

“Reesh, say my name.”

“Till.”

“Say her name.”

“Caron.”

“I have to tell you something bad, Reesh, and I have to tell you how hard I tried to change it, but there was nothing I could do.”

“I know.”

“Reesh, Caron is dead.”

“I know.”

“I had her, but her neck was broken. I’ve been in a coma. They all seem shocked that I lived at all. I’m so sorry, Reesh.”

I sit up and hold him close and tight, whether to comfort him or make sure he is real, I’m not certain. Our faces are wet.

“How did you know, Reesh?”

“I saw her when you brought her to shore. I didn’t know at first, not for a long time, and I haven’t been quite myself to understand what I saw – but you were there. You told me the blood on the wood would be your grave if I didn’t hurry. I thought I was too late for either of you.”

“You mean that red sign on the fence where you found us?”

“I don’t know about fences with signs. That’s Paul’s thing. He’ll tell you all about that, if you let him corner you.”

He looks at me with pity for a moment, and then crushes me to his broad, warm chest again. Just being with him helps to lift the fog. Two left me, two returned, but only one was breathing. I knew it then, I know it now. One day, I might understand it. For now, I only know that he is here, and … for the first time in a long time … I feel warm again.

 

FINI

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Author’s Note: In his youth, Till was a swimmer who might have gone to the Olympics if he hadn’t been injured. In my opinion, he’s the only member of the band who could grab Caron and manage to get them both to shore in the dark and in freezing water.

This is actually the first fan fiction I ever wrote, so it had to have an edit run. The odd present tense vibe was for creating an immediate moment-by-moment atmosphere that was hopefully weird and mysterious … and maybe even a bit creepy.

I have other Rammstein RPF stories, but I want to convert two of them out of first person POV and into third person. They all need an edit run. Eventually, I’m going to toss Till into a story with my Sabretooth, after having left little clues through my Sabretooth series. Thanks for reading! – AnonGrimm (@MET_Fic)

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Library

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