In times of war there is no such thing as a fashionable venue. Fortunately, the long years of combat were at last over. Sadly, and of dire necessity in the fall of 1944 during the month-long bombardment in order to gain access to the port facilities at Antwerp, The Allies had, albeit successfully, pounded the living daylights out of Belgium’s coastal regions, the net result of which had rather taken the gloss off Léon Stynen’s art deco masterpiece, namely the Grand Casino at Knokke Heist. Even so, the municipality of Knokke Heist, stripped almost bare of its original charm at wars end, was once more sneaking back into favour. Some of the cafes had reopened, a few of the fabled sea view apartments with admirable balconies were available to rent again, plus natures survival instinct had guaranteed the silver sand beach was still intact.
At water’s edge, as she hoisted up her skirt a little and dipped a most reluctant big toe into the forever ice cold North Sea, the whispered words of a ‘brave beyond sensibility’ Canadian couple in bathing costumes, in close proximity had allowed her to eavesdrop.
“Word has it, my dear that the surrealist master René Magritte himself is to create a giant mural as part of the casino’s renovation.”
“Oh, that’s good, darling. About time too.”
As pleasing as that news was, for she had always liked a flutter in a prestigious setting a distinctly more pressing task occupied her, for she had had the good fortune to have identified her mark, that being the one who had consigned her foetus to a better fate than being alive. That he was a despicable article, his crimes against humanity repugnant beyond measure ensured her fixed enthusiasm for the task at hand. Moreover, she was well aware of the chink in his armour, namely a fondness for the ladies, the looser the better by all accounts. After all, it was in the sick circumstances of his warped minded creation they had first engaged. She, the abused captive on the occasion of that tortuous adventure.
It was close to midnight, in a resurrected piano bar on the sea front she made her presence known. Dressed to the nines, cleavage, black lace, fishnets and heels, in essence the consummate tart, it came as no great shock that making his salivating acquaintance was as easy as pie. Additionally, it helped that he was already in his cups when slipping him the Mickey Finn. She was more than a little vexed that he failed to recognize her from her time in the death camp, given that he had chosen her out of the crowd, claiming ownership of, “This one…I’ll take this…the one of rarest worthless pedigree.”
Back in his hotel room, immediately prior to his terminal incapacitation she felt compelled to remind the pig that once she was pregnant. A short-lived thing. Circumstances and mental paralysis of his contrivance saw to that. Whatever, the drug she slipped him in the bar was well chosen. As a pre-requisite to slipping his mortal coil, his awareness subsisted, yet his entirety became wholly immobile. As he lay fixed upon the bed, he could hear clearly the reading of his ebbing fortune. She found that just sufficient, given that her contented smiling face was the last thing he would ever see save for the checkmate kiss goodbye she blew.
That her employers had been most specific in wanting him brought in alive in order to stand trial at Nuremberg, a pity. Better for one and all, her summary justice born of personal testimony. Regardless, she had been minded since accepting the mission to sweet talk her way out of any minor complications and blandishment was her forte.