BANG! Klaus’s eyes shoot open at the piercing noise. He quickly sits up much to the complaint of his back and turns his head this way and that, searching for the source.
“What the fuck is your problem!?” He hears over the ringing of his ears. It’s Siegfried that shouted that, if Klaus remembered his name correctly, and the black haired man is now grabbing Utz by the collar and giving him a piece of his mind.
“I was just trying to see how good of a shot that boy is!” Utz sneers. He points a thumb to Rolf, a runtish brunet standing beside him. The boy places the rifle he’s holding down, looking like he’s about to cry.
“Sorry...” he mumbles. As Siegfried continues to chew Utz out, more out of annoyance than any kind of disciplinary action by the looks of it, Rolf gingerly takes a seat next to Klaus. The latter eyes the silver pin on Rolf’s brown shirt, adorned by two crossed rifles. Klaus feels a pool of inadequacy in his stomach just looking at it. He takes this moment to rub his sore neck, glancing away from the younger boy. Siegfried had suggested that Klaus take a nap earlier, mainly as a taunt of sorts, but Klaus had decided to take the man up on his idea, figuring it might cool his nerves. He hadn’t expected to actually be able to sleep given the amount of anxiety a situation like this tends to draw, but here he was groggy and sore from— Klaus glances down at his watch— an hour long nap.
Siegfred seems to have gotten tired of yelling at Utz and has now contented himself with reclining on the ground like a housecat, looking at the same piece of paper he’s been staring at for a while since they woke up for the first time. The sheet seems to be torn from a magazine, but Siegfried doesn’t seem keen to share what's on it. Based on the above behavior and all-around appearance, Klaus had decided that Siegfried was likely the lazy bum type, although his long-winded rant at Utz is making Klaus reconsider a little bit.
Klaus clutches his head in his hands suddenly, grasping at his blonde hair as the enormity of the situation smacks him across the face. How much longer are they going to keep us here!? He wonders hopelessly. Of course, Klaus is not 100% sure that they were captured by enemy forces, but he can think of no other reason they’d be locked into a grey concrete room together, all adorned in various uniform. There’s something uncanny about the situation though; something Klaus tries to push out of his mind.
To be precise, there are many strange things about this that poke holes into Klaus’s flimsy, but rational-minded idea. Most glaringly is the fact that clearly no one’s been searched. Klaus and Rolf both have their Hitlerjugend knives on them and both the men have a few assorted guns and knives between them, one of which was put into action not ten minutes ago by Rolf. Utz is now staring at where it was shot, mumbling cryptically to himself.
Klaus also hasn’t heard any voices around the relatively small but empty room they’re stuck in. The telltale chatter of Russian or English or perhaps even some other allied language would at least give Klaus the peace of understanding, but the walls around the four remain silent.
There’s also the matter of the boarded up windows and door. This had been the main obstacle in escaping the room, and the reason they were still in here at all, after almost a full day of sitting, conversing, and arguing. They had attempted on several occasions to smash the boards: hitting them with the butt of a rifle, sawing at it with a knife... at one point, Siegfried had even lifted Klaus up in an attempt to kick one of the windows open with both feet. The wooden slats proved very sturdy though, showing no sign of resistance to their assaults.
There’s something that bothers Klaus about the boards though. He’s got a notion of what it is, but he’s not mentally ready to grapple with the insanity of the idea just yet. Not just the boards, but the whole room gives off a strange aura. The floor is littered with small mounds of an unknown white powder. At first glance, one might think it to be snow, but contrary to that belief, the room as a whole is rather warm and stuffy, and the powder is no exception.
“It’s bone dust! The bones of everyone else who’s been laid to rest in this place,” Utz had jeered. This had seemed to give Rolf pause, but Klaus had just rolled his eyes.
“Probably just some sand...” Siegfried had muttered, cigarette between his teeth. He had been in roughly the same position he was in now, looking at the same picture. Klaus accepted this idea, although the powder is stark white and doesn’t particularly feel like sand.
Last but most alarmingly, Klaus can’t tell where the light of the room is coming from. The room is decently well lit by a cool whitish tone but there are no bulbs hanging from the ceiling nor lamps on the ground or walls. It’s as if the natural state of the room itself is to be aglow, that darkness simply does not exist in this plane. Before his nap, when the four had recovered from their initial panic of their “encapture” and all sat in a circle in the middle of the room, every so often glancing behind them out of some irrational fear, Klaus had pondered on what sort of trick could have caused this phenomenon. Beyond every window was just an empty void of black after all. He contemplated perhaps some sort of hidden lights and mirror trick, but after a short stroll around the room, even venturing into the alcove at the back right of the room that oddly seemed a tad darker than the rest, it seemed plausible to suggest that this was indeed impossible.
Now, he just tries not to think about it, head in hands. His mind wanders anyway, revealing even darker trains of thought. What if we’ve just been left to die? He thinks. How did we even get here? ...More importantly, how long until cannibalism sets in!? Klaus tries to calm himself by observing the other inhabitants of the room. Rolf is absentmindedly tying knots with his neck scarf, mouth slightly parted and eyes cast downward. Siegfried is still looking at his picture, with another cigarette hanging from his mouth. Utz paces around the room, wanting to speak but uncharacteristically nervous about doing so. He moves to the back nook of the room, causing the other three to glance up from what they’re doing. That space was another thing Klaus had tried to block out of his consciousness. It seems incredulous; the space is only about five feet wide and deep, but something about it unnerves him. He wants to tell Utz to get out of there, but has no real reasonable basis to do so. He looks over to the other two near him. Siegfried’s lips are pressed into a thin line, and Rolf grips his tie tightly, eyes worried.
Utz kicks at a square of nailed together wooden boards, one of the few objects in the room besides the four’s belongings. The room is silent save for the sound of his foot hitting wood. The chubby man bends over and picks something up off the ground with an indifference that ticks Klaus off. Utz holds it aloft without saying a word. It’s a small piece of tattered black cloth.
“A-and...?” Siegfried says after a short spell, voicing the approximate thoughts of the other two.
“...Just thought it was interesting,” Utz responds simply, poking at his sandy curls. “Just like how it’s interesting that the room is boarded up from the inside.” Klaus inhales sharply through his nose. His and Rolf’s eyes meet for a second before he tears them away. The room hangs silent for a pregnant moment.
“Look." Utz continues, strolling over to the nearest window and pointing a thick finger at it. "We wouldn't see these nails if it were done from outside." Still no one says a word. "Well...? It had to be one of you, right?” Utz accuses, regarding each of the other three individually.
“This is bullshit. Are you really trying to say that one of us locked us all in here to die?” Siegfried retorts, now standing and crossing his arms. Utz grins cruelly, eyes gleaming.
“Personally, my bet’s on pretty boy over there.” He says, nodding towards Klaus. “He’s been acting pretty sketchy ever since we woke up here. Actually, wasn’t he the first one awake?” Klaus pales, and his shoulders tense up.
“I-I didn’t! Do you think I want to be s-stuck here anymore than the rest of you? He splutters, glancing back and forth to the other two that are now eyeing him cautiously.
“Well...” Rolf murmurs. “I don’t really think it’s him personally...” he slouches back down, having sat up a little higher to speak, but then perks up again. “Whoever did it must have used a hammer though, right...? Maybe if any of us has a hammer on him... o-or maybe if we found one in the room somewhere...” Rolf trails off, and Utz dives at Klaus.
“W-wait!” The blond protests, but it falls on deaf ears. Utz puts his hands all across the boy, somewhat erratically at first, but he remembers his purpose and strips Klaus down. Siegfried comes over too, telling Utz to “take it easy on him, he’s just a kid!” At last Klaus is down to his undergarments, face red and arms wrapped around himself. Rolf scoots over and puts a reassuring arm on Klaus’s houlder, frowning.
“You’re being ridiculous!” Siegfried says as Utz paws over the seventeen year-old’s uniform, ultimately finding nothing. Utz utters a grunt of annoyance and tosses the uniform back at the mortified Klaus. The younger male shakily rebuttons his shirt, shouting:
Siegfried turns to Utz.
“And what about you, huh?” He asks. “You’re the one that even suggested that one of us coulda locked us all in here! And now you’re tryna turn us against each other. How are we supposed to know it ain’t you!?”
Utz just rolls his eyes. “What reason would I have to draw attention to the idea that one of us is a traitor if I was the one that did it? Besides, I’m still not clearing pretty boy over there. He coulda just hid the hammer somewhere in here, like under one of them piles of dirt.”
“I didn’t do it though!” Klaus hisses, humiliation replaced with anger.
“Well one of you fuckers-”
“Wait! Wait! Be quiet! Shh!” Rolf says in a hushed tone.
“The fuck-” Utz starts, but he’s quickly shushed by the boy. Rolf furrows his brows, looking off to the side intently. The other three watch him silently, until they hear it too. A shuffling is coming from outside the room. All four males freeze in an attempt to locate the source of the sound. It’s coming from near the corner left of the door. Klaus’s heart races as he tries to listen closer. He can hear no talking, just the slow dragging footsteps. Would whoever's out there be able to help us...? He wonders. He doesn’t have the nerve to call out though, and judging by the others’ faces, it doesn’t seem like they do either.
A few muffled knocks can be heard, then some sliding noises along the wall. Finally, total silence. The room hangs completely still as the four stand still as statues in anticipation.
BANG! The left window smashes open. Klaus glimpses a flash of red before shielding his eyes as splintered wood flies into the room. He staggers back, bumping into someone in his blindness and eventually falling over. Once the debris has settled, Klaus lowers his shivering arm from his face. A white face peeks through the newly made hole in the window, partly obscured by the remains of the wooden boards. It almost seems to glow from the darkness around it. The most bizarre thing about the feminine head though must be the split upper lip running all the way to the right nostril. The woman’s pale blue eyes scan the room, stopping briefly at each of its inhabitants.
“New spawns, huh?” The face deadpans. “Welcome to Hell.”