Nothing had changed in Eldric’s eyes. The stage where he had been called to collect his medal stayed the same. The people around them might be outnumbered, but they were the same faces as before. The words of Mr. Frank still echoed in his mind, but he couldn’t find any of his names. It’s been a while since he stepped into this hall room.
"Alright! Alright! Eve-EVERYONE, please stay quiet!" Mr. Frank finally opened. "It is important that your names and information are in our hands so that they can help in the aftermath of whatever will go through Vielist tonight. Please fill out the form for the people who died in the bridge accident. I must admit that it was a heinous act of smashing people towards death, and I assure you that soldiers will soon come up with lists of suspects and identify who was responsible for this brutal slaughter. I mourn for this." When he uttered these words, Mr. Frank huffed.
From the chaotic crowd, the students started to gather their names. Eldric didn’t hesitate to join them. Dieter stared at that woman, who sat wordlessly with her five-year-old baby in the corner, next to the gramophone. After taking down her name, he learned that she was the spouse of Mr. Heinmann, the radio host who had been fatally shot at the bridge. "Listen, you lady, I am going to remove your name from the list. "My school has been beehived because of your pancake-turner husband."
"ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, Dieter!" The voice boomed loudly, blasting at a tall figure with chocolate-dark skin and curly hair. He was Mr. Berger. "Is that what you learn at our school? You are an obedient civilian, and you must respect every civilian in this country. People here are all in dire need, and serving them in these tough times will test your hegemony."
People were staring at Dieter as he turned left and right. "Don’t you think it is our responsibility to keep our school clean from the Jews? Maybe she and this baby are Jews."
Mrs. Heinmann didn’t insist on anything in this unreasonable argument. She scowled at Dieter, clutching her baby tightly. Her eyes had swollen with the grief of her husband, whom she had lost an hour ago.
"Dieter, this is rude. What if she turns out to be Christian, and you blame her for being Jewish? Will you not think of it as a sin?" Mr. Berger replied to Dieter. Dieter felt it was wise to leave the scene, and Mr. Berger called another volunteer to note her name.
"Hey, Eldric boy, have you seen your Vater?" Amala suddenly, out of nowhere, threw the question to Eldric, who was busy organising space for people. He did, however, stop what he was supposed to do.
"Umm, well, I don’t bother where he is. He will survive," assured Eldric.
"Oh, dear! Eldric, it is the matter of life and death." Amala was serious. They went in search of Eldric’s father. Hundreds of faces were packed in the hall, and none of them looked familiar to him. Sascha joined the hunt, and teachers, including Mr. Frank, began to look around.
"A lost notice, a lost notice. An umbrella maker, Mr. Eugene Voigt, whose shop is near Vielist Street 47, is not found in this camp." With his wireless speaker, a soldier in a red uniform announced "He is the student's father, Mr. Eldric Voigt, who informed me that he has the appearance of a fifty-year-old man, is of average height and weight, has olive skin, an overweight torso, hair loss, and brown eyes." The soldier touted in detail what Eldric had described about his father.
It took another few minutes to search for Eldric’s father in the crowd.
"I think we should go and search for your father outside the school. Maybe you can find out where the sch- school is." Sascha advised Eldric.
Eldric frowned in front of the crowd. He stood still, clasping his fist. No one, except Sascha, showed the courage to say this thing. Perhaps Mr. Voigt might be stuck in this hail drizzle, or he might be among the dead corpses outside the school, and this was troubling Eldric’s mind.
Meanwhile, Mr. Frank gave the responsibility to two of the soldiers to carry on for Mr. Voigt. They left, without a doubt, but there has been no trace of them since. The rain deluged the area and soon entered the school infield.
"Perhaps, Sascha, Tante, I should continue my search for my papa." Eldric broke the silence between his group.
"No, dear, this isn’t a wise decision to think of." Said Amala. "You see the heavy rain outside? This will be a very risky thing to do. Moreover, two soldiers have been sent to search for your father. Believe in God; your father will come back safely."
"She is right, Eldric. "Don't take any chances in this situation."Sacha added. "You didn't, but you saw how people were shot dead near the bridge. Moreover, this heavy rain on this dark night isn’t a good idea for a venture."
Eldric paid no heed to what the women had warned him. He left them alone.
"Mr. Berger, I-I think I should go look for my father." Eldric pledged.