All of the frustration, the hurt and the simmering hatred. The envy, the anger and potential for violence. Every volatile emotion that had built up and resided deep within Loopy Woolf’s psyche for the twenty five years of his existence. All of it ignited into an inferno and then in an instant exploded to the surface. He raised his head, his mouth opened as far as was physically possible and he screamed. It was the blood curdling, primal scream of a tortured animal. It bellowed from his mouth with ear splitting ferocity and hammered every surface of his surroundings. For a full ten seconds the scream continued and then as it began to tail off, the destruction began.
The first thing to go was the small living room table which was sent flying against the wall, smashing like matchwood and clattering to the floor like confetti. Everything that had been on its surface including the heavy metal Saracen hub cap ashtray, followed in the same split second. The large ceramic bowl against which the note had been propped, shattered into smithereens.
The note hadn’t explained much, and Loopy had lost the plot before he finished reading it all. Kathleen was gone, it said. She was travelling far away where he would never find her and she was never coming back. These words were the only ones echoing around his skull as he picked up the television set and hurled it with all his might at the window. The set exploded as did the window panes and shards of glass rained down onto the pavement below. The kitchen door split from its frame as he charged through without stopping to open it. The carnage continued at an even louder volume in the kitchen as pans and trays bounced from the walls and at that point a terrified neighbour picked up her telephone and called for the police.
When the Polizei turned up the demolition was still raging within what was left of the apartment. Angry foul language punctuated the demonic screaming which accompanied the unbelievable commotion. From this, as well as information gained from the terrified neighbours, the police deduced that it was an English soldier inside. Not wanting to get involved and who could blame them, they made some calls on their radios and soon they were in touch with the Royal Military Police from the garrison. They hung around outside until the MPs arrived a short while later and then, after taking statements from a few of the petrified neighbours, left the red caps to get on with it.
Fearing for the safety of Mrs. Woolf the MPs didn’t muck about. Drawing their batons they burst into the flat and quickly overpowered the exhausted Loopy. When they asked where his wife was he lashed out with renewed vigour and the level of force required to restrain him increased accordingly. But once they had confirmed that he was on his own he was handcuffed and dragged unceremoniously outside, battered and bruised, through a throng of disgusted neighbours and thrown into the back of a waiting vehicle. He was driven directly to the garrison, still yelling and cursing to himself. By the time they arrived at the guard house though, the worst of the violence had subsided. Loopy had ceased his struggling and was sobbing pitifully as he was roughly frogmarched inside. He was searched thoroughly, everything in his pockets was spread on the counter and listed by the guard commander in a notebook. Loopy’s green eyes locked onto the small collection of odd items. The colour drained from his face and his lips trembled as he muttered something unintelligible. There, amongst a collection of keys, coins, bits of wire, a disposable lighter and a pen knife sat the black leather key fob with the red and silver Opel insignia enamel badge that he’d picked up the other evening. It gleamed back at him like a beacon. The sight of it was like a slap in the face as the truth began to dawn.
Once the MPs had banged him up in a cell, the chaotically displaced components of Loopy’s brain started clicking into some semblance of order, but not quite the correct order. A controlled fury began to smoulder within as he set about deciphering what had happened.
There had been signs but he’d failed to take heed. For instance at work, Peter the Kraut would never look him directly in the eye, always acting a bit shifty and distant. Loopy had thought little of it at the time but now it made sense. Then there were the occasions that Kathleen acted well out of character, completely over the top when he returned home from work. She fussed over him, making an unnatural effort to ensure he was happy. Sometimes she appeared to be flushed and animated, overly excited about the day she’d had even though she hadn’t done anything other than carry out her normal domestic routine. Supposedly.
It was always the times after he’d been absent from home either on guard duty or when he’d been forced to work late. He’d put it down to her being somewhat lonely and just plain pleased to see him but her usual demeanour was much more laid back, verging on the miserable. Weeks ago she’d stopped instigating their love making, often seeming disinterested but reluctantly conceding once he pushed the right buttons. Again he’d thought little of it, just putting it down to the fact that they had been together for a while now and the initial excitement of their relationship was quite naturally starting to subside. At times like that he had made a bit more effort, surprising her with small gifts, the occasional bunch of flowers but what had happened became obvious the more he thought about it.
She’d been seeing someone else and it was undoubtedly that bearded Kraut bastard from work of all people. The key fob was the most damning clue. Nobody else he knew drove an Opel. He lay on the hard, uncomfortable mattress on the cot in his cell. As he settled, some of the words from the note reappeared in Loopy’s tortured mind. Gone far away? Somewhere he wouldn’t find her? Peter the Kraut had gone far away too, but Loopy knew exactly where he’d gone. He’d been banging on about it for bloody weeks. The coincidence was too much, it just had to be him.
Frank Woolf’s heart began to pound until it felt as though his whole upper body was pulsating. His head ached badly at the temples and the pain spread across to the back of his neck. He felt nauseous and a knot tightened in his stomach. He got back up and began pacing the eight by six foot cell, fighting the urge to kick off again, knowing what the MPs were capable of if he pissed them off any further. He didn’t fancy a good hiding at their hands. He’d witnessed consequences before when a prisoner caused trouble in the guardhouse. The MPs would pile in mob-handed dealing out brutal, violent punishment. Loopy was still thinking clearly enough to know how futile it would be, he would have absolutely no chance against them. He had to be more controlled. The fury would never subside though, not until he had the opportunity to sort out that German bastard properly. Firstly he had to plan what he was going to do and work on getting out of this shit hole as soon as he could.