The Hitler Channel

by Terry DeHart

The sound of a siren approaches his home. His wife asks him why he's so nervous. It's nothing, he says, but he rises from the couch and peers into the night from behind the curtains. The siren approaches relentlessly. The road twists and turns and the sound fades but always comes back stronger than before. There's the sound of a racing motor. Not the reassuring diesel growl of a fire truck, but the higher bellow of a cop car coming closer and closer in the night. Flashes of headlights cross the curtains, but it's only the neighbors.


The man gets a beer in case it's the last one he'll have as a free man. He paces and drinks and his wife turns down the TV. They're watching The History Channel. They call it the "Hitler Channel" because of its numerous documentaries on the Fuhrer. And also code breakers. And how the war was won by guile and deception. And the man chugs his beer while the siren approaches and the Russians are closing in on Berlin. Hitler was a vegetarian and under the stress of defeat he was flatulent as hell. Cabbage farts in the bunker. Broccoli farts in bed. Married under artillery bombardment and then a honeymoon of cyanide and the pistol. Farts and death.


The siren is close now. Blue lights flash against the curtains. Eva Braun washes down her pill with a glass of wine. Hitler pulls his Walther and puts the muzzle to his temple. Everything is in shambles. Escape is not an option. The cop car speeds past the house and the sound of its siren begins to fade. The man sits on the couch again and breathes deeply in and out. He smiles and watches the bodies of evil burning in a slit trench.