Halloween Whiteboard: The Undead Generals: ROB FARLEY, SENIOR LECTURER, UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY: BILLY MITCHELL (COURTESY NAGASAKI PILOT CHARLES SWEENEY)...
...“Of course the museum is haunted,” the security guard muttered through a deep German accent. The children in the tour group laughed. Their teacher did not. They stood near Bockscar, the B-29 that had delivered the atomic bomb to Nagasaki. Photographs of destruction covered the walls.
“What you have to understand,” the old guard continued, gesturing around the vast hangar, “the planes here, they are instruments of death. They were meant for killing, and sometimes they killed, sometimes very many indeed. They remember. And if they don’t remember, they imagine. The ones that imagine are worse than the ones that remember.”
A boy giggled and asked, “Are the planes ghosts, or are there people ghosts, too?”
The old guard ignored the teacher’s glare. “There’s one,” he said, “It looks like a man in an old Army uniform. Lots of medals. A colonel, or ended up that way. You see him, never quite in focus. At night, the darkness… clings.”
“Is he scary?” the boy asked.
“In a way. This place belongs to him, and he belongs to it. It’s here because of him. He’s buried in Wisconsin, I think. But he didn’t care for the surly bonds of earth while he was alive, and doesn’t seem to care about them now.”
The teacher finally spoke up. “I’m sorry, Mr… Carl? You are frightening the children.”
“Good,” said Carl, “Remember: war tries to escape the bonds that constrain it. He wants to break those bonds. The planes want to break them, too.” The old man gestured to the photographs that surrounded the old B-29, but the teacher had led the children away. “Someone needs to bind him. That’s why I stay here,” Carl muttered, to no one. A hazy figure stood in the shadows, distinct for only a moment, then gone...
#shouldread #halloween #security