Episode 21: “STURM UND DRANG (STORM AND IMPETUS)”

They say that time is a great healer. And it must be true judging by how fast the group of romantic hikers has forgotten the incident occurred just a few hours before. After spending the day sleeping in the camp, they have taken refuge from a night storm in one of the castle’s towers that still stands. Through the arrow slits, they contemplate enraptured that wonderful spectacle of Nature that is an electrical storm accompanied by strong rainfall, wind and fog. Electricity is precisely one of the natural forces with which the Romantics are beginning to flirt. (At the University of Oxford, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley devotes his free time to electrocuting bats with the hope of turning one of them into a superhero  who he plans to name Batman.) They ignore that, over time, this very force that now lights the night sky, will serve their descendants to illuminate places as dark and gloomy as the semi-ruined castle through which they now wander lighting up their way with candlesticks.After spending the day sleeping in the campThey say that time is a great healer. And it must be true judging by how fast the group of romantic hikers has forgotten the incident occurred just a few hours before. Refugees from a night storm in one of the castle’s towers that still stands, the Romantics contemplate enraptured, through the arrow slits, that wonderful spectacle of Nature that is an electrical storm accompanied by strong rainfall, wind and fog. Electricity is precisely one of the natural forces with which the Romantics are beginning to flirt. (At the University of Oxford, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley devotes his free time to electrocuting bats with the hope of turning one of them into a superhero  who he plans to name Batman.) They ignore that, over time, this very force that now lights the night sky, will serve their descendants to illuminate places as dark and gloomy as the semi-ruined castle through which they now wander lighting up their way with candlesticks.the romantics took refuge from a stormy nightThey say that time is a great healer. And it must be true judging by how fast the group of romantic hikers has forgotten the incident occurred just a few hours before. After spending the day sleeping in the camp, Refugees from a night storm in one of the castle’s towers that still stands, the Romantics contemplate enraptured, through the arrow slits, that wonderful spectacle of Nature that is an electrical storm accompanied by strong rainfall, wind and fog. Electricity is precisely one of the natural forces with which the Romantics are beginning to flirt. (At the University of Oxford, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley devotes his free time to electrocuting bats with the hope of turning one of them into a superhero  who he plans to name Batman.) They ignore that, over time, this very force that now lights the night sky, will serve their descendants to illuminate places as dark and gloomy as the semi-ruined castle through which they now wander lighting up their way with candlesticks.After spending the day sleeping in the campThey say that time is a great healer. And it must be true judging by how fast the group of romantic hikers has forgotten the incident occurred just a few hours before. Refugees from a night storm in one of the castle’s towers that still stands, the Romantics contemplate enraptured, through the arrow slits, that wonderful spectacle of Nature that is an electrical storm accompanied by strong rainfall, wind and fog. Electricity is precisely one of the natural forces with which the Romantics are beginning to flirt. (At the University of Oxford, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley devotes his free time to electrocuting bats with the hope of turning one of them into a superhero  who he plans to name Batman.) They ignore that, over time, this very force that now lights the night sky, will serve their descendants to illuminate places as dark and gloomy as the semi-ruined castle through which they now wander lighting up their way with candlesticks.

A night like this is ideal to devote to one of their favorite pastimes: playing hide-and-seek. Wieland, the player chosen to be the seeker, starts to count to one thousand. This high number will give time to the hiders to visit all together the intricacies of the castle’s wing that remains standing, and for each of them to choose a suitable hiding place.  Each of them carries a candlestick except Mrs. Walsolz who carries an Easter palm, nobody knows why.

In the course of their tour of the place, they perceive something curious: that at least one of the rooms seems to be inhabited, judging by the lack of dust, and the fresh dairy products contained in an icebox.  After an hour or so, they hear Wieland’s shrill voice in the distance: “Ready or not, here I come!” At that moment, the group falls apart and everyone runs to hide on their own.

Wieland picks up the candelabrum from the floor and with its four long candles lighting the way before him, starts to seek the other players. Step by step, he goes through the sinister passages, the dark rooms full of cobwebs, the dungeons… When the thunder falls silent, other more modest noises are heard: the pounding of the rain, the running of the rats, the hooting of the owls, the chattering of his teeth… In those impasses of relative silence, Wieland stops to listen hoping to recognize a familiar noise that gives him a clue about the hiding place of his playmates.

Suddenly, he thinks he perceives some steps. Believing to recognize in them the Tieck’s steps, he hurries after them. But he’s wrong: steps are not what he hears, but slaps. Someone is slapping someone at regular intervals. He thinks that the Schlegels are again in their eternal discussion about what right the Jews have to consider themselves “the chosen people”. Dorothea, descendant of the insigne Jew Moses Mendelsohn, must be asserting his arguments in favor, he thinks. But Wieland has only guessed half right: Schlegel is being slapped, in effect, but not by Dorothea but by a vaguely luminous entity that can’t be described otherwise than as a ghost.

 This is a non-profit blog whose purpose is to raise funds for children in need. So if you want to make a donation in exchange for this story, click on this link to UNICEF. I really appreciate it!


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