Nena Book 5 *Special Request* - Part 5

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Nena: Book 5
Special Request

by Maddy Bell
Copyright © 2008 Maddy Bell
All Rights Reserved.

specialrequestcoverfront.jpg
 
Part 5
   

"Stevie!” Rob admonished his other half as I started to goldfish, “she can be so rude.” He observed apologetically steering Stevie in the direction Jonathon was leading the others.

“um sure.”

I wasn’t sure exactly to what she was referring, had she spotted me as a bloke in drag?

“so what was that about?” Den asked as I climbed back onto Tiddler.

“I think she knows.”

“knows what?”

“that I’m not really Nena.”

“of course you’re Nena.”

“you know what I mean, she knows I’m a bloke in drag.”

“don’t be daft,” he snorted as he eased the bus into the traffic.

“I’m not.”

“so what did she say exactly?”

“something about whether I shave or wax.”

“and that means she thinks you’re a bloke?”

“why else would she ask? I must have missed some whiskers this morning.” I mumbled reaching for my compact to check for errant facial hair.

“there’s less hair on your face than a babies bum.” Den observed.

“it only needs one.” I suggested scanning my reflection for the offending growth.

Fuelling up didn't take too long and we were soon parked in the side street designated for tourist buses, not too far from the drop off / pickup point but far enough that most passengers wouldn't stray there.

"we eating then?" Den prompted as for the nth time i checked my face.

"i suppose so." i allowed distractedly.

"look, how many times have you done the Nena bit, twenty? thirty?"

"at least."

"and has anyone ever suggested Nena wasn't whatshe appears to be?"

"i guess not."

"i know not, not even that first time and since then Nena has become more girly than some real women i know."

"but..."

"but nothing, now get that arse in gear, i fancy some Frikadell."

"you'll start looking like one soon."

"i resemble that." Den returned with a grin.

They were all waiting when we returned to the pickup point which meant we started our journey northwards a few minuites ahead of my timetable.

"i hope you all enjoyed Celle and took a nice lunch?"

the round of rumbles and positive noises affirmed the genial feel of the reloaded group.

"we have some interesting stops for you this afternoon, we have perhaps fifteen minutes until stop one so iof you want a few minutes sleep after lunch now is your chance." i grinned.

That got a few chuckles, looking at one or two of them a post lunch nap was just what the doctor ordered.

I still wasn’t sure that this afternoons first halt was entirely appropriate, not that I’ve been before or anything. Jonathon however was pretty certain that his group would appreciate the stop, at the end of the day its his trip so who am I to argue?

“there’s parking on the left in about two hundred.” I needlessly told Den, it was already up on his sat nav screen.

“you okay girl?” Den enquired clearly sensing my unease.

“I’m not sure about this.”

“well cats out of the bag now.” He observed with a nod towards the big sign board we were just about to drive past.

‘Gedenkestätte Bergen-Belsen’

Den pulled Tiddler up alongside the Dutch coach that was already parked in the sparsely occupied parking area.

Jonathon was up and the mic in double quick time.

“okay folks, I know its not our normal thing but I didn’t think we should be so close and not visit this place, welcome, if that’s the right term, to Bergen-Belsen. We’ve got thirty minutes but if we’re a little longer we won’t miss anything later.

For anyone unfamiliar with the name, this place started out as a military base before part became a POW camp then later a female detention centre. When the British forces liberated the place conditions were so bad that pretty much everything was torched so there’s not a lot to see. Whilst not one of the Reich’s death camps it is most famous for the death of one particular inmate just weeks before liberation, one Anne Frank.

That’s all I’m going to say, see you back here.”

I hopped down to help with disembarking.

“you all right Nena?” Jonathon enquired, “you look a bit off colour.”

“I’m fine, this place gives me, um sad feelings.”

“you been before?”

“no but I did a tour that visited Buchenwald last year, I didn’t enjoy it.”

“you coming in?”

“I should make the effort, Den?”

“won’t be a mo, just getting the camera.”

The rest of the group were heading towards the visitors entrance, a collection of sixties concrete across the car park.

The three of us were about five minutes behind by the time we entered the site which despite the pleasant day was making a good effort at miserable.

“hear that?” Jonathon enquired as we started along the main pathway.

“what am I listening for? I can’t hear anything.”

“that’s just it Nena, no birds or anything, its like they know what this place is.”

He wasn’t wrong, even out in the car park you could hear birds in the surrounding forest but here, nothing.

“that’s well spooky,” Den observed, “whats with the blocks Jonathon, some kind of foundations?”

“not exactly, the plaque explains, you want to do the translation Nena?”

“er sure,” I read the inscription, “shit!” I whispered.

“What?” Den pressed.

“it’s a grave, a grave for twenty thousand people who died here.”

“geez.” Den mentioned, the colour draining from his face.

“there’re several more further up, the biggest holds fifty thousand.” Jonathon supplied.

The feeling was not good. The open field, grassy mounds, this was the site of so much death just sixty or so years ago. I followed Jonathon along the path towards one of the few grave markers dotted across the grass.

“she’s not buried there of course.”

“she’s not?”

“no, its just a marker for people to visit.”

“the others the same?” Den asked.

“uh huh, there was no way to identify remains in the mass graves but some of the families have had stones erected.”

I gave an involuntary shiver, it was only when Jonathon squeezed my hand that I realised he’d been holding it for some minutes. My reflex reaction was to pull free and wrap my arms around myself.

“okay Nen?” Den enquired.

“I guess, its this place, its so sad.”

“I’m gonna take Nena back to the bus Jonathon, we’ll see you in a few minutes yeah?” Den prompted.

“sure, I’ll round them up.”

“thanks Den.” I mentioned as he unlocked our steed.

“it wasn’t just the place was it?”

“he was holding my hand!”

“and that’s bad because?”

“its bad because I’m a bloke, a straight one at that.” I hissed back.

“but he doesn’t know that.” Den pointed out.

“but, but…”

“he was just reacting to what he thinks was a pretty girls reaction, offering comfort.”

“he squeezed my hand.”

“can’t say as I blame him, he most definitely sees you as a female of the species.”

“I should never have done this.”

“you didn’t have to.” he pointed out.

Any further discussion on the matter was deferred as the first of our passengers were approaching Tiddler.

The bulk of the group waited by the door until Jonathon and Graham arrived before climbing aboard. I couldn’t help getting the feeling that I was being watched, you know, like someone running a finger up your spine. A look around didn’t reveal anyone anywhere close at all, guess it was my imagination.

“wasn’t so bad.” Den noted as he swung Tiddler out onto the road.

“I didn’t enjoy it one bit.”

“never said I enjoyed it, gave me the heebie geebies in fact but I’m glad we stopped.”

“I’ll be happy to not do it again.”

The bus was in a reflective mood as we made our way past the British Army base at Bergen on our way to our penultimate halt of the day.

“you doing a tea round?” Den suggested.

“wasn’t going to, I thought we’d get a cuppa when we stop at this next place.”

“I guess I can wait.”

“you poor deprived thing.”

“this the one with the dodgy access?”

“don’t know about dodgy, bit narrow perhaps.

“hmmm.”

There was no way we could get Tiddler up the direct lane from the village, far too narrow for comfort but a short detour brought us in from the other direction.

“this is more like it!” Graham beamed as I helped him down.

Looks like a pile of brambles to me.

“before Jonathon takes you to look at the stones, if anyone would like hot drinks they will be available when you return.” I informed everyone.

“thank you Nena, much appreciated. So folks lets go look at Siddernhausen, a classic passage grave…”

Jonathon led his charges up the hill leaving me and Den to turn the bus around in the tiny lane.

A light breeze depressed the temperature despite the late afternoon sunshine, after Belsen even the distant chugging of a tractor was reassuring, the song of the skylarks invisible in the blue sky furthered the feelings of well being.

There clearly wasn’t a lot to see up the hill as bodies soon started floating towards us in search of tea and coffee.

“good?” I enquired of Rob who I’d now sussed as being less enthusiastic than his wife about piles of stone.

“quite tidy but not much to see.”

“uh huh, trinkt?”

“coffee please oh and I’d best have a tea for Stevie.”

“coming up” I grinned.

Maddy Bell © 210213



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