Anja and the Druid

Chapter 1


17.30, Zerbst, Deutchesland zentrum, Freitag Juni 10

Anja stretched wearily at her desk and cast an eye around the office of Wilhelm Horst, Stationery Supplies, Zerbst. Of the five who worked in the office only Anja and Susan were left. Dieter and Margrit had left 40 minutes ago and Jurgen was down in the warehouse. Susan was busy at her terminal trying to sort out a particularly annoying account, but Anja was done for the week. Seeing Anja tidying her desk, Susan broke from her screen,

'You off to your parents this week?'

'Yes, I have not been to visit for three weeks and Mama rang to see if I was alright last night, so like a good girl I go to visit.' This last in a slightly sarcastic tone, 'what are you doing?'

'If I ever finish this, Ulli is taking me to Berlin for the weekend.'

'Lucky you' Anja finished her tidying and locked the desk.

'Are you going straight from work, Anja?'

'Yes, I brought an overnight bag with me. At least it looks like a pleasant evening for the drive out. Hope you two have a good weekend, ciao'

'Ciao, take care' Anja collected her coat from the locker room and went downstairs,

'G'night Anja' Jurgen called from his office as she crossed the warehouse.

'Night Jurgen, have a good weekend.'

Outside she crossed to where her BMW214 stood. Although it was now five years old, she was proud of it, the rather garish purple and white colour scheme was currently a bit grimy, a trip to the car wash was in order. When she reached the car, she checked her appearance using the side window as a mirror. She was to say the least, dressed in total contradiction to present trends today, as she always was. Cream print minidress over lilac hose and flat slip-ons, her one condescension to fashion, crowned with a bob cut of shoulder length, dark brown hair. Once satisfied with her appearance, she opened the door, dumped purse and coat on the passenger seat and climbed in

She started the motor and pulled away. Ulli was just arriving to pick up Susan, they exchanged waves and she turned out onto the road. After a stop on the outside of town for gas and a run through the car wash, she left Zerbst on the road to Tochheim and the Elbe ferry 8 km's away. Traffic was light, just the locals and by six she was on the ferry apron waiting for the ferryboat to complete it's round trip.

As she had a few minutes to spare, she grabbed her bag and visited the bakery just back up the road. By the time she had bought potato crisps, some of those English cheese and onion ones, and a sandwich, not to mention a good portion of the local special torte, the ferry was just about to dock. Shortly before six thirty she pulled off the ferry and headed toward gross Rossenburg, another half-hour saw Bernberg, then on through Aschersleben and on to Quedlininburg.

Just beyond the town she pulled up at the snack bar which always stood on the lay-by near the Krupp factory. She bought coffee and returned to the BM to eat her earlier purchases, it would be around ten when she reached her parents home near Langelsheim. The evening was starting to cool when she pulled back onto the road just after eight and soon Blankenburg hove into view. The town was busy tonight as the annual bier fest was this weekend and it took her fifteen minutes to clear the congested town centre. As Anja was not in a particular hurry she turned onto the 27 which would take her into the Harz. The road bucked up and down and switched back and forth. At Rubeland she had to wait whilst the relic steam railway crossed the route, returning to Blankenburg for the night. It was well after nine and the light was fading by the time she reached Braunlage. A quick stop by the skating rink for a much needed comfort stop, the chair lift now closed for the night, the restaurant was doing brisk business.

The road now climbed to seven hundred metres, the surrounding forest looking fresh despite the steady stream of traffic on the 4 heading north to Bad Harzburg. Anja turned off shortly onto the quieter 242, which bounced it's way through the Harz to Clausthal. Bypassing the town centre she turned north again through Zellerfeld, then over the mountain to Lautenthal. By the time she reached the Innerstestausee and her parents cottage it was almost dark and later than she had anticipated by some thirty minutes. Pulling the BMW on to the driveway, she cut the engine then lights.

Her parents as usual were already in bed so she let herself in and stopped off in the kitchen. After making coffee, she collected her coat and bags and went on to her room in back of the house. The bag went on the back of the door, coat over the chair. She kicked her shoes off, put the coffee down on the bedside table and went round to the window to shut the heavy drapes. She could hear the occasional car go past and the newly re-opened tramway made its last trip of the night shortly after eleven.

She sat at her dressing table and using supplies she kept here, removed her makeup and after a shower, turned in for the night. She finished the coffee, extinguished the light and, before another five minutes passed, Anja Frey was out to the world.

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