"Y-You are drunk again, Herr Dreher."
There it was again. This was the third time he’d heard that this week as he sat in his chair stewing in the fire in his belly that threatened to burst forth from his mouth.
He had set himself in his chair, the bottle clutched tightly in his hand as he stared blankly at the TV in front of him. The man on the news was blathering on and on about things he did not care about. The Americans did this, the Russians did that, French having money troubles again, Adenauer fucking up his country and trying to round up straggler Nazis: the usual doom that people liked to complain about.
"I ain’t drunk!" The old priest said as his free hand played with the straps on his prosthetic legs. When he was home he never wore them, although it might have been better to do so because one leg was gone above the knee the other below. He was seventy something years old: while other his age would complain about arthritis in their knees he didn’t have knees much to complain about. Besides, to hell with what the war took away form him, he could walk just fine on his hands and stumps.
Dreher’s head snapped in a sharp jerk, "Whats that in your hand?"
"J-Just the paper..." the Winzling said as he held it out timidly, the pictures and letters swimming in front of Dreher’s eyes.
The old man squinted trying to see through the alcoholic haze that danced in front of him to what exactly the bold print said. Something about... Rockets? Maybe it was Rain? Russians? He didn’t have a god damned clue.
"What’s it say?"
The small man pulled back the paper to read him the headline in a subdued voice. Dammit, the boy was scared again, everything scared him; did the Knabe have no balls at all? As soon as his brain asked it, some drowning fragment of consciousness left in his alcoholic head laughed at him. That was a stupid question, indeed.
"Stop sputtering and just spit it out." Dreher commanded harshly.
Trying to draw answers out of the Winzling was worse than trying to divert attention from himself. Those cackling hens would always talk about him behind his back. He was to damned vulgar to be ministering and as he’d gotten older, he’d manage to let his other problems slip more and more out into the open.
"T-The Russians have l-launched something into space..."
Dreher felt his blood boil as he sat up and tried to snatch away the paper from Falkentrath, nearly toppling over in the process. He placed the bottle aside from him and hurriedly tried to focus in on the article title. This was the end, he knew it. He was not stupid, he knew how the Americans hated the Russians and how the Russians hated everyone else and how that devolved into a massive bunch of politicians going through a warrior dance of nuclear prick waving.
"D-do you ne-"
"I can read the bloody thing myself." The old priest snapped as he kept trying to form words from the article in his mind and he was getting nothing. The silence drew long out like tendrils of water spreading slowly across the floor from a burst pipe. His ragged wheezing through his nose whistled in the silence as the Winzling stood there in front of him, hesitant to move, hesitant to try and take the paper back or try and put the old booze-hound to bed like he should have.
"Wh-whats going to happen?" the younger priest finally whispered out.
"Heh," Dreher grumbled through crooked and yellowed teeth as he wheezed a slow breath, "We’re all going to hell."
"D-Don’t say that!" Georg squeaked out.
"And why the hell cant I say what I want?"
The other priest averted his eyes sheepishly, "B-because you are dr-drunk again, Herr Dreher."