DEFEAT. 021 – Mothers and Daughters

[DEFEAT. is Rendar Frankenstein’s truest attempt at fiction.   Presented in weekly episodes, the novella tells the tale of Daryl Millar – a hero who dies at the intersection of pop culture, science-fiction, war epic, and fantasy]

October 22nd, 1955

In spite of my usual tendencies, I hope to keep this letter brief. Although I’d love to renew a regular correspondence with you, I understand that some of my decisions have led you to develop a coldness toward me. This troubles me deeply, but you are entitled to your opinions — which you have been more than willing to share and less than willing to have challenged — and I suppose that I must respect that. But I want you to know that should you ever want to open a true line of communication, in which we can both have our ideas entertained, I will be receptive.

And so, pretenses and formalities aside, here it is: I married Lukas. He proposed to me and a week later we became husband and wife. Neither of us could be more in love, and I have never felt better about the future. If you find any solace in all of this, I pray that it is in the fact that your only daughter has finally overcome years of tragedy and turmoil to reclaim her life as a joyous celebration. At the very least, however, you can rest assured that Lukas and I are no longer “living in sin.”

While I do not owe you any sort of explanation, I’d feel remiss if I never presented it before you clearly in writing (instead of trying to talk while simply being shouted over and waved away). For the last time — Lukas Lang is a good man. Yes, he fought in World War II. For Germany.

But Lukas’ service was a matter of upholding family tradition, not any allegiance to the ideals of the Nazi regime. For better or worse, Lukas Lang would have joined the Wehrmacht under any circumstances, attempting to appease his father and grandfather. It was during his experiences in battle that Lukas realized the absurdity of his actions. So to atone for the sins, he took it upon himself to travel to America and dedicate his life to advocating on the behalf of peace. And as you know, this led him to become a political science professor at the very university I attended (much to your chagrin). Lukas and I aren’t planning on reforming the German American Bund or voting for any National Socialists (in fact, we both voted for Eisenhower), so feel free to not lose any sleep over my new life-commitment.

I don’t expect a reply. In fact, if you even read this entire letter I will consider myself satisfied. I just thought that a mother should be informed of the general direction in which her daughter’s life is going. I am happy for the first time in years and I don’t ever want to lose this feeling again. Politics, societal outrage, and family condemnation are all mere gnats upon the back of Love’s mammoth frame.

Your daughter,
A proud American,
Betty Lang


October 27th, 1955

I got your letter. You are a child and a fool. Your actions nullify the sacrifice your one true love made, not only for his country, but for you. I have no doubt that William Jonas is turning in his grave. You should be ashamed.

At the very least, you need to give away Reilly — he is no longer rightfully yours. When Bill left for the war, he looked at that newborn and said, “Betty, take good care of him for me. Until I get back, he can take my place, reminding you of who I am and what I represent.” Well, your fiancé never came back. And now, Reilly is being raised by a Nazi? You know that it is nothing short of morally reprehensible.

I wish I could congratulate you on your marriage. But I can’t. When you come to your senses, feel free to come home.

Your mother,
Abigail Murdock