They chose him at random.
They snap a picture of the boy crossing the street with his mother who have ice cream at the streetcorner where the Jew sells cool treats from his truck. Cuts out his profile and presses it onto celluloid. Feeds it into the machine.
“Oh, man! Look at that future!” cries the rapidly paling editor. “Fuckin’ roll of the dice.” The screen wavers with incendiary heat and in the background shadowed figures with outlines of rifles march rhythmically past the flames through corpse piled streets…their uniforms are green camouflage and a tricolored flag emblazons their helmets with stars and stripes… cruel sneer of a soldier even crueler…
The boy and his mother are plowed down by a truck as a horrified ice cream vendor looks on. The boy is in a coma, and the mother has died instantly. They snap a picture of him trussed up with tubes and needles in the hospital. His eyes are closed and blood rims his nostril. Bandages cover almost every inch of his flesh. His spinal cord is severed. He heals, but remains a paraplegic. His face is scarred, a large knot of flesh running across his nose. They press his profile into the celluloid and feed it into the machine.
“Christ… It’s like a bad movie,” the editor says, his eyeglasses reflecting the scene. They have great faceted eyes and golden carapaces. Silvery antennae boil the air above their head and blue lights lance towards the city. It crumples as if its walls were cardboard and tinfoil. Tanks discharge ineffectually against their quick insect movements. Glints of light. A skewered woman twists on a mandible and is sawed apart, dangling intestines. At the rear trundles a metallic green dung beetle attending to a giant sphere of knitted corpses. Perched on its head is a small figure. The camera zooms in on to the humanoid form and finds its body bristling with silver gadgetry. Its fists are powerful pincers. Orangegold compound eyes glitter above redglistening mandibles. A whirring of gears noises the air. It reaches and taps its temple. Its face unsheathes, sliding upwards, and it is the boy, all grown up, looking directly at them above his knot of nose.
“We’ve never had one like him before.”
The director paces in the claustrophobic room. “Gotta fix it. Can’t stop now, no, can’t stop. The show must go on! Can’t stop, no, can’t…”
The editor returns to his desk.
A litter of celluloid on the floor framing the editor’s balding scalp as he rolls film. The boy looks at them through the flickering screen. He is in a tattered hall with peeling green wallpaper, and his eyes are cold with hate above his scarred nose. He lopes down the hall towards them. He has broken the fourth wall.
“Cut! Cut, cut! For the love of God, cut!”
In his urgency to reach the projector, the editor spills boiling coffee in his lap.
“Oh!” the editor cries, clutching his crotch. “We’ve made a botch of it!”
The director jumps for the flash gun.
A ripping sound like canvas tearing.
A smell of carbine and the vinegar of hate.
A head bursts out of the screen.
The projector light shatters into frozen alien constellations.
The boy hits the floor rolling and the light splinters.
Flash! The director misses his shot.
The boy levels his gun at the director’s mouth then at the editor’s eye. He surveys the small room without a door, the camera, the ruined screen, the editor slumped over the editing table, the director’s limbs bent in symmetrical angles on a background of pale negatives, consumed by slowly pooling blood. The boy picks up a piece of celluloid and understands. His is a patchwork life. It would be remedied. He sat down and brought a loupe to his eye, wiped a speck of blood off, and set to work.
I am convinced that 1941 will be the crucial year of a great New Order in Europe. The world shall open up for everyone. Privileges for individuals, the tyranny of certain nations and their financial rulers shall fall. And last of all this year will help to provide the foundations of a real understanding among peoples, and with it the certainty of conciliation among nations. . . . Those nations who are still opposed to us will some day recognize the greater enemy within. Then they will join us in a combined front, a front against Jewish exploitation and racial degeneration.
-Adolf Hitler, Speech at Berlin Sportspalast January 1941