Summer of 1963 in Bavaria: Thoughtful and literary mobbing drama about an attractive stranger with a secret past. Translated Version from the popular German book series of Movie-Length-Stories: A young, attractive single mother moves into a small Lower Bavarian village in the Summer of 1963. She is not looking for a job, nor is she looking to make friends. When the villagers discover that several men are visiting her regularly, they are horrified. They assume that this stranger is a prostitute, and look for ways to chase her away. The only one to take her side and stand by her is a young journalist living in the village. He suspects she is hiding here. But from whom or what? And is his support genuine, or was he sent to discover her secret?
Thomas Dellenbusch was born in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1964, and still lives there. The former police detective and advertising copywriter has been actively writing for more than twenty years on a wide variety of topics. Although the lion's share of his assignments originate from the advertising industry, he has also put his talents to use producing speeches for government officials, poetry for individuals, screenplays, rulebooks, newspaper articles, sketches and much more. In short, any subject that can be communicated in a stimulating manner. Since 2013, he has specialized in the production of movie-length-stories - written both by himself and seven other authors via the publishing company he founded expressly for that purpose.
There was no hairdresser in Seilersfeld. The sleepy little village, located between Landshut and Passau in Lower Bavaria, with only eight hundred inhabitants, had only a bakery, a tavern cum inn and a small grocery store, which offered a modest range of drugstore and household items as well as stationery. Public facilities were almost non-existent, apart from the parish church, located in a community hall, a grammar school with an adjoining kindergarten, and a small-town hall-on the ground floor of which was the office of Hubert Förster, Seilersfeld's district commissioner of the police department.
For everything else, such as a hair salon for example, Seilersfeld was simply too small. The women of the village had to drive to the county seat to have their hair done up in an elaborate coiffure for those special occasions like weddings, baptisms or funerals where it was necessary. When it came to everyday hair-care, however, most of them called on Birgit Förster, the wife of the village sheriff, as her husband was affectionately called by the villagers.
Birgit Förster had been a trained hairdresser. She'd given up her job in a salon at the county seat when she got pregnant for the first time and her husband took up his post as police commissioner at Seilersfeld's town hall. Now she offered her skills to the local women in her own kitchen and in so doing was able to augment the household income.
There was another, very practical reason why hairdresser appointments in the city were rare. In the early sixties, very few women in Germany had a driver license. In Seilersfeld, there was not a single one. In addition, not many of the villagers owned a vehicle. The Berggruber Bakery had a small van, used for the business. The Kranz family, the owners of the grocery store, and the Heuslingers who operated the tavern/inn, each had a car, but the number of private cars in Seilersfeld at that time was still very small.
This afternoon, Hilde Kranz, her son Bernd and the bakery's Ruth Berggruber, were sitting in the small kitchen of the policeman's wife/hairdresser. For the sixteen-year-old high school student, these gatherings at Frau Förster's were not just dead boring, but also exasperating: for months now he had been wishing he could get a moptop haircut just like the famed Beatles from England. And although he once had wheedled a half-hearted "It's all right with me" out of his father, his mother still vehemently vetoed this literally hair-raising idea.
As a result, the young man had to deal with his frustration when Frau Förster cut his hair to the length that jutted out over the short teeth of her comb. So, after a hopeful and anticipatory period of growth, once again he ended up with neatly-exposed ears and an accurately drawn side-part. So, Michl Holzgärtner would remain the only boy in the village who was allowed to wear a Beatles haircut. After all, he was a farmer, or rather, he was the sixteen-year-old offspring of the farmer Gustl Holzgärtner. And a farm boy's appearance was not something that had to pass middle-class muster. In addition, his moptop hairstyle looked that way simply because he only occasionally got a haircut; thus, his head looked rather like an actual mop. Therefore, he was not viewed by the parents of his peers as a pioneer of a new and-for that reason alone-repulsive fashion, but simply as what he was. A farmer.
This afternoon, though, Bernd "Berni" Kranz for once didn't fight his boredom and frustration. On the contrary. He feared that his heightened interest in the conversation of the three women might be revealed unintentionally by the sudden and intense reddening of his earlobes. He strove, therefore, to put on the same bored expression he usually presented in Frau Forster's kitchen. They were talking about the new arrival in the village.
Three weeks ago, she'd moved into the extension that Gustl Holzgärtner had built onto his own house many years ago for his aging parents. After his widowed mother died, the building, which had a separate entrance, had remained uninhabited. Now someone was living there again.
Since the end of May.
The new woman in the village.
And this Yvonne Schmidt quickly became the topic of intensive conversations around the village among adults-and at the same time of late-night fantasies of adolescent boys such as Berni Kranz.
On her first day in Seilersfeld she strutted through the town in high heel shoes, which made her long, slender legs appear even more elongated. Those legs were covered only minimally by a blue-and-white mottled dress whose hem barely reached her knees and, being extremely tight, emphasized her swinging hips and the apple-like roundness of her buttocks. The worst (or most exciting, depending on one's point of view) was what presented itself above the waistline.
A willowy waist widened to a significant, solid and prominent bust, whose ability to draw attention was surpassed only by the youthful beauty of a face such as the young in Seilersfeld had never seen-and the old had only ever seen in the movies.
Large, dark-brown eyes, together with a delicate nose, clear and slightly tanned skin, high cheekbones and full red lips, made for an angelic face, which was complemented by an open mane full of black hair, which spilled over her shoulders and back in natural waves.
The first impression on that first day many of the villagers in Seilersfeld might have had was that a famous international film diva had lost her way and ended up here-if not for seven-year-old Paul who accompanied her, and who this stranger clearly intended to register that very same day at the Seilersfeld grammar school. And although the fact that she was indeed a mother could have helped to generate feelings of reassurance and tolerance, it was precisely the fact of her motherhood which caused daily-increasing and noticeable disapproval from the village community.
Because she was without a husband.
And so Yvonne Schmidt, on her very first day in Seilersfeld, strutted directly and without deviation into the fantasies of the boys, into the very bloodstreams of the men-and into the bile ducts of the women. Had those women discussed topics other than recipes, celebrities or the peculiar way that Frau So-and-So was dressed at the last church service-for instance their own sex lives (which was unthinkable, of course)-they would surely have noticed that their men had slept with them more frequently than usual in the first days following Yvonne Schmidt's arrival.
But that was not something one talked about.
For Berni Kranz this strange woman was an enchanted being, a goddess. There was something so unreal about her, something ethereal, that he stood frozen at the bus stop when he got off the school bus at midday and saw her coming toward him on the sidewalk. With each of her gentle, almost sashaying steps, her hips swung back and forth, throwing small waves into the shimmering light of the muggy June air, and spreading around her body to create an aura which seemed to make time stand still.
Even the sparrows, flying from treetop to treetop, seemed to be able to poise in mid-air like buzzards, in order to get an undisturbed view of her and drink in her magic, which nature manages to cultivate only at very special moments. As she got closer, Berni could see the spot on her neckline where the top of her bosom appeared-and again, small waves billowed at every step. Like jelly, when one bumped into the table. And when she reached the bus stop, a gracious look issued from her big warm eyes and gentle smile from her promising lips. Then she was already past him, leaving a hint of lavender in her train.
That night he took a long time to get to sleep.
On the following Sunday the pastor had given a sermon from his pulpit on the topic of beauty. Not Yvonne's beauty in particular. God forbid! Just on the subject of beauty in general. That it was, of course, just like everything else on God's green earth, created by our loving Creator and thus a good and divine thing. But then he found an elegant slant on this issue. Because, as with other seductive attractions-for example, power or property-beauty is vulnerable to being abused by the devil to lead the righteous into temptation.
He elaborated on the question of how a believer could recognize whether beauty was being offered to him in a divine form, or whether the diabolical grimace of Satan was hiding behind it. To this end, he read from Matthew, Chapter 7: Ye shall know them by their fruits.
Good trees bear no bad fruit and bad trees bear no good fruit. Verify, when you look upon the face of beauty, what kind of fruits it has exposed, created, or borne. He actually used the term "borne." Are they godly fruits-or such as have arisen from sin? By their fruits ye shall know them, and then judge the beauty at whose face you are looking.
This sermon, thought Berni, presents itself with a certain kind of beauty.
Now, while Frau Förster cut his bangs, he kept his eyes closed in order to avoid having any hair fall into them. Thus he was able to listen in-with great interest-as his mother, Frau Förster and Frau Berggruber talked about the new woman in the village. Even though it was clear to him that this could hardly be characterized as a conversation. Rather, it was mutual expressions of outrage.
"Whore!" he suddenly heard his mother say.
"Hilde, the boy!" admonished a shocked Frau Berggruber.
"Oh, don't worry; this young man can certainly hear what his mother thinks about her," she replied and rumpled her son's hair, so that...