FIRST LINES FRIDAY 56: But Then, The World May End Tomorrow

First Line Fridays” is by Hoarding Books and is all about the first line of a current/upcoming read. Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you turn to page 56 (or 56%) in what you’re reading a find a snippet that jumps out at you. The idea to combine the two came from Kat @ Here There Be Dragons

I found this meme on The Writerly Way. And I’m doing this on a Thursday just to be difficult.


When he comes down again, his plane is steaming like a war horse. It is cold up there, despite the heat of battle. We all rush to him. Few others’ hearts are racing like mine, I expect. Mine is rattling like a badly maintained engine. The harsh tack-tack sound is hollow and sad and more dangerous than empty ammunition boxes in the middle of a dogfight.

The others are landing, too, steel eagles rolling over the tarmac; I don’t have time to count them. I’m normally counting the empty spaces. The absences. But I never count them in his Staffel. Nobody else exists to me when he lands. Everything stops existing when he takes off, as if he takes it all with him when he goes up there, to places I’ll never see again. That vast open non-place of emptiness that becomes significant only when his comrades are there, too, and of course the enemy fighters guarding the bombers bound for Berlin.

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56% of 46

“There was a boy in Paris. French. He seemed rather experienced in some ways.” Vogt winks at me. “Don’t look at me like that. It’s been five years.”

I shake my head, put my glass down. “No, I . . . I’ve never had a friend like that.”


“I kissed a friend when I was very young, but we grew out of it.”

Vogt touches my face again. “But you didn’t.”

“No. I missed him, but I understood that it’s dangerous.” But then, the world may end tomorrow.

He nods and kisses me again. It’s a heartfelt yet tender kiss that makes my pulse race. I reach to grab his shoulder, still reluctant to let his hand go, and he doesn’t free himself. We stand there and just kiss, and with every touch, we seem to explain and apologise, and bridge that gap that yawned between us. After a while, I feel like I know him, and my heart turns to liquid at the thought that this courageous warrior has called me his friend. Who am I to be worthy of him?

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Love soars.

Germany, 1945. The Third Reich is on its knees as Allied forces bomb Berlin to break the last resistance. Yet on an airfield near Berlin, the battle is far from over for a young mechanic, Felix, who’s attached to a squadron of fighter pilots. He’s especially attached to fighter ace Baldur Vogt, a man he admires and secretly loves. But there’s no room for love at the end of the world, never mind in Nazi Germany.
When Baldur narrowly cheats death, Felix pulls him from his plane, and the pilot makes his riskiest move yet. He takes a few days’ leave to recover, and he takes Felix with him. Away from the pressures of the airfield, their bond deepens, and Baldur shows Felix the kind of brotherhood he’d only ever dreamed of before.

But there’s no escaping the war, and when they return, Baldur joins the fray again in the skies over Berlin. As the Allies close in on the airfield where Felix waits for his lover, Baldur must face the truth that he is no longer the only one in mortal danger.

One of my favorite Voinov creations. This is a beautiful, suspenseful WWII love story from a German Nazi POV we don’t often see. Read my review here.

What first lines grabbed your attention this week?


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