Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
Facing Your Fears …
Everyone is silent as Hunter enters the highway and presses the pedal toward the floor. Since the vehicle that brought Hunter and the others to Zürich is a one-way rental—there is no need in bringing it back. Officer Schulz assured them that he will make the necessary arrangements for its return to the agency.
In the front seat of the custom-made Mercedes on the passenger side is inhabited by Matthew Donahue. The next three swivel seats are filled by Benjamin Townsend along with Hugo and Adolphus Erikson. The back seats are occupied by Alberich Babler and a stretched out Gerhardt Bernstein. Alberich complains to Gerhardt.
“Glad to see that you are so relaxed concerning this.”
“Mein Freund, I am only like this because of my little friends.” Gerhardt hands Alberich a small prescription bottle. “After my wife’s near fatal car crash last year, I sometimes get anxiety attacks.”
“Oh, I’m sorry—I didn’t know. Is your Commander aware of this.” Alberich feels a tinge of remorse.
“It was Commander Meyer who suggested I see a doctor. I considered early retirement in order to take care of her but my commander arranged for everything. Now my Leena has completely recovered and I only have occasional problems.” Gerhardt confesses.
“Will you be able to handle this, Gerhardt?” Benjamin turns in his seat to face him. “This will definitely be no time to freeze up.”
Before Gerhardt can answer, Alberich speaks up on his behalf.
“He is more than capable of handling the situation. It hasn’t been easy for any of us. I have come to rely heavily on this man. I would trust him with my life.” Alberich defends, handing the bottle back to Gerhardt.
“And so would I.” Both Hugo and Adolphus chime in unison. This puts a wide grin on Gerhardt’s face and causes Ben to turn back around in his seat.
“I think we are all a bit edgy.” Hunter commences. “This is no time to doubt the reliability of any member of this team. Ben, Matthew tells me that there were times when you were not in perfect form.”
“Yeah, that’s true. I was just needing him to affirm that he was up to this, that’s all.” Ben confesses.
“Yes mother, I will be fine.” Gerhardt quips and everyone including Ben breaks out into laughter.
“It’s just a matter of facing your fears. Up until most recently, I wouldn’t have been able to understand that.
“And now?” Matthew has entered into the conversation.
“The look that der weiße Dämon gave me the other day was more frightening than any adversary I have every had to encounter. That creature literally hates me.” Alberich states.
“You were the one driving the automobile.” Ben reminds him.
“But how would der weiße Dämon know that?” Matthew tries to rationalize. “All of us got out of the vehicle.”
“That could only mean that she has been observing us the entire time.” Alberich concludes. “You know the Legend of White Forest?”
“Not really.” Matthew confesses. Ben shows sign of agreement.
“That is because you are not native to this area.” Hugo determines.
“Well is anyone going to enlighten us?” Matt calls out from the front seat.
“I will.” Hugo finally declares. “Here is a bit of information you won’t find in your public library.” After taking a long swig from his canteen, he continues.
“First, let me explain that der weiße Wald is translated into the White Forest. It is said that vor sehr langer Zeit, a beautiful woman—Liesel, was in love with a very handsome man called Braun. This man Braun was a hunter and loved to go into the forest to slay animals and mount them as trophies. His beloved Liesel was of a kind and gentle nature—she felt that killing just for sport was a terrible thing to do. One day, Braun invited Liesel to a hunting expedition. There was an accident with Braun’s rifle and Liesel was mortally wounded. It is said that Braun made a pack with der weiße Dämon to spare Liesel in exchange for his own soul. The agreement was made and Braun became—”
“der weiße Dämon!” Adolphus finished.
“Yes. After that, every 100 years he returns—thirsty for the blood of the innocent.” Hugo asserts, sending a chill throughout the truck.
“That’s quite a story, Hugo. However as we all know, der weiße Dämon is female.” Matt interjects.
“Unless she is not really der weiße Dämon.” Hunter suggests, enjoying the conversation very much. “She had two cubs—”
“So? What are you trying to say?” Ben queries, now putting a canteen of fresh water to his lips too.
“So, there has to be a male somewhere.” Gerhardt rationalizes and Hunter nods in concurrence.
“Ja! Considering how aggressive large cats can be in their mating ritual, the one who sired her cubs would have to be even more powerful than she is.” Hunter concludes.
“And he is still out there.” Ben asserts as Hunter begins to concentrate on his driving even more.
Everyone is lost again in his own thoughts. Hugo is wondering if the ALZ-903 serum given to him by Dr. Karl Meier will be strong enough when dealing with the new threat. While Alberich is hoping that it will suffice in dealing with the female Siberian tiger. Everyone’s thoughts are halted as Hunter slams on the breaks. In front of them, at least 12 feet away is the most humongous tiger any of them have ever seen.
“You don’t think that could be der weiße Dämon?” Matthew whispers in complete disbelief.
“It’s large enough to be!” Hunter assesses as he turns the engine off and just a quickly as the aberration appears, it vanishes.
“Then it’s no longer a mere legend.” Ben proclaims in amazement.
“It never really was, Ben. And it simply disappeared.” Alberich retorts. “What are we going to do?”
“We’ll be in Krüger in about 30 minutes. Let’s try to remain calm until then.” Hunter makes a feeble attempt to calm the other men down.
“Did you see the size of that thing? Verdammt! It makes the female look like a kitten!” Alberich bellows.
“Focus gentlemen!” Gerhardt shrieks, attempting to create some order in the Mercedes. “We are heading to Krüger to kill a flesh and blood beast. What we have just witnessed is neither. What we have just seen stays within this truck. Do I make myself clear?”
Each man gives his affirmative answer.
“Hugo, you and your brother will prepare the serum so that it can be discharged by a rifle, right?” Gerhardt takes command of the situation.
“Yes.” Hugo replies first.
“Of course.” Adolphus seconds.
“Good. Hunter, you, Matthew and Benjamin will create a method in which der weiße Dämon will be brought into firing range, understand?” Gerhardt eyes each man.
“Yes.” They reply.
“Excellent! Gentlemen, we have our work cut-out for us. Let us stay focused on the present issue. Please be advised not to talk about or for that matter even think about what we thought we just saw.” Gerhardt’s voice cracks ever so slightly.
“You actually think—” However, Ben’s comment is cut short by a look so menacing from Gerhardt that he dare not complete the sentence. He looks down sheepishly.
“Any more questions?” After the others shake their heads no, they turn around in their seats and Hunter restarts the Mercedes.
“I guess we got our butts scraped really good.” He leans over to look at Matthew.
“You got that right. Let’s go.” Both men smile at each other and Hunter navigates the remainder of the voyage without any further communication with Matt. Hugo gives his brother a knowing nod.
“That’s why Gerhardt Bernstein has my undying respect.”
“Yes, he knows when to step up to the plate as the Americans would say.” Adolphus rejoinders as the rest of their journey to Krüger is free from further sightings or mishaps.
To Be Continued …
The Legend of White Forest 23
- The Legend of White Forest 23
Finally, the Brabus 700 Mercedes-Benz pulls into Krüger with six men onboard. It is crucial that they begin reconnaissance before the White Siberian Demon arrives. However, they soon find out that again she is one step ahead of them.
© 2021 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on July 20, 2021:
The female Siberian tiger may only be the mate to a much more powerful legend. When legends become reality!