Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
Declaring Martial Law ...
Officer Bernstein sits at his desk with his head in his hands. Then he swivels in his chair and looks out the window. He catches the glimpse of a huge white predator moving in the direction of der weiße Wald. He leaps toward the telephone.
“Deputy Adelberg, are you there?”
“Ja, Officer Bernstein.” Emerson replies. He is very much aware that when the Constable uses his las name—there is something serious going on.
“I have seen him!” Gerhardt exclaims.
“Bist du sicher?” Emerson sits upright in his seat, looking around for confirmation.
“Keep your eyes toward the North.” Gerhardt admonishes. It is not too long before Emerson also witnesses der weiße Dämon in a clearing by him.
“Sie haben Recht, Herr—I can see him. He seems to be heading back toward the forest. What can we do about it?” Emerson tries unsuccessfully to overcome his fear.
“I don’t know but you are going to need to have your wits about you! We have an obligation to the citizens of this village! In den Griff bekommen!” Gerhardt orders.
“Do we have time, sir? People are preparing for work. Everything was quiet last night. After what happened to the gentleman early yesterday morning, people made sure they did their chores and headed back home.” Emerson explains.
“Ja, but you know how quickly people return to their old routines. I need for you to contact as many townspeople as you can. It looks as though der weiße Dämon is heading back, but let’s not take any unnecessary chances.” Gerhardt insists.
“Sehr gut, Gerhardt, I will get the message out immediately. Is there anything else you require me to do?” Emerson starts the vehicle and heads toward the heart of town.
“Nein— Vielen Dank. I will speak to you later.” Gerhardt returns the receiver to its cradle. He pivots his chair around, facing his computer. He types into a search engine, “The White Demon.” Here is what he finds—
“The White Demon (Der weiße Dämon) is a legendary white Siberian Tiger of tremendous size and strength that allegedly killed a sizeable consortium of people in the community of Krüger more than 50 years ago. Although it has never been proven that such an animal exists today, there is no counter explanation as to how those individuals were massacred.”
Gerhardt pushes away from his desk and returns to the window and speaks as if to an invisible force.
“I don’t know why you have chosen to return to our village der weiße Dämon after being in seclusion for decades. Whether it is seeing a human again or an internal clock being turned on—you are here and you must be stopped!”
As Gerhardt raises his fist in declaration, he receives a telephone call.
“I think you need to get down to Hoffman’s. We have found what looks like the body of a man.” Emerson sadly informs his constable.
“Verdammt!” Gerhardt yells, slamming down the receiver.
Twenty minutes later, Officer Bernstein arrives at Hoffman’s Tavern where a small crowd has gathered. A couple of his deputies are staring down at the remains while three others are attempting to disburse the crowd.
“Can you tell who it was?” Gerhardt asks Emerson as he strides toward the fragments.
“From the pieces of his shirt and jeans—it was Axel Weber.
“Oh nein, nicht er! Poor old Mr. Weber. He was such a sweet old drunk. Sometimes, I would just throw him in jail so that he could enjoy a hot meal the next day.” Gerhardt looks down at the shredded articles of clothing. A shoe and what looks like an arm with a watch which could not be denied as being owned by Axel.
“What are we going to do?” Emerson finds himself repeating the words he spoke earlier.
“Call a town meeting, that’s what. Get rid of these people and get on the cruiser speakers. Let everyone know that we will congregate at the Krüger Community Center within the hour. There we will establish our boundary lines and coordinated assistance from the Stadtpolizei of Stäfa when they are available. Our Kommunalpolizei will not be able to handle this alone. Further killings must be prevented somehow.” Gerhardt proclaims and the deputies shake their heads in unison.
Weighing the Facts …
The meeting begins promptly at 1:00 pm and everyone is assembled at the Krüger Community Center to hear the status on the current terror to their hamlet. The mayor speaks—
“Vielen Dank for coming so promptly. We have a crisis in our quaint little village of Krüger. The dilemma that plagued our townsfolk so many years ago has returned—The White Demon!” Pausing for affect, you can hear whispers and sighs in the background. Then Gerhardt’s brother, Mayor Fredric Bernstein continues.
“As you may have heard, there have been quite a few deaths attributed to der weiße Wald and more will follow unless we do something about it.”
“How can you fight a phantom?” One person yells out and all eyes are fastened on the mayor. Fredric turns to look at his brother who takes his cue responds.
“I do not believe this demon is a phantom but flesh and blood. And, if I am right, then he can be killed.” Again there is murmur within the crowd.
“Yes, but how?” Another participant replies.
“We will set a trap with the help of the Stadtpolizei from Stäfa! They were a bit reluctant to believe our story but after we sent them photographic proof, they conceded. Our own Kommunalpolizei will not be enough. This beast is cunning—”
“It’s a demon with a thirst for human souls. Do you think you will be able to pacify it with a deer or other animal?” Max shouts from the back of the room, then rises and moves toward the front.
“I have confronted the beast, Hans and Ryker have also. Only our good fortune and our wits kept us from being devoured. Others have not been so lucky. And now they along with their souls are gone.” Hans shakes his head in full agreement but Ryker does not.
“Yes, I encounter the beast in der weiße Wald.” Ryker confesses. “It chased me all the way to Hoffman’s Tavern.”
“You were in der weiße Wald? No wonder—” But before the participant can venture any further, surprisingly Millie comes to his defense.
“I believe that it was just a matter of time before the demon would have made his way here. It has been over 50 years since anyone has been killed.”
“No mortal animal could possibly have lived that long. It must be an offspring!” The mayor proclaims.
“Are you saying that there could be more than one?” There is a lot of talk among the villagers and their voices become louder.
“No, not anymore.” This time it is Gerhardt. “What my brother is saying is that this creature is not the original monster but a descendant. Tigers are solitary creatures and this is a gigantic one by all accounts. The further North you go—the stranger the encounters. Remember that McKellar Forest incident?”
“That Spirit Bear that was killed.” Hans offers to which someone rejoinders.
“If it was indeed that Spirit Bear then he’s not dead.” There is more murmuring.
“Let us focus with the problem at hand.” The mayor regains control of the conversation. “A strict curfew will be enforced. Since he kills during late night into early morning—no one is to be on the streets, NO ONE! If you are, you will find yourself without any assistance. I will not allow my brother or his deputies to risk the encounter until we have a strategy for killing the creature. I will not have a duplicate of what happened to the officers in the McKellar Forest incident—is that clear?” Everyone nods in the affirmative. “Then this meeting is adjourned.”
As people file out of the room Frederic looks at his brother Gerhardt.
“I think Millie is right about the beast’s timing. Now we have to act!” Gerhardt claims and his brother nods in accord.
To Be Continued …
The Legend of White Forest 6
- The Legend of White Forest 6
Gerhardt drops to the sofa as if a great weight has been thrust into his arms. For moments, he and his wife sit silently on the settee unable to utter a sound. Then, there is a tremendous hammering on the door. Gerhardt leaps to answer it.
© 2021 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS