Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
An Insatiable Thirst …
It is late Friday when several men from the Stadtpolizei of Stäfa arrive at the village of Krüger. They are immediately met by Gerhardt and Frederic Bernstein. Constable Alberich Babler speaks first.
“Guten Abend. Which of you are Constable Bernstein?” Alberich queries.
“I am. You may call me Gerhardt.”
“Vielen Dank. Please call me Alberich since we will be working closely. I have heard of the previous events concerning der weiße Dämon and let me just say that I don’t take this assignment lightly.” Alberich retorts.
“We appreciate that fact, Alberich. We don’t consider the brutal massacre of several of our villagers topics for casual conversation.” Gerhardt rejoinders and Alberich nods in agreement.
“I think we shall begin by setting up post throughout the village. It will be composed with no less than three individuals. Two from my forces and one from yours. We will rely on your familiarity of the terrain.” Alberich explains.
“No one goes out after sunset, Alberich. Not even being accompanied by your men. This beast is cunning and will not miss the opportunity to strike.” Frederic warns and both his brother and Alberich look at him as if seeing him for the first time.
“My brother is right. If we are going to succeed, we need to strike during the daylight hours. This is a night stalker and he—” Before Gerhardt can finish his sentence, they hear a bloodcurdling scream.
When they reach the destination of the sound, they find a man mercilessly slashed in several places. A sheer look of horror on his face.
“Meine Güte! Look at that poor man.” Alberich bellows while several frighten men look around. “Why was this fellow alone?”
The bewildered men look at each other—no one has an explanation.
“That settles it!” Gerhardt orders. “Let’s get you and your men settled at the hotel. Someone throw a blanket over that poor soul for now—we can take proper care of him in the morning. Now hurry!”
One man rushes to one of the two VLRA 2 Military Vehicle to retrieve a blanket when another scream is heard. This time it is from the opposite direction from where the first man was killed. With lightning speed, both men are covered and the Stadtpolizei of Stäfa are promptly moved to the Krüger Lodge.
Alberich observes his frighten men, not blaming them after what has just occurred.
“He moves swiftly and silently.” Alberich states.
“Yes, for such a large predator. We cannot underestimate him. It has already cost us two lives.” Gerhardt reminds him.
“What we need is a battalion!” Frederic proclaims.
“No, too many men will be as bad as having not enough men. What we need is for the men to be vigilant, prudent and courageous.” Gerhardt surmises.
“Ich stimme zu! This is why in the morning, I will be returning to Stäfa.” Alberich determines.
“Returning to Stäfa!” Both Gerhardt and Frederic repeat in unison.
“Ja. There are some men there who will be perfect for this task. They are a group of American Naval Seals who have been visiting some friends in Stäfa. This is the kind of action that I believe they will love to be a part of. It is about seven of them and I will meet with the men when I return in the morning. In the meantime, just keep everyone in their homes.” Alberich says and the Bernstein Brothers just look at each other.
Quietly, Gerhardt and Frederic climb into the one smaller Stäfa vehicle and head for first Frederic’s home and then Gerhardt’s. As Gerhardt opens the door, his wife, Leena Bernstein, is there to greet him.
“I was worried sick about you, Gert!” Leena puts her hands on Gerhardt’s chest. He lifts her from the floor, kissing her passionately. Then he speaks.
“weiße Dämon has killed again. This time two men from Stäfa.” Gerhardt drops his head and Leena tries to comfort him.
“You did what you could, Gert.” She whispers softly.
“No!” Gerhardt bellows. “Frederic and I were discussing strategy with Constable Babler and the two men were gone—all we could do was respond to their last agonizing screams.”
Gerhardt drops to the sofa as if a great weight has been thrust into his arms. For moments, the two of them sit silently on the settee unable to utter a sound. Then, there is a tremendous hammering on the door. Gerhardt leaps to answer it and is almost knocked over by his neighbor Sefa Altmann.
“What is the world—” But before Gerhardt can finish his sentence, there is a terrible scream as if an animal is being torn apart.
“It’s Baum, my dog. Ava just let him go out for a few moments to relieve himself and he wandered too far. She know about the curfew, and now my Baum and well—and” Sefa plops to the floor sobbing.
“I’ll let your wife know that you are save so she won’t come looking for you.” Leena replies, reaching for the cellphone on the coffee table.
“Now, tell me all that happen.” Gerhardt queries.
Sefa explains again how his wife foolishly lets Baum out of the front door and doesn’t insure that he stay within the gate.
“Ava said that the telephone rang and she went to see who called. When she returned—Baum was on the other side of the fence. I grabbed my coat and started pass your house after him. Baum started to growl and begin moving further away from me. That beast came from nowhere and headed toward me. Meine Güte, I guess that Baum must have jumped in front of him and, and—” Sefa begins sobbing again.
“That beast has an insatiable thirst for blood. The two men from Stäfa and now poor Baum.” Gerhardt somberly exhorts.
Leena hands Sefa a hot cup of coffee, looking from the man to her husband. Then she speaks, “What are you going to do, Gert?”
“I’m going to walk Sefa back home, then get some rest myself.” Gerhardt, reaching for his specially designed double-barreled rifle, helps Sefa from the sofa, and they leave for his house. Gerhardt returns home shortly, having faced no further incidents.
“Come on Leena, let’s go to bed.” Gerhardt replies, then putting his arm around his wife’s shoulders the two of them quietly walk up the stair to their bedroom for a fitful night’s sleep.
It is early the next morning when Gerhardt returns the VLRA 2 Military Vehicle to its rightful owner.
“I heard what happened to your neighbor last night.” Alberich begins.
“Meine Güte! News travels fast in this little hamlet.” Gerhardt chuckles as he hands the keys to Alberich.
“Ja, not unlike where I was raised. I will be returning to Stäfa where I will be speaking to the Seals. Please be careful and continue to encourage your people not to venture after sunset. auf Wiedersehen, mein Freund!” Alberich calls out as he and his men board the trucks.
“auf Wiedersehen, Alberich!” Gerhardt waves back watching solemnly as the men leave his village. Emerson looks at his Constable and replies—
“Do you think Alberich will be successful in convincing the Americans to help us?”
“Let us hope that he will be.” Is all that Gerhardt says as they leave the hotel to return to their posts.
To Be Continued ...
The Legend of White Forest 7
- The Legend of White Forest 7
Alberich has returned to Stäfa to seek the assistance of some American comrades. As he explains the situation to Matthew Donahue and his second, Benjamin Townsends, it becomes obvious that they are going to need the backing of someone else!
© 2021 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on February 16, 2021:
Will the Americans accept the challenge?