Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
I’ve been recently working on some cold war supernatural stories and I drug this one that I did over a year ago out. It was going to be part of a bigger project that never quite got off the ground.
To me the Cold War and the supernatural go together like peanut butter and chocolate. It’s been done before sometimes very well like Charles Stross’ A Colder War or terribly in such things like the Soviet psychic in the fourth Indiana Jones movie. I am surprised there are not more Cold war Horror stories. Let’s face it the whole age of MAD is an analogy for Cosmic Horror.
If I had written it now I might not have made the bad guy a Nazi. With the Spector of real Nazism in the US, raising its head. Once again. In some ways Nazi’s make the perfect bad guys, you can kill them off in lots of terrible ways and no one complains. In the Cold War area it is hard to overstate how the memory and sins of WWII keep popping up, with things like rats lines and OPERATION:PAPERCLIP. Also I do believe that Nazi occultism has been exaggerated it is a mainstay of cult conspiracies and pop culture, just look at The Morning of the Magicians or Hellboy.
I love Eurospy novels and movies, but one thing that always bothered me was this whole James bond, philosophy that women want to be raped. It comes out of the sick and damaged mind of Ian Fleming. So one of the ways I address it is make the lead a heroine who has complete control of her own sexuality.
The photo I attached to this is Stephen Powers in a publicity shot for The Girl from UNCLE. I used it as an inperation piece when writing this story.
This clocks in at 1,800 words almost three times what I normally post here but it still only three pages so I hope it doesn’t overwhelm you. So watch your six, I will see you at Check Point Charlie.
The Wild Hunt.
Mathias Speckman could hear the howl of the dogs of hell. Their unholy bark echoed through the cavernous ally whose walls were the stone walls of old town Geneva. Intuitively he knew that none of the sleeping Swiss could hear the fiendish wails. He and any that would try to aid him were the Hunt’s singular prey. As a former oberfuhrer in the Third Reich’s Komando Hexen he knew all about the other worldly force that had been unleased upon him. What he wasn’t sure of was who would have sent the daemon dogs after him.
He shouldn’t have risked traveling in the city at night. Foolishly he thought he would be safe with two large ODESSA bodyguards to protect him. They had stood their ground when he ran. All it had bought him a few extra moments. He could hear their gruesome demise, as he fled into the night. The gun shots, the growls, the screams, followed by the snapping of bones and then louder screams.
Eerily no one else in the city seemed to hear the noise. Speckman knew why. He knew that evil, in its purest form, could dampen sounds. The bests that chased him were pure evil. And their actions were silent. The oberfuhrer had known evil had been part of evil, and that which perused him was even more vile than he even at his worse.
He ran blindly down the deserted street. Trying in vain to seek solace by wrapping his fingers around the grip of the pistol that was in his coat’s pocket. Looking over his shoulder, he could see the glowing red eyes of his pursuers. They were drawing closer and becoming brighter as the beasts began to move within striking distance. He froze at the crossroads, wondering if he should try to make a stand against the unearthly horrors behind him.
At first he could only hear the demonic creatures behind him and his own footsteps. Slowly his mind began to register another sound. The high pitched whine of a precision engine. The car had moved without lights until it was less than three meters away from him. With a sharp squealing of the brakes the sports car came to an abrupt stop, less than a meter from him. The fugitive was bathed in the vehicles high beams, like a dear on a country road. He could hear the latest claptrap from that damnable English band The Beatles, flowing from the car’s stereo. A female voice called out to him in German, “jump in!”
He hesitated was this a trap? He tightened his grip on his Walther PPK that was still in his pocket. The former oberfuhrer tried to shield his eyes from the lights of the car. The only thing he make out was that the car was a convertible. “Hurry you fool!” The woman demanded.
Speckman looked back at his pursuers. A dark mas was beginning to form around the glowing eyes. The entities began to take on the appearance of hounds, darker than the night sky with the exception of alabaster white teeth, and ember red eyes. He swallowed hard, accepting he had no other choice, he opened the car’s door and jumped in.
Josette Delacroix smiled like a teenager, “Buckle up.” She said then stepped on the gas on the Alpha Romero Spider. Glancing into the in the rear view mirror she saw the glowing eyes of the dark forms perusing them. As impossible as it might seem the entities appeared to be gaining on them.
His heroine seemed to speak German with a slight French accent, perhaps she was from Alsace or Switzerland. “Who are you? Who sent you?” Speckman demanded, The 108 horse power engine seemed to purr more like a kitten than roar like a lion.
The woman seemed unfazed by the supernatural menace chasing them. “Standartenfuhrer Beckenbauer.” She replied not taking her attention off the narrow Geneva streets.
Speckman pulled the Walther out of his coat pocket and pointed it at the brunette. “Liar, Beckenbauer. Died two weeks ago.”
“Oui.” The woman said switching to French momentarily, then back in German she added. “I am the one who shot him. His shade was much more forthcoming, than his mortal form.” It was then that he noticed around the woman’s neck was a necklace, it was made of emeralds and silver in the form of a holly leaf. The jewelry seemed to glow, but not physically, in some kind preternatural way he could only sense with his third eye.
He looked over his shoulder, towards the forms that where barreling down on them. “Did you summon, them?” He demanded.
The Alfa Romero just barely missed a park lorry by centimeters. The woman gave a harsh laugh. “I am no witch.” He could almost hear the smile on her lips, then she purred. “I am a spy.”
“Who sent you?” Speckman demanded brandishing the pocket pistol. Josette’s response was to rev a few more HP’s out the Alpha Romero. “I’ll kill you!” He screamed.
“Don’t be a fool.” She replied taking a sharp turn down an alleyway. “We are traveling at ninety kilometers an hour, if you shot me there is no way you can take the wheel in time. If you survive the crash, your friends trailing us will catch you before you get to far from the car’s wreckage.” Her voice was cool and even, she sounded like she was reciting a mathematics equation.
Her calmness was infuriating the old Nazi. “Tell me who sent you!” He yelled trying to regain control of the situation. The howls of demonic dogs behind them seem to grow louder.
“We need to know where The Spear is.” She responded coldly. He pushed the barrel of the gun against her cheek. The woman whom he was now sure was French was unintimidated by the gun’s barrel on her flesh, and spoke calmly. “We know you are moving the spear head, to South America, where is it?”
The Spear of Destiny, Hitler’s favorite fetish. The weapon that pierced the skin of Christ. The weapon was also referred to as the God Slayer. For two decades ODESSA had kept it in Europe but now they were going to move it across the Atlantic. He settled back in his seat and aimed the gun at the woman’s center mass.
Before he could pull the trigger, Josette hit the brakes. Her right hand flew off the wheel, catching Speckman wrist, slamming it against the Romero’s dashboard, the forward motion jerked his body forward. The brunette twisted his wrist painfully until he dropped the gun. Like a bird of prey she caught the falling pistol with her left hand. The German officer was momentarily stunned, the woman who had introduced herself as a spy was out of the vehicle with the gun pointing at his head before he was aware of what had happened. “I told you to buckle up.” She said smugly.
Though Speckman could hear and understand her, the Woman sounded like she was farther away from where she stood. She gestured with the Walther for him to get out. He trembled as he opened the AR’s door. The woman with her precise driving had gain some distance on their pressures but they would be on them soon. As he stood out the car he realized that the blare of its radio had seen to vanish in a fog of silence, evidence that the Hunter would soon strike.
She stood across the Alpha Romero’s engine from him. Speckman couldn’t make a grab for the weapon in time, even if he tried. “The Spear, where is it?” She shouted but by the time it got to his ears it sounded more like a lover’s whisper. The powerful evil that was the death of sound was nearing them. The old Nazi looked down the street, the entities now had a clear form, large and ferocious wolves with red glowing eyes, behind them was muscular man with huge stag horns sprouting out his head. “If you tell me where the Spear is I assure you I won’t let it touch you.”
Someone had summoned the Wild Hunt after him. Probably this woman or her allies, there was no way you could hide form the Huntsman, the only way to survive was for the person who called it to call it off. “Antwerp!” He yelled. “Antwerp it is leaving in three days on the Star of Lemuria….”
Josette fired the PPK. The bullet flew above the Nazi’s right year. Speckman knew that his gun didn’t have a silencer, but the report of the gun was barely audible. “Liar!” She yelled, though the words were only slightly louder than a whisper. “The only way I will not let it tear you a part is if you tell me where the Spear is.”
Desperate Speckman yelled “Huelva, the Spanish port of Huelva tomorrow at midnight…On the Mariposa…It sails at midnight to Rio.”
Satisfied that he was telling the truth Josette pulled the trigger.
The savage pack approached the dead German’s body. The lead hound sniffed the corpse for any sign of life. Its eyes flared in anger of being deprived of its prey. The Huntsman dark face was masked in a scowl.
Josette called out to it. All sound vibrations around the primal terror ceased. Though the Huntsman could hear any comment directed to it. “I know, it was very unsporting of me to rob you of your victim. But I did promise him that I wouldn’t let him touch him…And what good is a woman if she doesn’t keep her promises.”
The Huntsman stared at her seething with rage.
She tossed the pistol on to the car seat, it would be of no use against this force from lost eons. “I am sure I can make it up to you. Something to sooth your bruised ego, oui?” She stared at the behemoth’s chest. “I do so love a man with muscles.” She said absent mindedly playing with a strand of dark hair that had fallen over her shoulder. It was an act that many a man had found irresistible, but The Huntsman was not of flesh and blood. He let out bestial snort and brandished his spear at Josette.
She pouted for a moment, released the lock of hair and touched the holy leaf necklace. The Huntsman and his pack vanished. She took a deep breath of the cold Swiss air, opened the car door and moved the gun in to the glove box. The radio seemed to be on full blast compared to the preternatural silence. Taking her seat she put the car in gear and pulled out into the night. Too bad that Lord Cernuous was in a bad mood, Josette thought. She really did like men with muscles.