A woman named Satan meets her destiny in Poland under a long shadow of antiquity.
|The Back Story;
First off, I’d like to note input from a reader, ‘Dee C’ and render a formal thank you. Because it is a short story, I do keep it short so I must string the important points together quickly. For more detail wait for my memoirs. This is also why the series comes with a ‘back story’ piece. Without Dee C’s comment, I wouldn’t have realized several points of clarity that is advantageous to exploit. One being this is a farcical catastrophe of cosmic proportions. Well, laughing beats crying. Secondly, that helps me get the big points across about the human condition.
Now about my Granny. When I tell you she was a witch, I mean she was a real ‘Wytche’. I saw her wearing her vestments once when I was about five years old. They were white, parts of it was very old, so old as in when it was made in the east coast of England, that area went by the name ‘The Dane Law’. This happened during the summer of 1972 or 73, in Port Vue, Pennsylvania. Ironically on Elmwood Street. In Norse mythology, ‘The Gods’ made people from elm wood and an ash tree. Yeah, there was a nearby ash tree. I don’t know if that’s important or not.
What is important is on this day, just the two of us, played on the living room floor with a complete army of cast iron soldiers with a thick cotton floor map that had a generic battlefield on it. She showed me how Vikings would fight on the ground. They had three basic tactics. ‘Hammernschmatzen’ literally the hammer smack, what’s called a hammer and anvil maneuver today. ‘Kesselschlact’ or kettle fight, that is to surround and destroy your opponent. The last ‘Tierblitz’, Animal Blitz, ‘blitz’ has visual connotations of a violent lightning storm. These provide an infinite combination of tactics and counters. Interestingly, Vikings and their Germanic brethren don’t have ancient words for retreat or surrender.
Then we talked about Battle Boards, the difference between the Swedish and Norwegian versions. The tool was developed by two sisters watching their brothers do battle from a mountain top. She thought it was quaint and a bit odd a boy would want to know about ‘girl stuff’. My reasoning, I might have to teach my daughters and granddaughters how to use one since there might be a nuclear war and we’d have to start over. It convinced her I was pragmatist not a Nancy-boy.
My Granny was a special kind of witch. The kind that are called ‘Volva’ or Seeress. The ones that can see into the future. I believe today, that if I didn’t have Granny in my life, when the big time hit, I’d be dead. The hand that rocks the cradle rocks the world.
John ‘Grace’ Stone, crept his way through the forest trying to be as invisible as possible, while still moving fast. They were being over run again, the reinforcements that arrived from the main base proved themselves to be a menace to themselves to the same degree as the Soviets. In his hand he held his spike while avoiding open spaces.
He ran into Atomic Blonde who was unarmed and looking for him. She left with his Ak-47 and twenty-five out of the thirty rounds Mortician scarfed up from the Poles. His object, to gather up everyone and decide if they were to withdraw or make a final stand. The Soviets counter-attacked, while having just as much if not less ammunition than the Americans did.
This immediately after the MP’s took names and arrested several pieces of cannon fodder, just the leaders of the group for mutiny, though. Seems that about fifteen of the reinforcements took umbrage at having to take orders from an officer named ‘Grace’ who wore his hair in pigtails. The first incident happened when he got paperwork for The Gun. He explained it to that Specialist E-4, now one of fifteen in handcuffs for mutiny as it was his middle name, after his mother. As for his motivations he needed everyone with bullets on the front lines and that was more important than any UCMJ action. That, and he figured they’d be killed before he had to deal with any Court Martial proceedings.
When the Russians came back for a second bite of the apple, the MPs left one of the arrested, handcuffed under a tree. Next to him the AFN crew left a video camera, still running. They justified it by saying he slowed them down.
When the Soviets found him, they ask what he did. He admitted to being charged with mutiny. They thought it was funny. To quote one, ‘They’ll shoot you for that! Looks like we get to save the bullet!’ They left laughing, he on the other hand had what alcoholics call an epiphany.
That J.W. Stone learned latter during his mission debriefing in not Wiesbaden, but ‘The Wolf Den’ in Frankfurt. For the moment he was more concerned with gathering up his cousins and sisters and making a command decision. He knew where to find Atomic Blond and his other cousins and Bavarian Fox. He needs now to find Satan’s Whore.
She found him, sort off.
At this point during his trek, through the trees, he watched two unarmed female soldiers run into a clearing. There came a tremendous horrible wail. They were unarmed because The Fool in command of the reinforcements decided he was in a ‘rear area’ and secured all weapons, privately owned and as issued. Only the MPs were armed.
The Fool’s ‘rear area’ is about 400 yards/meters from the defile the Soviets occupied. Mr. They Said with Mr. You Will in concurrence, immediately relieved him of command during the Soviet assault. He got what he earned, a ten-year tour of Leavenworth for ‘Gross Criminal Negligence’ and ‘Wanton Destruction of Government Property’.
That was his problem, Stone’s problem is the sounds the female soldiers made meeting destiny. They produced this high-pitched whistling squeal, like pigs, as they were murdered. At first, he didn’t want to get involved, he didn’t want to bite it before he could gather his family up. They came together and they were leaving together, period. He fought himself; get involved or go. The whistling screams convinced him to do the next right thing, and puke.
After wiping his lips, he ran toward the crime allowing the fear in his stomach to turn into a near psychotic rage. Too late. When he got there everyone was already dead. Almost. The females had their throats cut, one male soldier was eviscerated. Another laid face down in his own blood. He walked over to a female soldier that was face down. Several yards/meters away from her is the dead Soviet.
“She got him,” Stone giggled as he put things together.
The Soviet laid on his back, face up, eyes-wide open. He had a knife driven through his solar plexus up to the hilt. He looked her over and thought that was a waste of a good piece of tail. He thought he should’ve known her. He turned to leave then halted as he watched a camera crew record him. The camera operator was a woman wearing jeans with a red tank top. She was from Stars&Stripes. That break gave him a moment to consider his actions, he decided he wanted to see the face of the sexy blonde.
He grabbed her by her hair, pulling her head up.
His sister through several broken bones and bruises looked back it him. At this point he holstered his spike and found that she had a broken leg, her right one above the knee. The other male soldier began groaning. Stone checked him and thought he was a dead man. He could only take one at a time.
He made his decision. He took his sister first. He promised the male soldier to return for him, and he did. It didn’t matter. Decades later he would come to an easier grip with that decision. However, until then it would play hell with him.
“Take him, he’s worse off than I am!” Satan’s Whore pleaded as he picked her up.
“You’re my sister, you always come first,” Stone grunted while walking.
“I’m not worth it! I’m a bad person! I’m a real slut…” she went on. “Take him first! I’m a real harlot and a murderer…”
“Ic lufu Eow…” he grunted.
“I have to ask why are you taking her first?” the woman from Stars&Stripes said as she and now three men with still cameras approached from his left. “The other soldiers hurt worse…”
“She’s my sister…We have the same mother,” he stared back at her like she was a Martian.
“Yeah that’s true but I don’t know why he’d want me as a sister,” Satan’s Whore muttered.
“What did you say to her? What language was that?” she questioned as they walked together.
“It’s Middle English…It means I love you,” Stone grunted and then told them where to go and how to get there. He asked his sister how she managed to get through it.
She said the Russian thought she resembled a sexy Muscovite. So, he was saving her for last. He also mentioned he found weak American women unattractive. That’s when she drew her knife from the small of her back and nailed him as he held her up off the ground by her neck. As side note for the sake of brevity, when he knocked her off her feet and busted her facial bones up, she got back up and ran at him. That’s what saved her.
Several hundred yards/meters later he arrived at the aid station.
“Oh Christ! They’re coming now!” a nurse wailed as they watched him struggled with his sister. Ironically, the field surgeon stood by an empty table, and the staff albeit unarmed was prepared. As soon as he put his sister on the operating table, he handed her his privately owned .45 automatic.
“Why aren’t you using this!” Satan’s Whore shrieked. “Instead of that shank!”
“Didn’t think it was that bad,” he shrugged, wearing his patented stupid look. “Besides I only have seven rounds for it and the spike doesn’t need reloaded.”
At that point the nurses began to scream when another Soviet arrived. He shouted something lurid about massive bloody sex with weak American ‘kitty’. The field surgeon who was armed with a .45 froze. Satan’s Whore racked the slide of her pistol and began yelling for the nurses to get down as she tried to aim through the stampede. They ran in circles behind the low wall of surrounding sandbags.
Stone darted out the side and ran into Little Brother. He had his shirt off, hair pulled to the side of his head in a bun and carried an axe and an engineer’s mallet.
“What’s with the hair?” Stone asked as he grabbed the engineer’s mallet.
“Swabian warriors wore their hair like this,” Little Brother smiled. “What’s with your hair? You look like Willie Nelson.”
In the background the Soviet was hamming it up, waiving his knife around, enjoying it. The nurses were too afraid to get down and his sister was screaming obscenities back.
“Mortician says I look like Thor,” Stone casually replied. “Let’s get on with it…”
“Thor’s an ugly son of a bitch then,” Little Brother answered as they joined the fray.
“Staff Sergeant,” Satan’s Whore barked reading from her copy of the UCMJ. She read him the article and then held up a necklace with a small Star of David hanging from it. “Accordingly, I am Jewish and I am going through classes in Wiesbaden with Rabbi Goldstein…It makes me happy.”
Both were in the command tent previously occupied by The Fool.
The MPs had secured the area and were retaking the front. As an observation, what they lacked in skill and experience they made up for in sheer bloodthirstiness.
“Ma’am,” Staff Sergeant replied professionally. “No judgement but I thought you were a witch…”
“The Craft doesn’t preclude participation or belief in other systems…I like being Jewish. It puts order in my life…” she calmly, with restraint explained. “Now onto the issue at hand. Do you have a problem with firing squads?”
“Excuse me?” he gaped and stumbled back.
Satan’s Whore adjusted her broken leg that was in a splint and then tapped her cane. She then chewed two aspirins like candy and then explained herself in more detail.
“Mr. They Said and Mr. You Will put me in command. Under the Articles of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice I can and I will have those mutineers shot. Any questions? Do you think you’ll have problems finding volunteers?”
“Ma’am I personally have no issues with that,” Staff Sergeant smiled. “However, considering the politics of it…I would request a letter relieving me of all personal responsibly.”
“Understandable,” she replied deadpan flat. Then handed him the letter. She wrote it before she even called him into the tent.
He read it.
“Ma’am I have the volunteers ready outside the tent…” he stated flatly as he folded the letter up. “I had to turn five or so away. There wasn’t a shortage…”
“Staff Sergeant is there any other questions?”
“Ma’am if I may be so bold,” he replied in a very formal tone and professional carriage. “Ask a personal question?”
“By all means,” she replied curiously.
“I understand your brother is the one called ‘Grace’…Would that have anything to do with it?” Staff Sergeant asked. Then added, “No judgement, Ma’am.”
“Sergeant this is how I choose to command under the circumstance,” she growled. She then took a moment to consider and then added. “I know my brother…I’m surprised he didn’t handle them in a similar fashion. I’m surprised he didn’t shoot them right then and there…”
“Why would that be Ma’am,” Staff Sergeant asked grinning ear to ear.
“He’s an introvert,” she answered. “Still waters run deep. He probably figured on leaving them there for the Soviets to take care of. Less paperwork for him later…”
She witnessed the proceedings herself, while leaning on her cane.
“Okay that answers that,” Stone muttered as the family gathered in a clearing. He had just watched his sister, Bavarian Fox climb a tree and hide in it. He looked at his cousins Atomic Blonde and Mortician standing there bare chested armed with an axe and a sledgehammer. They had their hair stiffened up to what they said was to resembled swans. Think Uncle Martian in drag.
“The Swan People wore their hair like this to honor the Valkyrie when they went into battle,” Atomic Blond chirped. “Some of your ancestors are Swabian…Swan People.”
Stone stared at them.
Little Brother smiled and then said, “You know in Valhalla you could get laid with one of the Valkyries…Stop being a Grace…”
“Dumb as Dingo Balls,” Stone sneered then asked about Animal Mother.
“She’s waiting on your orders,” Mortician replied. “Over at commo…”
“I guess asking Bavarian Fox what she thinks is out of the question,” he replied and looked up at her as she watched them from a tree top branch.
“Your call,” Mortician then said. “Time wasting…You can make the decision or it will.”
“Okay,” he exhaled after consideration. “Animal Blitz…We’ll make our final stand here.”
“You sure?” Mortician inquired.
“The order is given…Pass it onto the Polish…” he answered turning around toward the defile area.
“They might not understand it,” Atomic Blonde reminded him. “They’re Poles…”
“Our Slavic cousins in good standing are far from stupid,” Stone replied looking back. “They’ll get it and they’ve been watching me for about seven weeks…They’re ready. And if they’re not, nothing I can do about it. Pass the order.”
It occurred to him that might be the last order given. He might die in Poland. It didn’t scare him, he was more worried about betraying his family.
“Before this kicks off…Somebody explain to me how I got this job again…” he asked nobody.
“Because you’re a descendant of Dame Veruka and Sir Rupert…” Atomic Blonde answered. “…and the first one to return to Germany and sleep in his Inn…and first born.”
“It’s your wyrd and orlog playing out…” Mortician reminded him.
“There’s only five of us here,” he muttered, still looking toward the defile. “Not many to die…”
“Uh…Grace,” Mortician reminded him. “Dame Veruka and Sir Rupert had four children that did have kids…The other eighty of them are coming up from the rear…”
“And how do you know that?” Stone yelped and turned around looking at her.
“Part of the duties of a witch is genealogy,” she replied. She then smiled smugly and mentioned, “Another part is ‘To Bind’. I was binding…It’s what witch’s do.” She then blushed, “…Oh how I like to bind!”
Stone stared at her flabbergasted.
“And some of them are from Norway,” Little Brother shrugged. “Norway got involved a few days ago and sent their Special Forces in…Some of who happened to be related.”
“And nobody thought to tell me this?” Sone paled.
“You been busy worrying about more important things besides…You needed a good surprise…” Mortician grinned pleasantly. “Besides Dame Veruka and Sir Rupert have about eight hundred known descendants. It only makes sense that some would be warriors and their orlog would cross paths.”
She then asked for confirmation of his last order. Upon receiving it she turned, then yelled in a voice bigger than she, ‘Animal Blitz’. Stone then heard Animal Mother repeat it in English, German and Polish. Seconds later she ran up armed with a shovel and stated she sent her brother Air Dave off to secure Bavarian Fox and ‘…then do what he thinks best.’
Stone then thought ‘Monty Python goes to war…My whole life is a script written by John Cleese…’ Over the next half hour of medieval warfare John experienced atrocities, though at the time those seemed perfectly normal, that exceeded the definition.
Satan’s Whore arrived on horseback as things were done up and gave a flowery speech as she trotted around with her blonde hair affixed like airplane wings, leg in a splint. The AFN news crew were ashen faced as they attempted to record the incident. She then chewed a handful of aspirin before schmoozing with the Poles.
The Soviets were discovered only to number about two hundred. The Polish Gun Club mounted up then saber charged into the fray, and succeeded while taking light casualties. Truthfully, they probably saved the day. The MPs arrived ten minutes into it with ammunition and modern weapons. They took their time to prevent encirclement or loosing ground.
The Norwegians rolled up the line from behind the Soviets cutting off their escape and delaying communications. One really didn’t ‘see’ them do anything, they just did and then you heard about it. After they went home, complaining there wasn’t enough action to worry about.
Later fully re-resupplied Stone stood on the edge of the defile as the Soviets picked up their dead several hundred yards/meters away. He looked down and watched Atomic Blonde uncrate the ‘battering ram’. Three sub-kiloton fission devices along with the cannon blanks to launch them. Naturally, the ‘penthouse’, The Gun, was still in transit.
Before he could digest anything, Mr. They Said and Mr. You Will pull him to the rear, for a last-minute briefing.
End Part Two.