Pudgy’s little plane was still performing well, despite the long trip and attack runs at Obersalzberg. He could feel a slight air breeze in the plane’s cockpit, which meant that the Kaiser’s claws had pierced the fuselage somewhere. But he had the heater on, and his cold weather clothes on, so he was tolerating it. The GPS directed the hedgehog to fly over the country of Czechia. In many ways, it reminded Pudgy of Pennsylvania. That made him terribly homesick and miss his friends. He wondered what Argente and the bunnies were up to? After this adventure, he was going to stay home for a long time, Pudgy thought to himself.
Through the night he flew, as cities and towns passed underneath the plane. The cars’ headlights looked like fireflies on the ground below. The critter was too worked up to sleep, but too tired to bounce. When the GPS spoke out loud, “Laziska, Poland.” The sun was just starting to come up in the eastern horizon, and Pudgy could see vast swaths of snow-covered farms spreading in all directions. Picturesque towns with red roofs poked out in places, along winding countryside roads. It was as Pudgy looked at his airplane’s clock on the GPS, the time read 10:12 AM. While it was possible that the GPS and radio clocks were not adjusted for the time zone, the odd amount of light coming from the skies were diminished.
Steering the plane into a north eastern direction, he also started to push the stick forward to make the plane descend. The radio hissed, with no channels working. The GPS started to act strangely, jumping around as well, until the device resynchronized. There was a compass mounted into the dashboard by his friend Cobalt, and the hedgehog watched it spin wildly to the left and then to the right. While still high enough from the ground to fly, the hedgehog looked out of his canopy windows at the trees passing below the plane. They had lost their leaves from winter and were encased in ice. The ground was covered in snow, deep in places. But another strange occurrence, was that there were many areas where the ground was black like coal.
Wiggling his nose, Pudgy shrieked when he looked out towards the horizon. Shadows were swirling, extending high into the skies above. The sun had changed colors to a blood red hue, with ghosts flying around through the clouds. All his instruments were flashing, and shutting down one by one, indicating no signal. The critter remembered what the museum said, and that there were train tracks that ran up to and past his destination. So, a frantic search by Pudgy, he located and then followed a set of railroad track. The plane continued its gentle descent, as more sights became visible. The ground swirled like the ocean, covered in a thick blanket of miasma, moving like ocean waves along the land. The small towns that lined the roads that led towards the infamous prison camp, were being swallowed by the black shadows. This revelation only continued to make the hedgehog feel a sense of fear he had never experienced before. In the distance loomed his destination, with only more terrible things floating in the skies above and on the ground below.
The plane was just skirting the treetops, when Pudgy saw a long line of train cars on the tracks below. The trains were of a faint ethereal light and were the type that were to move cattle. It was then when the hedgehog remembered the museum in Mechelen once more. Located inside was a restored green cattle train car, with mannequins inside dressed in a variety of tattered historical clothing. The German army loaded the Jewish people into train cars like those, to be shipped off to the camps. The monsters did not treat them as human, only cargo that needed to be transported. Free labor to fuel the war effort and solve the problems of the country. They were scapegoats, for all the ills of the country under Nazi rule. Good people said nothing, while the true monsters committed unspeakable acts of atrocities.
Easing the plane’s control stick to the left, the plane began to fly along the left side of the ethereal train cars. Pudgy peeked through his canopy and noticed all the doors were open. The cars were empty, which made him wonder what was going on? The Kaiser had spoken of trains before, but the critter could only ponder what the monster ‘s true intentions were. Through the canopy’s windshield, the camp stretched as far as the eyes could see. Concrete posts jutted out of the ground, with rows of barbed wire stretched between each. Guard towers were at each corner and glowed with a hideous red color. Ghosts dressed in Nazi uniforms were standing guard but had not yet noticed the little plane approaching.
The prison camp was huge, with 10 rows of buildings neatly spaced apart. These were the barracks, where the prisoners were housed. Each row held 30 buildings, which were in various states of repair. Some buildings were intact, while others had fallen over. Long roads were built between the buildings, as well as a variety of other structures as well for the purpose of control. The little hedgehog realized that after thousands of miles, he had made it to his destination: Auschwitz. He located a bare stretch of road, covered only in errant spots by snow. Pulling the plane’s landing gear control lever, Pudgy aimed center of the road. The engine was starting to sputter, which meant he was running out of fuel. Tense minutes passed, until the plane landed with a soft squeal of the tires. As the plane continued to move quickly while it taxied, Pudgy was amazed and scared about how huge this prison camp was. The good thing was that no human was around that could be hurt. The only visitors he could see were the ghosts floating aimlessly in the skies above.
The plane was approaching a gate control point, which connected the barracks to the main thoroughfare through the camp. The engine continued to sputter, with the fuel light on a steady red color on his control panel. It passed through the gate of steel and barbed wire and was steered to park the plane behind a building with a red shingled roof. Pudgy whimpered, “Pudgy here.” As the engine quickly sputtered off as the last bits of fuel were burned from the engine: the propellor blades stopped their spinning. An eerie silence filled the plane’s cockpit, with a nervous hedgehog inside. After locking the landing gear wheels using its control lever, he realized that there was no fuel left. He had no Cobalt made bullets left but could reload the guns using the command that the Goddess told him about. But that really hurt, so he would hold off on doing that. As the timid critter rubbed his back, he took a deep breath, “Pudgy on own now. Hopefully Angeliki will arrive soon.”
He rolled the canopy back and felt the cold winter air blow into his plane. His blood-stained winter weather gear was helping keep him warm, and the critter stood up. The prison camp was so quiet, with a perpetual twilight in the area. Whether that was normal, or the Kaiser, Pudgy did not know. So, after getting the feeling back in the lower part of his body, he wiggled out of the plane. As he set foot on the ground, a shockwave of terror filled him. It was palpable, and almost felt like something was gripping his body. Whimpering, he rolled back the canopy and turned around. Ghosts floated behind the prison fences. They were too many to count and stretched in all directions. The ghosts were dressed in prison uniforms of tattered cloth, striped, and with star of David sewn onto them. Elderly and young, male and female; they were all trapped. Pudgy started to cry, “Pudgy will find way to fix this.”
He sniffed hard and wiped the tears away from his eyes with his paw. He began to scamper along the road, past the building he had parked the plane behind. He had picked the exact center of the camp to start his search from, which made the most sense. As the hedgehog peeked around the edge of the brown brick building, he could see more train tracks. This was the center unloading area for the prison, and the building was where the guards would wait to process the prisoners. Looking to his right, Pudgy could see a huge brown brick building with a guard tower. The tower was at the center of the building, and directly over a tunnel for the trains to pass through. Its plate glass windows were glowing green, as more ghostly soldiers stood an eternal guard.
The little critter swallowed hard and began to scurry along the ground on all fours. The ground was wet and smelled funny. As he looked at his paws, they were covered in blood. Each step he took, it seeped out of the ground. Whimpering once more, Pudgy continued to explore the area. The prison was vast, far larger than anything he had ever seen. The grounds were covered in snow, both natural white and the black miasma varieties. However, in typical German efficiency, it was laid out in clear patterns. He counted the concrete fence posts, and the same number were between each control point gate. The area was now a museum officially, so the gates had been permanently welded or chained open, to avoid any visitor from being trapped. However, the ghosts did not realize this, and stayed floating in their respective pens. Most looked aimless as they floated, with forlorn expressions. Some were still aware of their surroundings and noticed the hedgehog scurrying past.
He had his travelling backpack, with his tolls clipped to it, as well as the mining helmet on. Wails of agony and terror echoed on the wind, which smelled of sulfur. Scampering as quick as he could, Pudgy was able to cross the railroad tracks to reach the Northern side of the camp. Auschwitz has been added onto multiple times, so there were multiple sections of the camp. The museum said that the camp had been liberated by the Soviet army in 1945. Pudgy counted on his paws, that was about 75 years ago. Sitting down to catch his breath, he looked around the camp. “Pudgy tired,” the hedgehog whimpered as he rubbed his sides. It was as he spoke, when Pudgy started to wheeze. He couldn’t breathe, and felt his body being squeezed. Frantically the critter tried to move, but could not, and watched as a shadowy claw begin to form around his body. He was flung violently into the air, and then flew at an insane speed towards the large train building at the end of the camp. To Pudgy’s horror, the plate glass windows opened, and the Kaiser’s blood red eyes began to glow. Unable to scream, the air in his lungs almost gone, he watched as the Kaiser in human form was suddenly holing him in his right hand.
The pale skinned man seemed almost translucent, with his eyes glowing red. Easing on his grasp, Pudgy was able to take a breath once more. The Kaiser smirked and stroked his white beard with his left hand, “I see you have made it Auschwitz, Pudgy Hedgehog. Now, what should I do with you?” The hedgehog whimpered as he looked up at the monster, “Pudgy here to stop you.” A demonic laugh boomed throughout the guard tower, “stop me? Stop me? STOP ME?” The man repeated with an angrier tone each time he spoke, locking his eyes on the hedgehog. “There is nothing you can do to stop me now; I have amassed what I need to complete my life’s ambition.” Pudgy looked timid, and felt his body being squeezed once more. “What do you want to do, Mister Kaiser?”
The monstrous man looked perplexed for a moment, “have you not made the connection yet? I wish to free my people imprisoned in this camp. Once they are free, I will then imprison everyone else in this world here: both living and dead. I have made my bargain and will offer them to the chiefest and foulest of all calamities. The dark messiah will approve of my actions and will grant unto me this world. I will rule forever. No place shall know peace, and all who were responsible, and their descendants shall perish.” Pudgy shrieked when he heard this, as the hedgehog realized what he meant. The Kaiser was going to imprison everyone in the world here, and then sell them to the devil. “Nooooo! You can’t do that!” The critter whimpered out, while he felt unable to take a breath once more. The monster’s lips turned into an insidious grin, as the shadows began to shroud his body once more.
The shadows swirled fierce currents around the Kaiser’s human body, and his clawed hand tightened ever further. The hedgehog could feel his body starting to move out of place, causing him to cough hard. Wheezing, “Pudgy saw museums…. the bad people……were punished. Germany spent years…. trying to rebuild. The……Jewish people were saved.” Popping noises started to be heard, as the bones began to break within the hedgehog’s body. He began to wail, while the Kaiser looked on with a foul expression. “I GROW WEARY OF THIS!” The monster’s voice boomed, and with one final act, he smashed his hand against the brick wall. Pudgy was smashed and squeezed and rubbed hard on the bricks like a brush. Wailing, he cried out, but no one was there to save him. With pain wracking his body, and his breath escaping, Pudgy weakly looked up at the monster.
Within the void of darkness where the Kaiser’s head should have been, a mouth began to open wide with jagged yellow teeth. “I think what is best, is if I dispose of you in the most appropriate way for animals.” Pudgy screamed, as the hand tossed him into the Kaiser’s mouth. Darkness quickly surrounded him, and he could feel the teeth impaling him. With no breath left in his body, the critter succumbed to the darkness. There was no tunnel, no white light, only void. Time had no meaning, and there was only pain and fear in the land where the hedgehog wound up. Weakly Pudgy opened his eyes, to find only void. The hedgehog was floating in the cold air and could barely feel his paws. Whimpering, he began to cry once more. A soft voice filled the air around him, “what is wrong Pudgy?” The critter wiggled his nose and tried to find where the voice was coming from. It hurt to breathe, as the air had a foul sulfuric scent to it. “Pudgy failed, Pudgy no stop Kaiser.”
A softly glowing hand began to appear around him, and the hedgehog could feel warmth spread throughout his body. A female form began to appear, dressed in a long white robe like his friend Angeliki wore. The woman had white hair, with silver flowing eyes. Her lips were painted in silver and pursed up to gently kiss him on the nose. Pudgy could feel the pain leaving his body, as he was held in the goddess’s hand. “Goddess Hecates, Pudgy found 2 of the coins, and the talisman is much more powerful. But even with Angeliki and Eris, we could not stop the Kaiser. He wants to….” The hedgehog said while whimpering, before he was outright crying. Hecates nodded, “I know what the false king wants to do. I have known this entire time, and he will not be successful. Hades is the god of Death, and current religions call him the devil or Satan. If Hades can gather onto him enough souls, he can return to this world. The other gods are aware of this, and while greatly diminished in strength, have taken measures to ensure this does not come to fruition.”
Pudgy sniffed hard and wiped away the tears from his body. “Is Pudgy dead,” he asked timidly. His benefactor smiled, “no … not yet. I have healed you, so you may continue your quest.” Wiggling his nose, “Thank you Goddess Hecates. How can Pudgy stop Kaiser?” The goddess nodded once more, and gently moved Pudgy to current of air. “Follow this current till you find a man dressed as a Rabbi, then follow him. Watch … listen …. Learn …influence.” The fingers loosened their grasp, and quickly the hedgehog was flying through the invisible darkness and its currents of air. Once more he was flying over the lands of Poland, over Czechia, back to Germany. A town appeared, surrounded by tanks that flew red Nazi flag with the white circle and black swastika within. Quickly he flew over cobblestone streets, with screaming women and children. They were being forcibly removed from their homes and lined up outside in groups. Heavily armed soldiers stood guard, and soon the hedgehog landed softly on the ground outside of a small white cottage.
Loud shouting was heard inside, which made Pudgy swallow hard once more. He scampered inside and saw a solider aiming his rifle at a woman in a white nightgown and brunette hair. He at first heard German, but slowly the worlds could be heard in English. “What is the meaning of this, we have done nothing wrong?!?!” The woman shouted to which the solider smirked. “You are a Jew, and do not belong here. The Fuhrer has commanded all non-Germans to leave this country.” Pudgy was at ground level, and scurried through the house, trying to find the Rabbi the goddess spoke of. As the woman was shouting in the background, he found a partially open doorway. “I was born in Berlin; my Mother was born in Leipzig! My father was born in Dresden, why are we not citizens anymore?”
The hedgehog turned to look back at the woman, when the solider hauled off and punched her hard in the face. As the woman fell to the ground, she had the rifle pointed at her head. “You are filth, less than a human … Jew! Our country will restore its honor as soon as we purify our land of corruption. The Fuhrer will make our country great once more!” Staying incredibly quiet, the critter pushed back the door and scurried inside. That solider sounded very much like someone Pudgy heard on television, but it was phrased differently. The critter had found an office, and inside was a terrified little girl in a night gown. She was holding onto a silver coin and a doll, and looked through the hedgehog, eyes transfixed on the doorway. Before Pudgy could say anything, he watched the doorway violently opened as it was kicked by the solider. Aiming the gun, it moved in slow motion. Pudgy started to whimper as the little girl was gunned down multiple times.
“NOOO!” A male voice rang out, as another doorway opened, and a man dressed in a Rabbi’s outfit emerged crying hysterically. The solider sneered, and his eyes almost glowed red like the Kaiser. “Ahh there you are Rabbi; the commander wants a word with you.” The trembling distraught man walked towards his daughter but was struck hard by the solider with the butt of his rifle. He was grabbed roughly and started to be pulled out of the room. Pudgy started to turn but noticed the coin in the deceased child’s hand. It looked just like the holy coins he was given, so the critter scurried over to pick up the coin. Like the others, it shrunk once he touched it. Tucking it away in his vest pocket under his cold weather gear, the hedgehog scampered quickly after the two men. Pudgy cried when he saw the woman laying dead on the floor as well, with several stab marks from the bayonet attached to the end of the gun. The white night gown was growing darker from blood seeping from the body.
Pudgy was moving quicker than he normally did, perhaps due to the goddess. He quickly reached the two men, as the Rabbi was forcibly added to a growing line of men. “we are on schedule; Buchenwald will be cleared within the hour. Then we can move on to the next town,” The higher officer stated as he walked past the line of Jewish men. “These will make fine additions to the camps and fuel the German war effort. You are all incredibly lucky, now that we have liberated you from your families, you can work without distraction.” The man in front of the Rabbi sighed, “I see they found you Rudolf.” Pudgy looked up at the Rabbi, while a German solider shouted. “all right Jewish filth get moving!” The captured men started to walk forward single file and were flanked by many soldiers. Pudgy scampered along at the side of the Rabbi and watched as they soon passed a row of tanks.
Hours passed, and the forced march continued throughout the night. It was not until daybreak, with weary prisoners about to collapse from exhaustion, that they reached a train station. The men were loaded into the cattle cars, and had the doors locked shut once no further space was left to fill. All the surrounding towns had been emptied, which meant scant Jews were left anywhere. Rabbi Rudolf took turns sleeping with the other men, as there was not enough for anything within the car. Hours turned into days, and the cars moved back and forth as the train carried them far away from their homes. To Pudgy, the time was flying, but he was watching for clues. The other men listened to Rudolf when he spoke and would start a service on the train. How he could focus on helping others, after his wife and daughter were gunned down, Pudgy did not know.
The train car doors opened, and more German soldiers were shouting orders. Car by car, the prisoners were unloaded. Pudgy followed along, as the Rabbi was stripped naked, and forced to walk through the prison camp. All their previous possessions of the prisoners were being burned in a huge fire, while separating anything of value. Pudgy kept walking, and eyes at ground level, as he really did not need to see certain elements of the prisoners above him. But in time they were issued prison clothes: striped pajamas, and the star of David sewn onto them. There was one last stop, where a solider holding a tattoo ink needle was etching numbers into the men’s arms. As Pudgy watched from behind a chair leg, and Rudolf screamed while he was being forcibly tattooed with the numbers 94528751. Pudgy looked up at the guard, and his foul expression, but the number placard. This was the same number he had seen on the Kaiser’s forearm when he was back at Mt Rainier.
Pudgy continued to follow, realizing at this point, that he was a ghost and could not be seen to the events unfolding around him. The revelation that Rabbi Rudolf was the Kaiser was not lost on Pudgy, and he was trying to figure out how he had become so evil. The years passed, and the once young and vibrant man quickly dwindled into a walking skeleton. The prisoners were starved, and worked to death, all to further the glory of Germany. Auschwitz was comprised on multiple buildings, all spread around the town of Owieczm and Brezinka. Both towns were in Poland, which had been annexed by Germany, and was the storage location for the Jewish problem. In time, there were multiple camps spread throughout the East German empire. As the camps swelled with prisoners from throughout Europe, the German captors ran into a problem, where they could not house and feed all their prisoners. At first rationing worked, but that would lead to an increase in deaths. So new measures were needed, which Rudolf and the others watched in horror.
Construction of new builds starting, with new access points and barbed wire fences. The prisoners were forced to build the very structures used to imprison them. Rudolf was ordered to be present when the bodies of his fellow prisoners were cremated at the on-site crematoriums. It was there where the soldiers learned that the bodies could be used to heat the boilers for the industrial plant nearby. Pudgy was feeling sick, at the horrors that he was seeing. He was wailing and whimpering the entire time. How could anyone be so horrible? What on earth would possess anyone to do these things? He never did get his answer, but instead watched helplessly as the prisoners built two new bunkers nearby to the prison camp. One building was red, and one building was white. The German high command had ordered tests, and soon Rudolf and his work details were ordered inside the building. The doors were sealed shut, and soon a yellow smoke like gas filled the room. The men screamed and beat their hands furiously upon the door to escape.
One by one, the prisoners fell to the ground. Rudolf dropped to his knees and cried while calling out, “help me, anyone. I will do anything!” The room grew dark and filled with a void of shadow. Red glowing eyes formed and flickered in a dark corner of the room. “Annnnyyythhhhinnng?” Rudolf looked up weakly, as the gas filled his lungs, “anything!” The hedgehog watched as the shadows swirled around the man and absorbed into his body. The man’s silver eyes soon were replaced by red ones, and an ominous demonic laugh echoed throughout the room. Pudgy’s vision blurred, and soon he was with Rudolf sitting behind a desk in an office building. He was dressed in a black business suit and looked confused. “Where, am I?” The man doubled over in pain, as he clutched his chest, while a wisp of black shadow came out of his left hand. A tiny set of red eyes looked at him, “We are far from the gas chambers, far from the lands of your past, I have saved you. Now it is time for your part of the bargain,” the demonic voice echoed throughout the room.”
Rudolf nodded weakly, “what is it that you wish for me to do?” The shadows laughed, “first we shall accumulate wealth.” Pudgy watched as over the years that passed, Rudolf became a ruthless businessman. The dark force within him was dormant for most of the time but would override certain emotions such as kindness. The business was booming, making him far richer than he had ever imagined. It imported goods, and exported goods, extracting a fee for each transfer. He had wealth undreamed of, bank accounts loaded with funds, and homes scattered throughout Europe. He would employ thousands, and then declare bankruptcy, so that the creditors would not be paid. Maximum pain and anguish from his workers, to bring obscene wealth. Until one day, when the shadow returned to him.
Almost 40 years had passed, and Rudolf was not aging. He felt old, like his body at one day would give out, but he was still alive. It was as he was sipping a fine scotch from a crystal glass within his palatial home, the shadow returned. Smiling, “I believe I have succeeded with the plan. But at some point, I believe I may die, so we may need to form a backup plan.” The shadow started to laugh insidiously, “die? Who said anything about dying, you belong to me now and forever? It is time for the next part of the plan to commence.” Pudgy was still present and watching the man talk to the shadow. “Am I immortal?” The shadow laughed and danced like an open flame upon his hand, “in a manner of speaking, yes. Now, we will buy all relics, and destroy them.” Rudolf looked confused, “why destroy the relics?” The shadow laughed once more in a demonic tone, “we will erase from this world, anything that could stop the return of my lord and master. We will usher an eternity of darkness upon this world.”
Rudolf choked on his drink and set the glass down. “I will do no such thing!” The shadow snarled and started to emerge from the rest of the man’s arm, forming into a demonic face with yellow teeth. “You are mine forever human, and you will do what I say.” The man clutched at his heart, as shockwaves of pain shot throughout his body. “Enough, enough, I will not question you. Please, make the pain stop,” he stammered. The demon laughed evilly, and soon was sinking back into the man’s arm. As the demon commanded, the former Rabbi did unspeakable acts throughout the world. Locating holy relics and defiling them. Their holy magics were dispersed and scattered to the winds. Vibrant areas were polluted with darkness, and the obscene wealth quickly was being used.
Pudgy watched still, floating beside the man, as he did one act more terrible than the next. Buying properties, evicting their residents, bulldozing the homes to find the relics. Warehouses full of his finds were stored, then summarily set on fire to destroy their contents. Insurance claims were filed, to get more funds which were funneled into the process. Fraud mixed with crime, all to proceed with the plan. It was not until one day, when a little hedgehog appeared outside of a castle in Great Brittan, that all went well. The hedgehog watched the events unfold before him and could feel the fury and rage building within both Rudolf and the demon. He learned the reason that Angeliki was kidnapped, was so that she could be used to unlock a font of magical energy. But again, Pudgy interfered, and caused the plan to be delayed.
As the visions continued to swirl, faster and faster, the hedgehog watched as the Kaiser reached Auschwitz. After dispatching Pudgy, the monster flew over to where a marble placard was standing in front of a snow-covered field. This was the location of what was referred to as the little red house. It was the first gas chamber constructed on the property. Pudgy saw the stolen keys from Obersalzberg in a clawed right hand, starting to be raised. “Now, it is time we finish the plan…” The little critter shrieked, and then flew towards Rudolf’s hand and tugged at it. “No, Rabbi Rudolf, please don’t! Don’t listen to the demon!” The man looked down with sad silver eyes, at the hedgehog. “How did you make it here, Pudgy? Where did you hear that name? I haven’t been called that for so long…”
Before Pudgy could respond, the black shadows began to swirl violently around. The demon’s voice called out, “clever hedgehog. I do not know how you survived, but it is too late. Rudolf belongs to me, and I shall never release him. The plan will continue.” Pudgy shouted, “FIGHT IT RABBI RUDOLF! YOU WERE A MAN OF GOD!” The little hedgehog’s voice rang in the long dormant man’s mind, and his hand shook. The demon only laughed and swirled violently, with the red eyes floating overtop of the human’s. But to the hope of the hedgehog, and the chagrin of the demon, the keys were dropped onto the snow-covered ground. Evil filled howls of rage boomed out of the monster, “pick up those keys this instant! We will open the portal, to summon the rest of my kind here. The man continued to struggle, but started to bend down, as the demon regained control.
That was when Pudgy took out the coin he had found being clutched by the Rabbi’s daughter. “Pudgy found your coin, the soldiers didn’t get it. Please fight back, make the demon go away! Fight Rabbi Rudolf, FIGHT HIM!” The hedgehog pressed the coin onto the man’s hand and watched as his gnarled fingers clutched at the coin. Looking up past the numbers on his arm, and to his face, he saw him trying to speak once more. But this time, he was chanting in German. The demon howled, “no, you will not escape me! If you cast me out, you will die!” Pudgy felt himself dropping quickly, and soon bounced hard on the snow-covered brick pathway where the Kaiser was standing. The black miasma was starting to sizzle, and the shadows were violently flailing in all directions.
Pudgy decided to scamper over to the keys and started to pull them away from the Kaiser. The scraping sound was unavoidable, but at this point the hedgehog did not care. He watched as the Rabbi continued to fight the demon, causing huge swaths of his body to be revealed. In a violent demonic howl, the shadow was cast out of the man’s body, and thrust far into the sky above. The demon without its host body was not able to hold its corporeal form and started to disappear. The Rabbi was standing there, dressed in his prison uniform once more. The man dropped hard onto the ground, but still desperately clutched onto his coin. As the hedgehog left the keys behind him, he quickly scampered up to the man’s face. He was wheezing, lungs still full of the gas from 75 years ago. But he was able to stammer out, “Thank …. you…. Pudgy.”
The hedgehog started to sniffle, and watched the life escape the body. But without warning, the man started to glow with an ethereal blue light. His body began to float once more, in a standing position. His eyes opened and were glowing a pure blue light. The coin was then held up and grew back its normal size. Looking up at Rudolf, Pudgy wiggled his nose. The man smiled, “it would seem that Eloah has taken an interest in what is going on here.” The hedgehog bounced slightly, “Pudgy glad you broke free of the demon. Pudgy have the Vayikra and Bamidbar coins, but they were not powerful enough to stop the demon. If Pudgy can have your coin, Pudgy talisman will be strong enough to…” The floating man smiled, “no Pudgy, that will not work. Even with all 5 of the coins, the demon can never be destroyed.” The critter frowned, “But, that means demon can come back, and this would never end.”
Rabbi Rudolf shook his head, “No, Pudgy, there is a way. We must open the gates, and free this place. It has been 75 years, and souls are still trapped here. The Germans picked the worst possible place to build a prison camp. This area is cursed with portals to the underworld. It took an atrocity to awaken the demons, and they started to rise once more to the surface.” Pudgy nodded his head, “Pudgy think understand. How do we open gates?” The glowing Rabbi turned and pointed at the keys. As Pudgy turned around, he saw the keys floating off the ground, and a barely visible black shadowy demon was holding them. An evil growl filled the air, and a waspy voice rang out. “You are too late! I will open the portal!” Before Pudgy could reach for his talisman, the demon flew quickly off towards the prison camp.
“Noo!” Pudgy cried out, but before he could run away, he found himself being pulled towards the ghostly rabbi. “Pudgy, the coins you carry with you, can summon two more men of Eloah. Follow their pull, and the ghosts can be summoned. Once we have all three, we will converge on the center of the camp. Go now, to what is referred to as the little white house. It is located over there.” The ghost pointed and watched as the hedgehog scampered off as quickly as his little legs could carry him. As Rudolf floated in front of the monuments that marked where the atrocities occurred, the skies began to clear overhead. Faint traces of blue sky appeared and were quickly filled in by the swirling black shadows above.
What neither Pudgy, nor the ghostly Rabbi knew, was that they were being watched. Two Catholic priests were out for a walk and watched the struggle of the ghost to break free of the demon. As the two young men pointed, then immediately took off running. At the corner of the camp, in what used to be the SS Prison guard barracks, there was a church. They had to get back to the head of their church, to let him know what was going on. As they ran through the woods, and to a field that was in front of their building, they were amazed as green Polish army vehicles were starting to drive past them. What in the name of the almighty was going on?
One reply on “Land of Sorrow: Chapter 10: Broken Glass”
That was the most intense Pudgy chapter I have ever read.