Land of Sorrow: Chapter 11: Mazzikim

The residents in the neighboring town of Brezinka were hiding in their homes.  It had been almost a week of strange occurrences going on at the infamous prison camp that stretched along their western border. For decades it had been a quiet and somber monument to the horrors of the occupation and war by their neighbors in Germany.  First it was strange people, from all over the world appearing in and around their town.  The shopkeepers loved the influx of tourism dollars being spent at their stores.  But shortly after the visits, the townsfolk would hear train noises at all hours of the day.  When people would go to investigate, they found only empty tracks.  However, for last two weeks, the sun began to shine less each day.  The skies were full of clouds that seemingly did not move, save for an errant wisp of smoke. 

The mayor’s wife was first to notice the ghostly German soldiers walking around their town.  When she asked what the man was up to, the ghost passed straight through her.  It was as if the ghosts were searching for something.  As more townsfolk saw the soldiers, the calls started to flood into the police station about them.  The police would investigate, and rarely find the ghosts, until one day when they watched as ethereal trains began to appear.  Calls were made to the train companies, who denied having anything running on the lines.  The helpless officers watched in horror from their cars, as the train cars opened, and ghosts started to be unloaded by ghostly soldiers dressed in Nazi regalia.  It was the town’s nightmare come to life once again, as they watched the ghosts being led into the prison camp.

Realizing that they would not be able to handle this on their own, the town’s mayor ordered everyone to remain in their homes.  With their small town, and faithful officers, the curfew was easily put into effect.  The ghosts did not seem to notice, and only continued their patterns of travels throughout the town to the camp.  During this time, the mayor made emergency calls frantically, to anyone who would listen.  Eventually he was connected to a representative with the Polish military.  The operator calmly listened, and then after a period of follow up questions, the mayor was advised that a small contingent of soldiers would be dispatched to investigate.  The mayor informed his council of the soon arrival of the soldiers.  Tense hours would pass, while the 5 council members peeked out of the windows.  They watched the skies darken, and the ghosts multiple and become numerous in the skies above.    

Hours later, a convoy of green armored vehicles rolled into town.  As the residents watched and soon were relieved, they waved from their windows at the passing vehicles.  The soldiers from within the vehicles would wave back, as they drove further into town.  Multiple vehicles turned one by one, to head down the street where the city hall was located.  One by one they slowed and parked in the middle of the street in front of a series of tall buildings with orange tiled roofs covered by snow.  Each vehicle held about 4 soldiers, and there were 5 total vehicles, so a contingent of 20 had been sent to investigate.  In the lead vehicle, a middle-aged gentleman exited the vehicle wearing camouflage combat fatigues.  He was the only solider who exited, and while pulling down his shirt to smooth out a few errant wrinkles.  Turning his gaze to the skies above, he saw the swirling black clouds.  Ethereal ghosts flew aimlessly throughout the skies, and just as he was about to put his red hat on, a gigantic beam of blue light shot into the western skies.  Words were spoken in Polish, as everyone looked towards the camp in the distance.

The mayor shuffled out of the city hall, walking with two dark wooden canes.  He was far too old for this and was regretting not retiring last year.  The mayor waved and spoke in Polish, “thank you, thank you, for coming so quickly.  I am the Mayor of Brezinka …”  The older man started to say, before being cut off curtly by the solider.  “I am Starszy Kapral Szymon.  We received your request for assistance Mayor, and I see you were not lying.” The superior officer said in a matter-of-fact tone, while pointing to the camp.  The mayor nodded, “as I explained, this started off slow, and has been building up.  It has been this bad for almost a week.  We have no idea what prompted it?  Mother of God, what is that beam of light?!?! That wasn’t there before!”  Neither pale skinned men could answer and could only watch helplessly at what was going on. 

Without warning, a small blue car came tearing around the corner and went airborne as it hit a bump.   The recklessly driven vehicle passed by the street where the convoy was parked and headed further towards the town’s eastern side.  The elderly mayor blinked, “that looked like father Aleksander’s car.  I wonder where he is off to in such a hurry?”  The officer wondered as well and calmly walked up to the last vehicle in the convoy.  He ducked his head inside the passenger side window and spoke quietly to the men inside.  As the solider pulled back and stood upright, the vehicle’s engine turned on, and soon was backing up quickly.  The vehicle turned around in the intersection, and then shot off to follow the priest’s car.  The mayor shook his head, “I should have retired … but no … she wanted a vacation next year…” The gray-haired mayor grumbled, while pushing up his black rimmed glasses higher up on his nose. 

As the elderly mayor turned, he watched the officer getting back into the lead vehicle.  “Mayor, we will be heading up to the camp to investigate further.”  The superior officer said, while disappearing tino the vehicle.  One by one the engines fired up, the taillights illuminated, and the vehicles started to pull out.  They were heading up the road that led to the prison camp.  As the vehicles departed, several men and women walked out beside the mayor, and pointed at the light beam.  The mayor hoped that the soldiers would be able to stop whatever was going on, and things would go back to normal soon.  The assembled group turned one by one and headed back into their council chambers within the town hall. 

Meanwhile, inside the blue car, a younger man with wild brown hair was driving way too fast.  When they had returned to the church, their lead priest immediately recognized what was going on.  While the 2 remaining priests would prepare for the events unfolding, one of the younger men were sent with the car to get Rabbi Francisek.  He lived in the nearby town and was imprisoned at the camp 75 years prior.  The Rabbi was over a hundred years old and was wise beyond his years.  The young priest recognized the fact that while he was driving like a maniac now, the return trip was going to be slower as the elderly Rabbi would not be able to handle the bumps.  Left, right, left right, and then a kilometer on Szkolna road, were the directions given to him by the father Aleksander.  Sighting the destination, the young priest popped the emergency break, and drifted in the turn to slide the car into a driveway.  There was a nondescript one-story pale brick house with a gray roof that is stood there, covered in snow.  The driveway had been shoveled out by a neighbor, with a vehicle covered in a mount of snow was pulled close to the house.  The young priest was very thankful, he did not hit the Rabbi’s car with the church car.  The young man flung the door open and leaped out of the blue vehicle.  While trying not to slip on the ice, he hurriedly ran to the dark stained oak door. 

Before he could even ring the doorbell, the doorway opened.  “Jakub calm down, and please come in.” The elderly man stated, while Jakub nodded.  The young man wiped his feet off on the door mat before entering the home and shutting the door behind him.  It was tastefully decorated with a variety of paintings that hung on white walls.  Sturdy furniture of dark wood dotted places along the walls, as well as a couch that had been there since the war ended.  The rabbi had thick brown glasses on, and was dressed in a long black coat, with gray pants.  He was completely bald and had several scars on his forehead.  “Now, tell me what you saw.” The elderly Rabbi groaned as he started to sit down on a hard wooden chair.  Jakub nodded and spoke quickly, “Mikolaj and I were out walking to get a better look at the camp.  We did not know if the ghosts were just in the skies, or also on the ground.  That is when we saw a massive black floating cloud of shadows fly out of the gate tower.  It landed where the red house used to stand.  It was then when the monster pulled out of its side a set of keys and started to move the key towards the field like it was about to unlock a door.  The keys glowed, but then were dropped.”

Rabbi Francisek wondered if this was real but nodded while listening. He calmly spoke, while watching the young man’s facial expressions, “the monster dropped the keys?”  Jakub nodded, “yes, and then a tiny hedgehog fell out of the shadow’s hand.  We could not believe it, out of the blue, it started to talk.  As we got closer, we could hear him pleading with a Rabbi Rudolf to fight the monster.”  The elderly man started to choke, and clutch at his chest, “did … you say…Rudolf?”  Jakub nodded once more, “yes, and the black shadows started to violently flail about.  As the shadows were ripped away, an elderly man about your age appeared and dropped hard to the ground.  When the shadows had dissipated, the hedgehog scurried up to Rudolf.  Words were spoken, which we could not hear, and we think the elderly man passed away.  But in a matter of moments, his body started to glow, and float upwards in a beam of blue light that stretched to heaven above.  In his hand, he was holding a glowing silver coin with a word written in Hebrew.” 

The room grew deathly quiet, save for the heavy breathing by the young priest trying to catch his breath.  “The Devarim coin … is it time?  After all these decade?”  Rabbi Francisek reached into his pocket and pulled out his silver coin.  Jakub pointed, “it looked like that, almost!”  The rabbi nodded and looked down at the coin.  “This is the Shemot coin.  During my imprisonment at Auschwitz, I made a pact with 4 other Rabbis there.  We agreed that when the time was right, we would return to cleanse the camp.”  The young priest waved excitedly, “the hedgehog told Rabbi Rudolf that he had 2 other coins.  It was then when Rabbi Rudolf sent the hedgehog to the former site of the white house.”  The elderly Rabbi blinked, and while his faced turned into a frown, Jakub started to talk again.  “The monster returned shortly afterwards, and took the keys, saying it would open a portal.  That is when we ran back to the church, we needed help to stop that monster.” 

The elderly man put the coin back into his pocket, and slowly stood up.   Reaching for a gnarled wooden cane, he started to walk towards the younger priest.  “It is time to finish this once and for all, please take me to the white house.  We need to speak to that hedgehog.  Isn’t that right Kapral?”  Jakub looked confused and had not realized that during the story a solder had entered the home and was standing behind him listening.  The young male solider with 2 white bars on his shoulders nodded, “I concur.”  Jakub turned and smiled, and then followed the solider outside.  As the elderly Rabbi exited his home, he locked the door and followed.  The solider opened a door to his vehicle, “you two can ride with us, we have room.”  Jakub headed to the blue car, to shut off the engine and lock the doors.  The Rabbi walked past slowly, while leaning on the cane for support.  The elderly man would sit in the front seat.  But he had trouble getting into the vehicle, as there was a lip at the bottom part of the door that kept catching his foot.  It took the assistance of both the Kapral and priest to get the Rabbi into the vehicle.  Once that was done, and the door shut, the two younger men jumped into the back seat, and soon was being driven quickly down the road towards the camp. 

The armored vehicle’s engine was turned on, and then backed out of the driveway, to pull back on the road leading into town.  While the Kapral was driving, he spoke into the corded microphone that was connected to the military radio built into the dashboard.  A report of what the priest and rabbi had said was being relayed to the command vehicle.  The vehicle was cold, but had a better suspension, so there were fewer bumps than if they had taken the church ‘s blue car.  Though the vehicle was being driven too fast for the elderly man’s liking.  The soldiers and passengers watched the scenery pass by quickly, while the skies above continued to darken as they approached the camp.  Jakub pointed, “Kapral, take that road, it’s a shortcut.”  The solider nodded and turned to steer the vehicle down a side street to bypass the downtown area.  The road ran along a forest that wrapped around the town.  Many parts of the prison camp were easily accessible by road as well, which was extremely helpful for the soldiers. 

The ring road around and through parts of the camp had been built due to the myriad of bus tours that were during the spring and summer months.  However, since it was winter, this meant the road was not plowed.  Large snow drifts were in places, which the vehicle was able to plow through, and ice spots a plenty causing the vehicle to slide through the winter land.  Their destination was the white house, which was on the eastern side of the prison camp.  The Nazi prison forces had constructed another bunker in addition to the red house, to supplement the camp’s extermination operations for via the gas process.  The not too descriptive name for the building was due to the original building being white. The buildings had long since been demolished.  Only outlines of the foundation were left, and 4 etched marble memorials.  The Rabbi groaned when they approached, as bad memories flooded to the front of his mind once again.  It had been decades, but he remembered everything like it has been yesterday.  The vehicle’s occupants stared in disbelief at the snow-covered field, as another beam of blue light was starting to explode out of the ground to the skies above.  The Kapral slammed down on the vehicle’s brakes.  This caused the wheels to lock, and then a slide began on the ice.  Once control was regained, the solider steered to have the vehicle park just at the memorials sticking out of the ground. 

After an extremely long run through the snow-covered fields, Pudgy had made it to where the white house was.  While he was holding the Bemidbar coin, he could feel a peaceful feeling spread throughout his body.  The coin started to glow bright blue, and soon the whole area was bathed in blue light.  Lightning bolts started to strike the area in front of Pudgy, and suddenly the coin was pulled out of his hand.  The coin moved to the center of the beam of light.  As the beam flickered in intensity, a ghostly Rabbi appeared and held the coin in his right hand.  The ethereal ghost appeared and had a long white beard, “why have you summoned me, my hedgehog friend?”  To Pudgy’s relief, the ghost was speaking English.  The little hedgehog waved excitedly, “Rabbi Rudolf said you could help Pudgy. The demon is trying to open a portal to hell!” 

The ghost nodded, “I can feel the presence of my fellow Rabbis here.  I can see into your mind; at all the horrors you have witnessed.  I know you to be speaking the truth, and I will assist you.  Do you have the other coins?”  The hedgehog nodded and showed the Vayikra coin, “Pudgy have Vayikra coin.”  Rabbi Frederick frowned, “what of the Shemot and Bareshit coins?”  The little critter frowned, “Pudgy does not have either.  The Bareshit coin is in Jerusalem, and the Shemot coin …”  It was as Pudgy was speaking, he heard the vehicle’s engine and the screech of the brakes.  As the hedgehog wiggled his nose, he saw soldiers in heavy winter weather camouflage opening doors and exiting.  A young priest dressed in a heavy blue winter coat, and black pants, had jumped out of the back seat.  He was assisting an elderly man to get out. 

Rabbi Francisek once he was back on his feet, leaned on his cane as best as he could.  With a sense of awe at the ethereal blue light stretching from ground to sky, and the ghost watching within, the elderly man hurried as fast as he could.  With many labored steps through the heavy snow, and the assistance of Jakub, he reached the spot in front of the hedgehog.  The soldiers flanked the holy men, and all eyes were on the floating ghost Rabbi.  The men spoke in Polish, a language which Pudgy did not understand.  But the ghost spoke back in a similar language, which made the elderly man smile.  The hedgehog scampered up to his foot and waved, “Hello, my name is Pudgy.  Pudgy no understand what you are saying.”  The critter watched as the elderly man withdraw from his pocket a silver coin.  Wiggling his nose and excitedly pointing, Pudgy heard the man say, “Shemot.”   It was the silver coin that belonged to the Rabbi in the neighboring town, which meant that this most likely was the Rabbi that the German soldiers told him about in Obersalzberg. 

The ghostly man smiled and looked down at the hedgehog once more.  He spoke in English, “Pudgy, this is Rabbi Francisek, keeper of the Shemot coin.  4 coins have returned to this terrible land and will have to be enough.  Though I would have preferred all 5 coins,” The floating Rabbi stated, before being interrupted by the Kapral.  “Hedgehog, name Pudgy?” The solider was speaking broken English, which Pudgy bounced and waved.  “Yes, my name is Pudgy!”  Words were spoken in Polish amongst the men, who all looked in disbelief at the talking and bouncing critter at their feet in the snow.  The ghost pointed with his left hand towards the camp, “behold Pudgy, it has started.”  As Pudgy watched in horror, shadows started to erupt out of the ground like a fountain.  Pudgy turned back to the ghost, “Pudgy need to activate the Vayikra coin, where should Pudgy go?” 

Both Rabbi’s: alive and dead, turned to the hedgehog.  The ghost spoke clearly in both languages at the same time. “Head to the   south and east of here.  I see large stones coming from the ground in two rows.  There are 25 stones covered by snow in a line, which one will glow when you find the correct one.  Pudgy, if I may ask, does this demon have a name?”  The hedgehog nodded, “Mazzikim.”  The two Rabbis looked down in disbelief at the hedgehog.  That name had been only spoken of in hushed tones when no one was listening.  It was a name heard many times during the camp’s operation.   “Thank you, Mister Rabbi,” the hedgehog said while waving at the ghost.  Scampering up to Rabbi Francisek’s shoe he tugged at the pant leg.  This caused the elderly man to smile, “go ahead, I catch up.”  He said in English, though it took him awhile as he had not used that language for a while.   The men watched the hedgehog nod, and the scamper off into the snow. 

Jakub pointed and spoke in Polish, which the Rabbi nodded.  Soon Pudgy found himself scooped up into the young priest’s hands and being carried through the snow.  The human could move much quicker, and while the soldiers would drive the elderly man to where the ghost spoke.  Pudgy looked up and smiled at the young man, who was breathing hard, causing steam to come out of his mouth.  The man smiled back, and in no time at all, they head reached what the ghost spoke of.  There was a large memorial built to honor the dead.  25 dark stones were seen jutting out of the snow, with bronze placards on each stone.  As the man walked past each stone, the critter could see a different language.  As they started to reach a marker in French, Pudgy felt his body being pulled out of the priest’s hands.  The Vayikra coin started to glow bright blue, like the other coins. 

The priest watched yet another beam of blue light shot out of the ground, and into the sky above.  The clouds of shadows started to part, and the pale blue sky of a late afternoon began to appear.  Making the sign of a cross, and saying a silent prayer, the priest could almost see a fleeting glimpse of heaven.  As the beam began to spread in a cylindrical shape, another ghost appeared.  This ghost was dressed in long white robes, with a white headdress with bars on long tassels that draped the front shoulders.  The hedgehog landed on the snowy ground and bounced as he turned around.  The ghostly Rabbi looked confused, “why have you summoned me?  Wait …. I sense them.  Is it time?”  The hedgehog waved at the ghost, “Pudgy help the other Ghost rabbis.  We have Vayikra, Bemidbar, Devarim, and Shemot coins.”  The floating ghost pointed at the shadows pouring out of the camp’s center. “Hurry you two, get to the center.  The 4 coins will have to be enough.  The demon defies the will of Eloah!”  Jakub was in awe and could understand the ghost.  He had been speaking in English, French, and Polish somehow.  The young man scooped up Pudgy into his hands and turned to run.  The train tracks that ran through the center of the camp from the main gate ended at the memorial.   

As Jakub turned, he saw the military vehicle race past through the snow-covered field behind the memorial.  Looking down at Pudgy, he could see the hedgehog had been hurt.  His little white snow outfit was stained with blood.  The little guy had seen some action leading up to this, which made him both concerned and dumbstruck at what was going on.  He started to run through the heavy snow as best as he could and watched as a series of military vehicles were driving up through the train tunnel of the main gates to the camp.  The vehicles were wobbling bad as they drove over the tracks.  Pudgy watched as the vehicles pulled along each other, and 15 men dressed in camouflage exited the vehicles.   All eyes were in the center of the camp, where the barracks ran in their neat rows.  The ghosts were violently flying in the skies, screeching, as the black fountain of shadows burst forth from the ground. 

The last vehicle was stopped just at the entrance of the tunnel, and Rabbi Francisek was being helped outside.  His hands were glowing bright blue, as his coin shows him where he needed to stand.   Pudgy pointed, “Mister Rabbi in position!”  Jakub nodded, and watched while a beam of blue light exploded out of the ground and shot up into the skies above.  As Jakob passed the building which blocked Pudgy’s airplane, the hedgehog tugged at the man’s sleeve.  He pointed to head towards the barbed wire fence, which Jakub nodded and turned towards.  Ghostly prisoners shuffled about aimlessly, looking forlorn, and confused.  Before Jakub realized it, the hedgehog had jumped out of his hands and landed in the snow.  Looking down, he saw the critter scamper under the barbed wire fence and into the holding pen.  Words were spoken in Polish again, with a look of concern from the young priest. 

A solider ran up to Jakub and motioned for him to follow.  While following the instruction from the solider, Jakub could not help but worry about the hedgehog as he ran towards danger and not away from it.  The ground was shaking hard, as earthquakes rattled the area.  The fences were shaking, and the ghosts were becoming more agitated.  Banshees were screeching in the air, while demons began to pout out of the ground in a sickening black mass.  Terrified screams filled the air, as the ghosts were starting to be sucked into the shadowy fountain.  Once reaching the assembled group of soldiers and recognizing the Kapral standing beside the Starszy Kapral.   Jakub quickly explained what had happened, and ghost rabbi number 3 had been activated.  The superior officer wanted to know where Pudgy went and started to curse when the priest told him he ran in ahead. 

Meanwhile, Pudgy was navigating the ghosts who floated silently over his head.  Closer and closer he approached the black shadows, and their fountain of demonic energy.  He could feel his talisman starting to vibrate inside of his cold weather gear.  Pudgy knew what he needed to do, and there was no escaping it.  The critter was terrified but focused on his task.  If he failed, no one would be safe.  Pudgy ducked under another series of barbed wire fences, to reach the road that ran between the barracks.  Squinting his eyes, he could barely see a key glowing with an unearthly red light.  The demon had used the keys to open the portal.  Withdrawing the talisman from within his coat with his paw, Pudgy shouted. “open gate to north!”  The talisman started to glow with its usual magical energies.  He fired a beam of light in front of him, dispersing the shadows.  He ran forward as far as he could before the beam ceased, and the shadows started to swirl back into place.  The critter repeated the process several times, until he had just reached the key. 

His paws were burning and bleeding, as the magical energy was ripping him apart.  He wheezed from exhaustion starting to set in but shook his head. “Pudgy have to get to key!”  It was as he spoke aloud; an insidious but familiar laughter filled the area.  “I will never let you touch that key, hedgehog!”  The demon floated in front of the key, with a jagged series of shadows that poked in random angles.  His blood red eyes were glowing and locked onto the hedgehog’s.  Pudgy wiggled his nose, and aimed his talisman, “all the gates open, you go away Mazzikim!”  The demon started to laugh, until it noticed the 4 beams of blue light that were surrounding the camp in certain spots.  “The coins, what have you done?!?!?!”  The hedgehog winced and fired a beam of pure white light at the demon. 

The energy beam fired through the demon’s body and blew a hole in the center of where its chest should be.  The shadows seemed to vibrate, but once the beam ceased, the shadows swirled back together.    “As long as good exists, evil shall never be destroyed.  You need both to exist, thus your plan will never succeed, Pudgy.  You might as well give up now.  Maybe I will just kill you?  Nah, I will torture you, then kill you, then revive you, then repeat the process.  You and your loved ones will feel terror and anguish for the rest of their lives.”   As Pudgy readied another attack, he noticed the beams approaching.  The demon did as well and started to screech with an ear splintering tone that echoed throughout the camp. 

As Pudgy was fighting the demon, the soldiers positioned at the center of the camp, watched as the ghost Rabbis started to float closer towards the black fountain.  Rabbi Francisek was floating as well, holding his coin in his right hand.  The ground continued to shake violently, and all the men’s ears filled with pressure.  As the soldiers started to fall to the ground, since they could not keep their balance, they watched in amazement as the beams of blue light started to form a circular perimeter around the fountain and surrounding barracks.  At first, they ghosts did not react, but when the holy power approached, the ghosts started to float upwards into the sky.  Orbs of white light began to float upwards, causing howls of anger from the demons. 

As the orbs began to escape the camp, the demons quickly were flying, trying to grab onto the souls as they began to cross over to escape their eternal torment within the camp’s walls.  Once all 4 Rabbis had reached the perimeter, a ring of blue glowing holy energy formed around the fountain on the ground.  The Kapral was the first to notice and point, as Rabbi Rudolf floated by with his coin.  His superior officer nodded, that man was wanted for a series of financial and war crimes.  But he was translucent, and glowing with an unearthly blue light like the others.  After all four ghosts has made a complete transit around the circle, they started to fly much quicker around, and began to close in on the fountain.  The demons could not withstand the holy power and were being vaporized.  As the Mazzikim stated, they were not destroyed, and instead returned to darkness from whence they came.  However, as the portal was still open, they started to come right back out. 

Jakub was on his knees, praying everything he could think of, trying to help.  He heard a familiar voice speaking behind him, “Jakub, get off your knees. It’s time to help our counterparts!”  As Jakub stood up and turned, he could see Father Aleksander dressed in his full robes, and ready to do battle.  He was carrying an ornate bible, and his steel gray eyes were focused.  Another young man was carrying a brass incense burner, and other supplies.  “Mikolaj, let me help you with that!”  As Jakub grabbed a decanter of holy water, as well as the wand used to spread it, he fell into position beside the head priest.  “Lord almighty, we beseech you, to help up on this day to drive back the evil from our land.  We pray onto thee!” 

The soldiers watched as the priests were unaffected by what was going on.  They walked down the main road through the prison barracks, to head towards the fountain of shadows.  Upon approaching the ring of blue light, the priests walked across and felt a tremendous peace fill their minds.  The holy magic was immense, and soon they too were following the same ring of light.  “Mikolaj, light the incense!”  The young priest nodded, and working a lighter, ignited the scented materials within the brass burner.  As the smoke started to billow out, he filled the air.  The demons began to howl in a mix of anger and terror.  In a short period of time, the priests were spread out between the Rabbis as they moved in transit around the ever-decreasing ring.  Jakub was spreading holy water sparingly, while saying the Lord’s prayer.   And Aleksander had opened to the section regarding exorcisms and was loudly shouting the words of the almighty.  The prisoner ghosts continued to turn into orbs of pale blue light and float upwards into the sky.  Now unencumbered by demons, they began to reach the skies and disappear into a faint golden light.   The demons were losing the source of their power, as the land indeed was cleansed of the evil stored within. 

Pudgy for his part was keeping the attention of the Mazzikim and firing blasts of white light from his magical talisman.  The demon was fighting back, and would grab the hedgehog, and throw him against a side of the building.  He would recover, and then scamper back to fire another beam of light. The hedgehog was bleeding again and left little paw prints in the snow again stained with blood.  But Pudgy knew he had to keep going, no matter how much it hurt.  The ghostly rabbis continued to float slowly inwards, pressing the demons closer and closer towards the portal.  The other demons would attack, ripping quills out of the hedgehog’s back.  Raking across his body, scratches in triplicate to mock the trinity.  Pudgy would whimper, and then fire a blast from his talisman. 

In an agonizing time period, the ghostly Rabbis had narrowed their circular path to the point that they floated 4 feet from the portal.  The lesser demons were retreating and flying back into the portal.  Mazzikim however was undeterred and floated overtop of the magical portal, as the fountain had greatly diminished in height.   The priests saw Pudgy standing there, in a pool of blood.  His back was ripped apart, and body covered in deep gouges.  But the critter was still standing there defiantly, with the talisman in his hand.  It filled them with determination, to see this to the end.  Jakub was out of holy water, and Mikolaj was out of incense, but they had the word of God on their side.  They were praying loudly in Polish and making the sign of the cross.  Aleksander was doing the same and opened the bible to the sky. 

The demon hissed loudly, and while was busy watching the assembled group of holy men, did not notice the crawling critter on the ground.  Pudgy had moved forward, and when the demon did not notice, he made a break for the key.  As he punched through the intense black shadowy magics with short bursts of magic from his talisman, the hedgehog reached the key.  It was sizzling with hellfire, and glowing red with demonic runes glowing on it.  Without hesitation, Pudgy grabbed the key and started to turn it the right.  His paws and body caught on fire, which caused him to scream in pain.  But the key started to turn, and the portal began to close very slowly.  “No, get away from that!  I will not have 75 years’ worth of plans be crushed by a hedgehog!”

Before the demon could reach him, a blast of white light came from above and started to vaporize the area where the fountain of shadow magic was.  Angeliki was floating above, with her eyes glowing bright blue.  She was putting everything she had into the beam of magic, causing her hands to sizzle.  “TURN THE KEY PUDGY!” The demigoddess shouted and watched as the portal continue to close.  The Mazzikim was being sucked back into the portal.   Demonic howls filled the air, while its arms flailed around in all directions.  Pudgy put his back into it, and with every bit of remaining strength he had left, turned the key.  The ground shook violently, and with a last howl of rage, the demon was sucked back into the ground.  The black shadow fountain ceased immediately, and the key popped out of the ground to land on its side. 

Still with adrenaline filling his body, Pudgy grabbed the key and ran towards Rabbi Rudolf with it.  Looking up at the former Kaiser, he tiredly waved. “Pudgy closed the portal and got the key.  We have to destroy this, so no one can ever do this again!”  The four rabbis nodded, and Pudgy found himself floating back towards the center of the ring.  Each reached out with their left hand, and touched the key, causing it to explode in a shower of white light.  Pudgy shouted, “open all of the gates, for all trapped.  Pudgy say everyone go home now!”  The ghosts in unison positioned their coins above them, with a golden light shining from the skies above.  All the black clouds, the ghosts, and trains had disappeared in an instant.  Every gate, door, or barrier that held a prisoner were suddenly and violently opened.  The prison gates were ripped from their hinges, and the doors the barracks were ripped off their hinges.    

The soldiers could finally stand up beside their armored vehicles.  And watched the intense beam of holy magic shining into the skies above.  They watched as the ghostly prisoners continued to turn into balls of blue or white light, and float into the skies above.  Angels were starting to appear, both male and female, and were flying in the skies above.  Everyone, even the atheists, fell to their knees and prayed to whatever God they served.   The horror had finally come to an end. Glory to God, now and forever. 

By Cobalt

Cobalt is a normal guy that goes to work. Pudgy is his hedgehog friend who lives in a hobbit style home nearby, and goes on epic adventures. All Pudgy stories are copyrighted to Cobalt. Doomcock, Harvey Cthulhu, and Xanadoom is copyrighted to Overlord DVD.

One reply on “Land of Sorrow: Chapter 11: Mazzikim”

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