Primal Hunger – Chapter IV

Light sears Dieter’s eyes from a round fixture above.

Where am I?

The light jerks.

No.  Not the light.  I jerked.  Am I convulsive?

He feels it the next time.

Someone is jerking me, jerking my legs!  Why can’t I feel them?

He tries to sit up but can’t.  He lifts his head.  He’s strapped down on a table in a dungeon.  Shackles dangle from the walls.  Chains hang from the shadows above, wickedly curved hooks at the ends.

The female sniper he killed stands naked with carving knife and two-prong roasting fork in hand.  She carries all her wounds from her encounter with Dieter; a gaping bullet hole dead-center in her sternum bleeds down her belly to her dark pubic hairs, her skull is caved, and ruined brains bulge out, her forearm is bent and broken; the radius bone protruding from her flesh.

She carves a strip of meat from Dieter’s skinned left thigh and holds the fillet up above her.

A pale human head with a deeply lined, gaunt face, eyes hemorrhaged blood-red, and wisps of silver hair, descends by a long, pulsing, tendril-like neck from the darkness above.  It opens its mouth revealing sharp gold teeth.  With a snarl it snatches the offered meat in its maw, then disappears back up into the unseen rafters, eyeing Dieter as it retreats.

She slices off another piece.

No!  Don’t do that!

Another head descends like a serpent uncoiled; an old woman’s, the flesh of her face ripe and ready to rot.  She hisses at Dieter as she comes down, then opens her jaws impossibly wide—jagged gold teeth glistening, viscous saliva dripping—and a black tongue lashes out, whips around the meat, then retracts it into her mouth.  She growls as she chews and retreats into the darkness.

The sniper carves away.

No!  Stop!

He’s jerked again, more violently this time.

Dieter now sees Gregor standing at the end of the table naked as well, and pulling on Dieter’s bare right foot.  He yanks hard again causing a loud cracking sound from Dieter’s hip.

Dieter raises his head as high as he can to see.

Oh my God!  My leg!

All the flesh has been cut from his right leg except that of his knee and his foot.

The sniper feeds another head.

Gregor yanks on the foot even harder this time.  With a sickening series of pops and snaps, followed by sinewy tears, Gregor pulls Dieter’s mutilated leg from his socket.

No!  Don’t do that!  That’s my leg!

Two serpentine head-horrors bite the same piece of thigh from the sniper’s fork.  They hiss and growl, and tug-o-war over Dieter’s tender morsel, as Gregor takes the butchered remains of Dieter’s leg to a fire burning in an oil barrel.

Gregor himself has no legs.  His torso is propelled by another legless torso that is inverted and walking on its hands.  The two abdominal stumps are sewn together at their waists by barbed wire; Gregor on top of the walker.  Putrid fluid oozes from the wound.

My God!  What’s happening here?  I don’t…

Gregor tosses Dieter’s useless limb in the fire.

No, please, that’s my leg!  Don’t burn my leg!

The Gregor-miscreation turns and waddles back.  The face of the walker below is Dieter’s own.  It smiles at Dieter with grotesquely long, rotted, gold-capped teeth.

No!  That’s not … you’re not me!  What is this?

The inverted mockery stands on one hand, points and laughs, as does Gregor.  Sniper woman joins in, pointing with her knife.  Heads snake down to cackle and snicker.  From all around the laughter comes, maniacal and menacing.

Someone get me out of here!  Please help!  Help me!

 

Wake up, Dieter.

HEEEEELP!!!!!!

WAKE UP!

Dieter startles awake with a shout.

He rides in the boxcar they threw him in at Beketovka.

A big man with a square jaw, and thick bristly stubble, holds Dieter’s right leg up by the unlaced boot.

He smiles at Dieter.  “Hello there.”

Dieter kicks Square Jaw in the face knocking him back.

Dieter struggles to his feet.  His whole body—every single inch of it!—is in agony from his interrogation ordeal.

Square Jaw smiles showing a few missing teeth and stands.  “Bad dreams, eh?”

“Touch me again and I’ll kill you.”

“You think so, eh?”

“You don’t want to die by my hand, believe me.”

“You barely stand, kámoš, I don’t think you do so well in fight.  Besides, you be back asleep soon.  I can see.  I’ll come back then.”

“I’m a light sleeper.  You’ve been warned.”

Square Jaw laughs and walks to the other end of the car.

Dieter slumps down.  In the darkness Dieter counts thirteen others huddle against the walls.

As always, thanks for the warning, Darkness.

Of course.  You need to focus.

I will.

He looks and feels around for anything that he could use as a weapon.  The search is fruitless.  Dieter undoes a button of his heavy coat, reaches inside and unbuckles his belt.  He pulls it out and keeps it handy.

I’m exhausted.  I can barely move.

Rest, I will keep vigil.

Dieter nods once, then falls instantly asleep.

He dreams of the chair at Beketovka he spent three days of torture in, his genitals being the last portion of his anatomy subjected to the ruthless talents of the interrogator.  A helpless feeling like drowning accompanied the pain that never seemed to end.  The last words of his tormentor were of no consolation.

“You’re stronger than most.”

Wake up.  WAKE!

Dieter snaps to consciousness.

He comes again.

Dieter feigns sleep as Square Jaw crosses the boxcar and kneels before him.  He waves his hand in front of Dieter’s face.  He smiles, then delicately unties Dieters left boot.

Dieter sits up and whips the belt around Square Jaw’s neck and pulls with both hands.  He throws his legs around Square Jaw’s shoulders in an attempt to pin the big man’s arms down.

Square Jaw fights furiously.  He frees an arm and pounds Dieter in the face, then grabs Dieter’s left arm and tries to release the choking pressure.

Finish him.

He is fucking strong!

You are strong!

Square Jaw leans back and throws his legs up on either side of Dieter.  He plants his feet on the boxcar wall behind his German foe and presses, straining Dieter’s grip on the belt.

The other passengers watch the melee in silence.

I’m losing hold!

Do not let go!

Dieter sees the belt slipping through his weakening hands inch-by-inch.  Square Jaw sees it too, and he smiles at Dieter.

I’m too weak!

You are Waffen SS!  Fight!  Win!

Dieter unhooks his legs and lets Square Jaw’s strength suddenly pull him forward.  He drives his forehead into Square Jaw’s nose, breaking it with a sickening CRACK!  Dieter follows the momentum through, and rolls over Square Jaw, twisting the belt as he does.

Square Jaw sits up and gropes behind for Dieter but his hands find no purchase.  Dieter throws his legs up and around his foe, this time pinning both arms.

Square Jaw rolls thrashing, trying to dislodge Dieter from his back.  His choking hacks and gasps become more severe; spit flies from his mouth.  Dieter feels him fading.

“Not smiling now are you, fucker?  I told you I’d kill you!”

Square Jaw tries for Dieter’s eyes—anything!—he pulls at an ear, but the effort is weak.  In a last desperate, and vain effort he grips the belt behind him and tries to loosen the strangulating pressure that’s killing him.

Behind you!  Another!

Dieter looks back as a huge boot stomps down on his face sending him down into cold, black numbness.

Dieter wakes to thin beams of sunlight struggling through the cracks in the boxcar walls.  His body aches terribly.  The combat with Square Jaw aggravated the hell out of his torture injuries.

His overall discomfort is such that he doesn’t even feel the vague throb of his face until he notices his restricted vision through his right eye.  He feels the swollen cheek and grunts. His right ear rings loudly.

At least it’s not my good ear.

He checks if he’s missing his boots or anything else.

They took nothing.

Nothing? That’s strange.

He scoots to his spot at the back wall.

And very fortunate.

Definitely.  I wouldn’t last long out here without boots and a coat.  Who do I owe a kick in the face to?

The rapist.

The rapist?

Observe…

Dieter looks to the front of the car and can see that there’s a copulating couple on the floor.

Friend of yours?

That’s not amusing.

Some of the others watch the violation.  He sees Square Jaw glaring at him.

He can hear the grunting now, and a softer, quieter sound; a whimpering.

A woman?

There are two.

Why are women on this train?

Same reason as you, no doubt.

Soviet “Undesirables.”

Not by all apparently.

I’m hungry.

As am I.

I am in no shape to…

I understand this.

Thank you, Darkness.

The “rapist” stands and pulls his layers of trousers up.  He’s an enormous man; bigger even than Square Jaw.  He sees Dieter watching him.  He pulls on the coat Square Jaws hands to him.

The boss, it looks like.

He appears well-endowed for the position.

He’s a big one all right.

Square Jaw mounts the woman next.  The grunts and whimpers begin anew.

The rapist walks over.  Dieter gets to his feet and moves away from the wall.

The big man gestures in a dismissive wave.  “Sit, sit.  We have no fight now, German.”

“You kicked me in the face.”

“Yes I did.  I could not let you kill my friend and countryman, but he did deserve it for getting caught and bested, so I forbade him to bother you further.”

“If you’re here to collect on a ‘favor owed’ then…”

“No.  You owe nothing.  I just want it understood between us that you will not be bothered by him again.”

“And the others?”

“I do not speak for all, just Pavel.”

“Pavel, huh?”  He steps to the side and shouts, “Pavel, I told you that I would kill you if you touched me again.  You’re dead.  Know this!”

Pavel halts his humping, and scowls at Dieter for a moment, then spits and resumes.

“That was not wise.  We are not the only Czechs here, or in Gulag.  You, though, are the only German.”

“I keep my promises.  Anything else?”

The big Czech smiles, gold-capped teeth shine in the beam of the morning sun that strikes his face.

“No.  It is enough.”  The large Czech walks away.

It is a poor assassin that warns his target.

Fuck him.

Dieter sits back down.  He notices his right arm shakes badly.  He tries to control it but fails.

That’s not good, Darkness.  Shit, my hand’s numb.

You need rest.  Take it.

Dieter nods, drops his chin to his chest and instantly sleeps.

Springtime in Lükenwalde; great rolling hills, wild flowers, endless blue sky … idyllic.

Deiter sits with Gretchen, his sweetheart, on a red blanket spread out on the lush green of the hillside.

His gaze lingers on her; an uncommon beauty of classical features in perfect symmetry, with skin like fresh cream, and lush golden hair that glistens and flares as it blows in the soft afternoon breeze.  A delicate brow and thick lashes frame thoughtful, deep blue eyes flecked with points of amber that capture the sun as she stares out across the distant landscape.

She was a perfect match for him; strong impeccable Aryan bloodline, and a good patriotic family with military lineage.  Yes, mother was correct in this match, and it hadn’t displeased him.

Seems so long since he had last visited her—years it felt like somehow—but hadn’t he seen her just yesterday?  Yes, they made the picnic plans, Gretchen giggling in her sweet way from excitement.

Then why does it feel like an eternity is between them; a time and distance that cannot be forded?  Something had happened, hadn’t it?  Yes, something terrible…

What was it?  He could not remember.  The thought was there, but he couldn’t grasp it, like a fracture of the mind had separated it from him, leaving only a lingering specter of recollection.

He knew he needed to be forgiven though.  No, he didn’t know it, he felt it!  Is that why he’d asked her here, to come way up on this lonely hill?  Yes, it must have been.  The day is perfect, and we love each other.

Do we?

Gretchen slowly turns her head, and offers him a warm, welcoming smile.

Yes, we must.

Oh how she glows when she smiles.  Look how her eyes sparkle.  Those are the eyes of forgiveness, handed down by God himself.  Yes, he could apologize now and she would understand, and she would embrace him in her warm glow, and all would be forgiven and forgotten; a redemption he realized he desperately needed.

Why?  What have I done?

It didn’t matter.  She loved him and would gift him her grace.

Gretchen takes his hand in both of hers, then slowly shakes her head, her smile fading.  A single sparkling tear runs down her right cheek to her chin, then drips, reflecting the sun in its descent.

Her tear shimmers and shifts its shape, becoming a dazzling crystal dragonfly, and takes flight mid-fall, its wings beating a sweet symphony of sounds through the air as it flies west into the setting sun.

Then a shrieking “KAW” from the east behind them shatters the vision before the epiphany.

Dieter turns and sees a huge raven, black as shadow with eyes of glowing amber, racing westward high above from the darkening eastern sky, and trailing storm clouds behind it.

And he knew…

Oh no!

The raven tucks its broad wings, and descends down on the dragonfly, taking it in its open beak in a single silent swoop.

No!

The raven soars onward into the west, and the clouds that follow smother the sun.

The wind picks up and brings a deepening chill.  Gretchen’s hands grow cold.  He looks once more to her.

Her smile returns.

Ask now!  Beg!  There is no time!

But it is she who speaks first.

“You want it, don’t you, Dieter?”

“I want to ask…”

“Yes.  I know what you want … you always want it.“

“I don’t know what…”

“It’s all you ever want.  I can’t stop you.  So come, Dieter…” She gets to her hands and knees and pulls her skirt up.  “Come and take it.”

Her womanhood bleeds down her legs.

Revulsion sears his heart as arousal seizes his loins, the juxtaposed emotions mingling and moving his mind to madness.

“Take it, Dieter.  That’s what you do.”

“I didn’t mean to…”

“Take it, Dieter … like you did before.”

“Before?  Is that what I..?”

The wind whips wildly now; rain pours down, then turns to sleet, then snow that quickly coats the whole landscape in white, but none falls over their crimson blanket.

Dieter realizes the blanket is no blanket at all, but an enormous Reich flag; blood red with black swastika over a circle of white.

Gretchen’s hands stretch out and pull him by the hips behind her, then takes his cock out.  She bucks back forcing him inside her.

“Yes!  Take me.  Make me bleed again, Dieter!”

She bucks back into him furiously.  Blood splashes out of her and over her back, on Dieter’s chest, and across the Reich flag.  Dieter is helpless as she savagely bucks and pulls.

“I’m sorry.  I’m sorry!  I didn’t mean to hurt you!”

“You love to hurt, Dieter.  Oh yes!  Hurt and humiliate!  It’s what you do.  So do it, Dieter.  Take it.  Take all I have.  Take all I am!  Take my life!  Kill me, Dieter!  Oh, yes!  Kill me!”

“No!”

Gretchen looks back at him, then her neck pops and cracks, and her head continues around to face him with a ghastly grin and red hemorrhaged eyes bleeding tears.  Dark violet ligature marks encircle her twisted neck.  Her head rocks with the rhythm of the rape.

“Yes!  Kill me, Dieter!  Do it!  Kill me!”

“No!  I won’t!”

She begins to wrinkle and wither, her hair falling away in wisps.

“Yes you will, because you did, Dieter…”  Her voice fades now into a whisper.  “…you killed me … and then … you took … my … soooooouuuuuullllllll…”

Her voice dies out as her body falls to dust on the swastika.  The wind carries her away.

Dieter lays fetal on the Nazi flag and sobs.

The trees and vegetation die and wither as Gretchen did.  Dieter’s clothing decays and disappears.  Homes and structures in the distant valley crumble into ruin and disintegrate. The earth becomes a rocky, barren plane.

The dark clouds swirl chaotically as lightning arcs within igniting spectral fires in the sky.  Thunderbolts strike down—thousands all across the landscape—burning deep holes in the earth that spew flame and thick acrid smoke.  The rapid-fire reports boom and rumble, the ground quakes and heaves.

From horizon to horizon Fire rules the jagged landscape, and high above Lightning and Thunder reign over the sky.

Dieter struggles to his feet.  Nothing remains of the other world but him and the Reich flag he stands upon.

He is, now and forever, utterly alone in Hell.

Deiter screams.

“NOOOOOOO!!!”

He wakes with a shudder in the boxcar, cold, and his stomach aching from hunger.

The only chance for food or water was when the train stopped for coal or to pick up prisoners.  They had no idea when these would be.

The next stop, two days later, saw four new prisoners loaded in their car; three men and one women.

She boarded the boxcar, looked around, and then sat near Dieter.  She looked right into his eyes and said, “If you try to rape me, you had better kill me.”

Dieter answered, “I’ll keep that in mind.”

It was five more days before she spoke again.  This time it was in response to one of the Czechs approaching Dieter and inquiring, “Is she with you, German?”

“I’m with no one.  Try your luck, you Czech donkey-fucker.  I’ll blind you and tear your fucking balls off.”  She hissed this with such venom and absolute conviction that the man retreated without a word.

No one else bothered her on that trip.

It was two days later that she finally struck up a conversation with Dieter.

Her name was Yulka.  Her father, Victor Tolstov, was involved in many of Russia’s military weapons programs.  He had fallen out of favor with Stalin—meaning that Stalin was paranoid that Tolstov would betray him somehow—so Victor and his entire family were interned into the Gulag system to be forgotten, and eventually separated.

That was three years ago; one day before Yulka’s 18th birthday.  Dieter found it difficult to believe she was four years younger than him—she looked a decade older, though she still maintained a kind of rustic beauty.  A “handsome woman” his mother would’ve described her as.

At the Karaganda camp in Kazakhstan, where they pick her up, she had killed a number prisoners who had raped her.  Yulka was very matter-of-fact about these events and her sentence to Kolyma.

Seventeen more days the train lumber eastward.  Dieter and Yulka talked some, but not often.  She seemed in no hurry at all to make friends, and that was just fine with Dieter, and something he understood well.

Dieter did get to know his Czech traveling companions when the big leader of their group invited him over to gamble future rations on a prison game of chance.

The big man was called Smrt Kolektoru; Death Collector.  He had been a man of some significance in the criminal underground of southwest Russia, and was rumored to have killed over fifty men in Gulag.

Dieter liked the straight-talking Czech, but didn’t trust him.  Not that Kolektoru was devious—he was very honorable; it was just his own code of honor he followed, which for Dieter made him unpredictable.  Kolektoru was very loyal to his countryman, and took being their leader as more akin to being their protector.

After the train reached the east coast, there came a freezing three-day trip north in the steel hold of a cargo ship through the Sea of Okhotsk.  More convicts had joined them at the coastal rail station.  One hundred seventy-two prisoners were loaded in the ship’s hold, and one hundred forty-nine arrived in the Kolyma port at Magadan alive.

Those remaining were loaded into trucks for various camps.

Eight trucks were in Dieter’s convoy bound for the Dneprovski Gulag, and carried thirty-five prisoners packed into the back of two of the trucks, with supplies in the remaining five.  Twenty-nine prisoners survived that road.

ATTENTION READERS: I REALLY WOULD LIKE TO GET FEEDBACK ON THE CHAPTER OF PRIMAL HUNGER, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT REGARDING YOUR THOUGHTS OR EMAIL WITH THE LINK PROVIDED IN THE SHARE SECTION,  chrisshawbell@gmail.com    — THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

-Chris

Leave a comment

4 Comments

  1. Excellent. It is perfect the way it is!

    Reply
  2. ltdalin

     /  January 13, 2013

    This continues to be great. Jumping to the next one.

    Reply
  3. rocco613

     /  December 2, 2012

    Save yourself. Tell us about the chicken…

    Reply
  4. zedlomax

     /  December 2, 2012

    sweet!! bring it on!

    Reply

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