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Fiction Horror Fantasy

Grendel's Nest Chalet is an exclusive resort in the Bavarian Alps that is talked about in certain circles, but has never advertised in any of the travel journals and there is a reason for that. Named for the monster in Beowulf, there have been rumors about what is up there in the Bavarian Alps, so being a resourceful correspondent, I decided to have a look for myself.  What you are about to read is my account of that eventful weekend at Grendel's Nest Chalet. 

“Welcome Herr Walter Shannon.” The concierge greeted me at the check in desk.

“So this is Grendel's Nest Chalet.” I sniffed and rolled back on my heels.

“We prefer to be known as the Eagle’s Aerie.” He coughed.  

“Everyone in town, Transvaal claims that this is Grendel's Nest.” I shook my head. 

“It’s just that a lot of the staff are sensitive about that name since it has a lot of evil attached to it.” He began writing my name in the ledger.

“I did not mean to offend.” I apologized.

“Think nothing of it.  I just wanted to make you aware of certain proclivities associated with the name.  I, myself, find no offense, let me assure you, but there have been employees who have seen…shall we say strange specters that howl in the night.”  He smiled and looked at me, “I will have one of my service staff show you to your room.” 

His name was Hans and he barely fit into the elevator we took up to my room on the tenth floor.  The architecture was amazing as they literally built the chalet into the mountain itself, using the contour and shape to design the building.  In the hallway, I passed many skiers with waxed skis slung over their shoulders as they made their way to the elevator.  Hans was silent throughout our journey to my room. He carried my bags weighed down by my professional equipment as if they were nearly weightless.  Judging by his sturdy build, I could understand why he was not bothered by a weight that would be bothersome to mere mortals.  He held out his hand once he had placed the bags where I had pointed and I dropped a healthy amount of marcs in his palm.

Once he was gone, I got out some of the sensor cameras with night vision lenses which I had planned to set up outside in a few strategic locations, but first I needed a nice hot shower.

“There are things on that mountain that cannot be explained.” The shopkeeper told me in German as he raised his eyebrows.  His wife shushed him as she put my sundries in a plastic bag. “Originally that chalet was built to be a bunker during the war.”

The building did not seem that old to me.  Grant it, there was cement set to reinforce the steel frame, but the paneling and many of the wall covering looked modern and trendy.  The hot water was refreshing and there wasn’t a hint of rust or iron in the water that ran down me as I stood beneath the showerhead. 

“Shadows can be deceiving.” The man behind the counter whispered to me so his wife could not hear him. “I have heard that there are unexplained shadows around the service entrance.  I have seen them when I have made deliveries up there.

“Honestly my dear Oscar, you must not say such things.  Evil likes to take refuge in our imaginations when we choose evil things.” The woman admonished her husband.    

The wind blew fiercely as I tried to set the tripod in the snow near the service entrance. I had heard that there were executions up here long before anyone had decided to build a chalet here.  Perhaps it was their ghosts that haunted Oscar.  I had stayed in hotels that were rumored to be haunted, but then I do not have any inclination to such superstition.  Guilt can be a powerful influence on our imagination as I have seen with my cohorts from time to time. 

I remember Cedric who was having an affair.  When his wife caught him, Cedric did away with his wife, but broke down during the interrogation because he kept seeing his dead wife’s face in the two way mirror.  Poor man.  

I set the gismo to record.  I hit playback to make sure it was in proper working order.  In the short five second playback, I saw a shadow.  Was it a shadow?  You know how your eyes may play tricks on you sometimes. I rewound and played it again.  It was a shadow alright.  A shadow no bigger than a small child.  Could have been something on the tape that appeared as a shadow.  I reset the recorder and walked away, but then I was startled as Hans was standing there staring at me with his jaw hanging open.  He shook his head. 

“Hans?” I gasped.

“You shouldn’t do that.” He said the first words he had ever spoken to me.

“Why not?” I asked, clicking on the start button on the remote. 

“There are things you might not wish to see.” He turned and walked away in that rigid manner he had taken my bags to my room.  

As the wind blew, I heard a conversation or what I thought sounded like a conversation.  I put the earpiece in my ear, but the words were garbled and made no sense. I removed the earpiece and walked through the snow toward the entrance of the chalet.  From the covered entrance, the building appeared as some sort of illuminated raptor spreading its wings against the rock face of the mountain.

In the morning I walked down to the five star Buffett and took one of each thing my doctor told me I should not eat and sat down near the giant window that overlooked the ski slope where a parade of skiers reached the bottom of the hill.

"How are you enjoying you stay so far?" Oscar asked as he walked over to where I was sitting.

"Delightful.  Slept like a baby.." I yawned and stretched out my arms.

"Music to my ears." He laughed and tapped me on the back.

When I finished my breakfast with a pot of coffee and several glasses of orange juice to satisfactorily wash it all down, I walked out to retrieve my camera. I was perturbed to see footprints in the snow all around the device.  

I got to my room carrying the camera like an infant.  I plugged it in and pressed replay on the remote.

There was a shadow. There was a beastly growl. Slowly the face of the beast came into focus.  Even with the night vision lenses, whatever had been drawn to the camera was not human.

Just as I was watching it for a second time when the phone rang.  I picked it up, but before I could say hello, I heard a familiar voice.

"Walter, what have you found?" Merrill Stokes, my boss back in London asked.

"I'm not really sure, Merrill." I answer, shaken by what I've seen so far.

"Level with me, Walter, what is going on?" His voice dropped a bit.

" I wish I knew for sure." I ran my fingers through my thinning hair and sighed.

"I didn't want to spook you, but that place has got something that's got the locals talking." Merrill confirmed, "I want you to verify what it is that is keeping folks awake."

"Any ideas?" I ask.

There is an awkward pause.

"There were reports of a cave where some Nazi scientists were fooling around with eugenics.  You know, gene splicing.  There were rumors about experiments that made Frankenstein seem tame." I could hear him sigh.

"So what am I up against?" I pulled the curtains aside and saw it was snowing again.

"I wish I knew, Walter, I wish I knew." 

Later I went into town for some cough medicine as the cold damp air made me feel a bit under the weather with congestion and a hoarse voice.  

"So where are you staying?" The druggist asked as he put the medicine in a paper bag.

"Grendel's Nest." I answer as I pay him. He freezes for a moment, but the way he looks at me, I find unsettling.

"I have heard things that are not good." He swivels his head around to make sure there is no one eavesdropping.

"Like what?" 

"My grandfather would not take his flock out on the hill to graze. He said bad things happened on that mountain during the war." His face resembled a death mask as he adjusted his thick black rim glasses.

"Like what, for instance.  People keep telling me bad things happened, but never what."  I threw my arms up.

"There is a gate hidden under the chalet that leads to Hell." His eyes were wide as he spoke.

"Sounds like more folk tale than fact." I laughed, but this seemed to make him angry.  I walked out to catch a bus back to the chalet.

The SS would march the prisoners up the mountain where a man with a machine gun would execute them leaving the white snow red with their blood.  One day a beast was waiting and with his powerful build, Slaughtered the SS soldiers.  As he dismembered them, a gate opened up in the mountain and their remains were taken by an unseen power.

This was what I found on my pillow when I returned.  It had been crudely ripped from a book.

When I reviewed the video, I saw the beast, formless as he was, Disassembling a poor goat and eating it raw.

It went beyond disturbing.

The knock at the door nearly made me jump out of my skin.  Hans was standing at the door, his face as expressionless as ever. With a raspy voice, he said, "I am here to clean the room." 

"Come in." I nodded and he did as I had asked.  I stuffed the page into my pocket so he would not see it.  As he was cleaning the bathroom, I stood in the doorway, "So what happens in this place after the sun goes down?"

"I don't know what you mean." He turned to look at me as if I was speaking another language beside German.

"Since I have arrived at this chalet, something seems to be stalking me and every time I turn around to see what it was, I see you." I explained, but he just shook his head and continued cleaning, "I know you know something."

"You are mistaken, I know nothing." His voice was flat and his eyes betrayed nothing.

"The town's folk keep calling this place evil." I sneered.

"This is a chalet where people come to ski the mountain." He did not even look at me as he spoke. "The people who live in town are superstitious. They like to make up stories that are not true.  It's good for their business."

I know it was a dream, but the reality of it all seemed so real. From a shadow appeared a human figure, he was haggard and ragged with long fingers.  His face appeared to be molded or shaped by a sculptor.

"Come with me. "  He instructed me.

As if hypnotized or under some sort of spell, I got out of my warm bed and began to follow him in the darkness. Having worn glasses since I was a young lad, I was quite surprised at how well I could see in the dark as I followed this stranger.

In the lobby there was a door marked "Management Only."  The lobby was dark and no one occupied the main counter.  He turned and looked at me with eyes that did not seem human before pushing the forbidden door open.  In the room there was a large vault built into the wall. Without hesitating, his long fingers adeptly began twirling the dial and in a very short time, the heavy door swung open.

"Come follow me." He ordered with a wave of his hand.

It was unlike any room I had ever been in before.

"Wait." The stranger put his hand up.  It was then I noticed the spooky markings on his forehead.

We were inside the mountain.  Someone had built a secret fortress from the rocks.  Then I heard gunfire, but my eerie escort did not seem distressed, as I was about the rattle that echoed from every corner of the cave.  

"Now come." He began to walk toward the noise.

From our precarious vantage point, I saw two soldiers dressed in SS uniforms, one with a 50 mm machine gun in front of him as the other sat next to him with an open ammunition can.

"Pretty good job, eh?" The soldier pulled some ammunition from the box.

 "Almost feel sorry for them." The soldier loaded the bullets into the machine gun. "Almost."

His laugh was evil and his partner joined in with the jocularity.

"Bring in the next group, Frenchy." The soldier by the machine gun cupped his hands to his mouth, then turned to his comrade and said in a whisper, "When he brings in the last group, I'm going to pop him." 

"He's on our side." The other appeared Astonished.

"Do you really think he's on side, Hans?" The machine gunner laughed.

"I see your point, Oscar." His comrade chuckled.

"This is it." The man dressed in a French officer's uniform.

"Really?" Hans asked. The French officer nodded. Smiling, Hans depressed the trigger.  The officer's  eyes went wide, but it was too late as the bullets made him do his death jig before he fell lifeless to the floor.  Those who had been led in, children for the most part, recoiled as Hans kept his finger pressed on the trigger.  All of them followed the officer to the floor.

"Hans!" The stranger called out as quit firing.

"Golem!" Hans stood up, his face was drained of color.

"Nine!" He screamed as Token raised his arms.  

Immediately, the rocks opened up under Hans and Oscar.  Below them the red glow of the flames of Hell reflected on the dark walls of the cave. 

"Time to go back!" The Golem spoke in a voice that was louder than the machine gun Hans had fired at the people laying dead in the cave.  But with a final scream, both Hans and Oscar disappeared in the orange glow of the flames.

Meanwhile I stood there with my mouth hanging open.

"Arise, my children." Golem Waved his hand and those who Hans had gunned down, yawned, stretched, and got up as if arising from a deep sleep.

I heard a loud buzz.  Reaching over, I shut off my alarm clock.  The sunlight was filling my room.  I could hear other guests leaving their rooms probably with their skis over their shoulders as they made their way to the slopes.  

I will be packing my bags and boarding a plane back to London later this afternoon.  I was still foggy headed from my trip with Golem to the center of the mountain. My eyes began to play tricks on me as I saw him in the darker showdown in my room.  Looking out the window, there was nothing out of the ordinary.  People dressed in winter clothing were getting in line for the ski lift with their skis in tow.

Once I finished packing, I called the front desk for a bellhop.  I made a quick check to make sure I had left nothing behind.  Someone knocked at my door just as I finished checking.  I opened the door. 

"Here Shannon?  I am Karl, your bellhop." He bowed.

"Where is Hans?" I asked.

An expression of bewilderment marks his face, "Who?"

"Never mind, he was my bellhop yesterday." I nod.

"Hans?  We have no bellhop named Hans." He shakes his head as he picks up my bags. I follow him down to the front desk with a strange feeling sitting in my guts.

"Hello, sir, I am Tamaya." She was strikingly beautiful If I was to offer my professional assessment. 

"Where is Oscar?" I asked pulling out my company card to pay for my room.

"Who?  There is no one on our staff that goes by that name." She smiles as she shakes her head. "Have a safe trip, Mr. Shannon."

"Thank you, Tamaya." I return her smile and nod as I make my way to the front door of the Grendel's Nest Chalet and into an awaiting cab.  Poor Grendel, he was just obeying his primitive urges.  But then don't we humans obey a similar instinct.

"Management Only" I notice the sign tacked to an obscure door.  I pause for a moment as I push open the front door of the chalet.

January 16, 2022 20:20

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3 comments

22:43 Jan 26, 2022

This story was very scary!! It had me on the edge of my seat and I am glad I did not read this story at night. Very good story!

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Mae Stroshane
16:55 Jan 22, 2022

Spooky and suspenseful! I had to read it to the end to untangle your mindbending storyline. Nicely done!

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00:48 Jan 23, 2022

Thank you so much Mae. George

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