Wolves of the Ardennes:

"Nazi werewolves" are an old trope that most of us just giggle at it, but have any of you ever thought about how fucking terrifying that would really be?

Think about it.
You're a 22 year old American soldier. You made Captain solely because you outlived the other guys. Luck.

Its 1940-something. You know you should remember, but time has a habit of melding together in these woods.
You heard something about Patton breaking through to Bastogne, wherever the fuck that was, but relief hadn't shown up and the radio's been silent since.

You've got a mixed bag of guys in your squad. Privates Simlan, Jantzen, Owens, and Belgrade, and Cpl. Flanagan.
Flanagan, he's real Irish, pale as paper, bright-red hair, voice like a foghorn when he's ticked. Man was born to be a Sgt. Too bad he's a Cpl. instead. Bullshit, but that's war.

Flan should have made Sgt. by now, but nothing works the way it should in this Euro-Hell.
You know the rest of the squad pretty well, too. Simlan was Irish, too, but Boston Irish, so he had his own ideas on what being Irish meant. He loved Boston so much it just kinda became who he was. Annoying at first, but after a bit, his memories keep up everyone's spirits.
Jantzen was European something or other, Swedish, or Danish, maybe, first generation American. He knew all the stories from the Old Country. Boston had christened him Choirboy after he'd caught the kid reading his Bible aloud.
You dont mind it. God might be handy in the Ardennes. Choirboy's folks were from somewhere around here. He doesn't talk about it, can't stomach acknowledging what the Nazis have done to the beautiful country his folks spun tales about. Choirboy doesnt handle the bodies well.
Owens is a Midwestern boy, from some farmtown in Nebraska. You're not sure you can even point out Nebraska on a map. Owens laughs about it. He's a good-natured kid, but you want Farmer to talk to somebody when you get home.

He's started talking to the dead Germans you find.
Belgrade's the squad wild card. Black as midnight, doesnt talk much, but Hell on wheels with a trenchgun. He doesnt talk much. When he first got to the squad, there was a little grumbling - turns out Boston didnt like darkies.
2 weeks later, Boston goes for a midnight piss, and stumbles into a couple of Nazi scouts, pants down, screams. Belgrade got there first. Boston and Belgrade dont talk about what happened to the Germans, but Midnight was down six shells and Boston never called him a nigger again.
Its cold. The fire, pushed up against a forgotten earthwork to keep it out of sight, doesnt really warm anyone. It doesnt do much to push back the dark, either. The snow is wrong. American snow is clean and white, comforting, a reason to be happy. This is different.
Its dark, heavy. Foreboding stuff, that wraps and blankets and smothers everything in its suffocating grip. Last week you stepped through a ribcage. There's still a...stain...on your boot. You hate this fucking shit. Zero visibility beyond the weak gleam of the fire.
There it is again. This is the fourth night in a row they've been out there. The howls. The whole squad is fucking tired of it.

You didnt know there were wolves in the Ardennes, but then again, the one thing you know for sure is that you dont know shit.
You hunker down, trying to calm your nerves. The wolves have plenty of meat; there are bodies god-damn everywhere. No need for them to waste their energy trying to kill armed men, right? Right.

Another howl. Fucking wolves.
Choirboy is just staring out into the snow-blind night, clutching his Bible. He's muttering again, half-prayer, half Danish who-fucking-knows. He pauses for a second, mutters something else.

"Varulv."

Choirboy is fucking terrified.
So what? You're all fucking terrified. You haven't stopped being afraid since this fucking thing started.

Flan used to joke about fear keeping you alive, so being afraid meant you were still kickin'. That was before Hamilton bought it, anyway.

Flan's jokes are darker now.
You've just gotten your blood to warm up a little when Boston starts fucking screaming. Its not a long scream; there's no time for that, not when his head comes off of his body and splatters against a tree. Choirboy's covered in blood. Belgrade's trenchgun is spitting fire.
Midnight's a fucking war god all of a sudden, wreathed in gunsmoke, fire, and snow as he pumps round after round into you dont fucking know what. Its huge.

There's so much blood. Then its gone. Midnight doesnt say a fucking thing, just watches. Flan's fumbling with the gear.
Boston's just gone.

No, gone's the wrong word. The man that was Boston isnt recognizable, just a pile of shattered bone and ruined flesh, splattered over Choirboy. Choirboy is throwing up, but he's throwing up while readying his rifle, God bless him.
This, this, this fucking thing suddenly comes leering out of the night. Over eight feet tall, covered in blood-soaked fur. Its blond, where the blood hasnt matted it into crimson spikes. Ice-blue eyes glow in the firelight.

"Varulv," sobs Choirboy, and you understand.
Tatters of black leather hang off of it, shreds of whatever it wore before it became...this.

You choke on the word.

Werewolves are just fairytales. Midnight and Choirboy open up at the same time, and you can see the fairytale's flesh erupt in sprays of too-real blood.
Its just a fairytale. Your own rifle is up, drawing a bead on the fairytale's head, and half its skull is blown away by the heavy round. It turns to look at you.

Its just a fairytale, but its ripped Boston apart and its looking at you and its head is reforming.
Its not a fairytale.

Its not a fucking fairytale, its a god-damned werewolf and its fucking staring straight at you as its fucking ice-blue eye fucking heals and now its really fucking grinning right at you.
It growls something, in fucking Nazi-talk.

"Erbärmliche Amerikaner. Sie sollten dankbar sein, dass Ihr Fleisch die deutsche Perfektion unterstützt."
Its Flan who responds, triumphant, Irish accent ringing clear.

"WE SPEAK FUCKING AMERICAN, KRAUT-FUCK!" and then the little makeshift campsite is full of fire and fury. Flan's favorite toy comes roaring to life.
The flamethrower's song is one that soothes and comforts, and the werewolf's screaming agony is a perfect counterpoint.

The smell of burnt hair and charred bone is one you never thought you'd love so dearly.
And then Flan's throat is gone. The beast simply moves, walking into the jet of flame, and with a swipe, Flan's dead.

He slumps, hand still clutching the 'thrower as his body tumbles. Choirboy tries to run, but the flame is as ravenous as the monster in your midst.
Choirboy burns and Midnight is screaming. Its not a scared scream, not anymore. Midnight's past that, roaring mad and emptying his trenchgun into the blazing wolf-monster before charging it headlong. You dive out of the way, rolling in half-melted blood-slush-snow beside Flan.
Flan's as gone as Choirboy. Choirboy's still fucking twitching, still fucking burning. Where was God?

You force yourself to not look at the gaping hole where Flan's throat used to be. The bones of his spine gleam too wetly in the gap.
You pull his fingers off the 'thrower; you have to break them to get Flan to let go. They snap with a brittle pop. You raise the 'thrower, tethered to Flan by the fuel-pack. Midnight is stabbing the thing with a knife, over and over, and its, its, its just fucking laughing.
It grabs Midnight's left arm and tears it off of his body. Midnight doesnt stop stabbing with his right, the knife flashing. His own clothes are alight and you know there's nothing left of his mind but the need for vengeance, and you feel it, too.
But Midnight, God rest his soul, never gets that. The werewolf catches the fist clenched around the knife and crushes it to a pulp. Blood sprays out through the beast's fingers.

Midnight, still ablaze, only stops roaring when the monster bites his head clean off.
You trigger the flamethrower, refuse to go out without giving this fucking thing something to remember you by. The 'thrower coughs, sputters, and realization hits you in the gut with an ice-cold fist: its dry. Empty. No fuel left. And the beast is looking at you again.
The fire is embers now, the fur a sick mess of char and blood and gaping flesh. Its not healing so well, but its still up. Ribs gleam through the ragged, fire-black tatters of its torso. You can see Farmer's dead face through the holes in its stomach. There's no blood.
It isnt stopping. Its killed them all and its still fucking grinning. Still. Half of its head is a burnt ruin, but it wont stop grinning. Everyone's dead. Your friends, your squad, your men, they're all dead, bad dead, and this fucking, this fucking thing, it did it.
This fucking Kraut piece of shit.

You feel Choirboy's fear, but its blotted out by Midnight's rage, the flamethrower-fury that drove him and Flan. Its not fucking over, you think, even as the invincible Nazi shitdog looms over you. Its not fucking over.

You arent done yet.
Thinking stops. Those jaws. The firelight gleams on them, red and wet. Or is that the blood. The claws, the ivory-and-crimson bones jutting through broken flesh. Everything is death and this creature is yours, and you understand that now.
So you say fuck it and do the one thing that held you in good stead in countless bar fights back home and you hit death right in the fucking balls. The thing lets out an explosive breath, and you're awash in the stench of rotten meat and wet fur.
You jam your fist through the gaps in its ribs, tearing already torn flesh, scrabbling up through its guts, forcing your clenched fist towards its heart. The creature freezes for the barest second, as though shocked, before grabbing your shoulder.
Claws slice through your flesh like the 'thrower through snow, down to the bone until it snaps and you know something's broken and its bad and then you hit a snowdrift and tumble and the werewolf is laughing but you dont care.
You dont care and that Kraut piece of shit werewolf sees your hand and now he's not fucking laughing anymore either. Instead he's ripping at his own chest, tearing at his own flesh. You look down at the grenade pin.
The werewolf's chest comes apart in a damp, ragged detonation as the grenade's explosive charge rips through it. It crashes to its knees, a fountain of blood and charred bits gushing from its mouth and the ruin of its torso. It stares at you, ice-blue eyes cold and penetrating.
You dont even care anymore.

You struggle to your feet, drawing your pistol. Its a good pistol, one you'd carry with you for the rest of your life, one that would become a classic, the 1911.

You drag yourself towards the thing as it scrabbles in the bloody snow.
Maybe it can heal from the fire, from the grenade. One shot to the head wasn't enough, fine. The monster gurgles as it tries to breathe, and you slam your pistol into its eye.

It pops in a spray of fluid.

The Kraut shitter tries to scream, but its just a whimpering whine.
"Boston." You pull the trigger, and sticky shards of bone spray out across the snow. You dig the pistol in deeper, ignoring the doglike whimpers.

"Flan." Another pull of the trigger widens the exit wound.

"Choirboy." You angle the gun, blowing out another section of skull.
"Midnight." Another round, another spray of bone chips and crimson viscera, black in the firelight.

“Farmer.” There's nothing left of the head now, just scraps of lower jaw attached to fur and spine.

"Me, goddamn it." You empty the fucking magazine into the base of its neck.
Your motions are automatic now, dropping the clip and reloading. You're ready for anything, fucking Nazi fucking scumbag sauerkraut-eating sunuvabitch, ready for it to get back up, to heal and kill you, and it starts to twitch, and you tense, pistol ready, to die like a man.
But its over, for real and for sure, the body reverting in death to that of a ruined and ravaged human. You stand there, shaking. Its over. Its over. You gather dog tags, personal items.

When you finally reconnect with your unit, you lie. Bloody firefight. Sole survivor.
You go the rest of your life with that lie. What else can you do? Who can you tell? Who would believe you?
You go your whole life and see it turned into a joke. “Nazi werewolves, that's hilarious! Lets make a movie about, oh, I know, Werewolves of the Third Reich!” and its a big laugh and a cult phenomena and you wake up most nights soaked in sweat and screaming until you throw up.
You know its out there. Know that these things, they exist, they're real. And if they're real, fuck, what the Hell else is real?

What the fuck is the truth now?

We giggle at the Nazi werewolf trope, but I think it'd be fucking terrifying.

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