Two eyes glowed at me from the haze of fog in the early twilight of Summer. Eyes that bore into my soul, and with only one inch between us, it meant only one of us would survive.  


Soldiers today will never know what it felt like on the front lines of a war, with men in linens too torn to identify as clothing. With guns strapped to their backs and no warmth.

I recently recovered my great-grandfather’s journals from World War Two. The things I’ve read in his journals have made me empathize with veterans and what they have endured in the war.  

He writes about the men he was friends with, how there were long nights of little sleep, and missing things like relaxing by the sea. He wrote about the seaside and missed seeing the flowers bloom in summer before the war destroyed everything. Most of all, he missed his family. It was obvious the love he had for them.

My great-grandfather was very kind and generous, but as most men are, that fight in wars. Many are changed forever.  

There were several entries devoted to the time he spent as a captive. The entries there were so unbelievable, yet hearing the stories about my great-grandfather, I knew he couldn’t be lying.  

He was an honest farmer’s son from a small village. He was in school when World War Two broke out. He was drafted as a fresh face eighteen-year-old embarking into adulthood with a bang. He had decided to work at a local store because he wanted to learn how to run a business. The day he got the call, he was excited to have just earned his first raise. The life of a businessman would have to wait.

Shortly after being shipped off to fight on the frontlines, an explosion caused a great deal of confusion among the men. My great-grandfather was with a platoon that got hit by a bomb that happened to have been dropped on an area called Pontine.  

My grandfather was taken captive by three German men at the time. Most of what he writes about was not of bad experiences he had because of being held captive, but instead having to work alongside them as brothers in arms to defend something else entirely.


IT WAS supposed to be a war we would win, but the Germans were more intelligent than us. They seemed to have the upper hand in a preternatural manner. It was almost unspeakable how brilliant they were. It was as if they knew what would happen before the rest of the world. One can only hope to make this world better than the way they left it. Yet, with wars come sacrifices, maniacal devices, shadows, death, and a million ways to die. 

I now know there was something else guiding the German army. Lucifer would cower in darkness and fear whatever took hold of the world.  

I hate remembering it.  

I had my 22nd birthday yesterday. It feels like my 120th. I miss my old life, but mostly my mother’s kind eyes. It’s strange the things you think about when death seems inevitable.

The Germans unleashed Hell on Pontine. Many people are starved and disease stricken. I wanted to help my friends in arms, but after the bomb and the sickness took my fellow men, I was left alone to find food and water. The areas that weren’t flooded were still abandoned by life. There was no sun shining here. Only pain, that’s what falls from the sky, hot razors blasting into our skin. With each sweat drop, an adversary is unleashed.

The mosquitos quieted a bit at night when I used lemon verbena oil. The temperature dropped just enough to breathe.  

Only as I waited for death or a savior when I was captured by three German soldiers. They were not as frightening as I imagined them. They were men dying like me. There were two very average-sized men, but one was at least six foot-five.

I found him captivating because his hair was white when he took off his hat, and he had the palest blue eyes. I wondered if he were Angel Gabriel to save me from this Hell.

There was no such luck. I was hit over the head with his gun and screamed at him to “move.” That’s all he ever uttered to me in those first few days. “Move, you stupid move!”

They had me carrying the items they didn’t want, and there was no use in arguing with them. I was one, yet there were three of them. I complied like a dog. I was surprised to find out what they wanted me for the fifth day.  

There was a spot of land we had come by. They needed a small shelter made. They didn’t have linens or blankets. Instead, they had me fetching sticks to make a sort of stick cabin. One of the men seemed to take pity on me and gave me water and bread. He only did it when the other two were sleeping.  

I was grateful for anything to quench my hunger and thirst.  

They slept in the poorly made shelter I created at night while I slept on soggy grass.  

It wasn’t ideal, but it beat loneliness, I guessed. My hope was they’d kill me before reaching their camp. I had heard that people died in camps. They worked you to death, used you for sport, or killed you on the spot for the sport.  

I woke on the sixth night to silver eyes watching me in the tall grass.  

I sat up, thinking it must be wild dogs from one of the nearby cities.  

When I sat up, my eyes disappeared. The feeling of them lingering in the distance gave me a warning. I felt we needed to keep moving, but we remained outside the villages, searching for food. It would be a long few days, but I didn’t know it then. I couldn’t sleep the rest of the night. I kept feeling my skin crawl. Mostly bugs and slugs in the grass, but at least their penetrating legs upon my skin were tangible. In the far-off distant future, I saw the kind of crawl that only death toll beetles brought. Here I was at their mercy.

That morning we left the area to search for food. They killed a pig someone had left on this farm. The house had been raided already for any valuable items. The pig was near starvation anyway, and I felt we did it a favor.

The sound of the pig in its last moments of death became an omen. That was the last hint of any humanity I witnessed from then on.

Stuffed with food, yes, they gave me scraps since I was the one who killed and cooked the pig; we moved onward as our hunger would only be satisfied for a day. I kept thinking about why there were no other soldiers around. Where was everyone? Why were we still here all alone? Yes, there was war, but there was no sound in the distance of bombs going off or the sound of troops marching. 

We stayed close to the village where we had found the pig, though one of the German soldiers remarked that it wasn’t safe to visit. I didn’t know why, but it seemed urgent we kept moving. That was the night we had our first bonding experience.

Walking along a short canal, we heard a whoop, whoop sound in the distance. Stopping in our tracks, we saw eyes all around us. It was nearing dusk when we decided to slow our pace and not appear threatening. 

The tallest soldier stood and then motioned for us to be quiet. We stood there looking all around. There had to be thousands of eyes all staring back at us. I didn’t know what type of animal it could be.

Whoop, Whoop again. A brief-sounding call only sent chills down my spine.

I then heard what sounded like howling and yelping. I looked at the men who stood by me. All of us stood confused, trying to understand what it was. Then I felt a slush-like texture beneath my feet. Looking down, I realized the wet grass was covered in blood.  

One of the other soldiers muttered something in German that I didn’t understand until he pointed at the field before us. There were dead soldiers everywhere. One of the soldiers flashed his light at the ground and then fell back in fear. It looked as if hundreds of men were draped across the marshes and fields. Among them were ravenous dogs or wolves eating them as we stood there. They ate in quick succession, leaving no scraps. There was the sound of cracking bones and growling amongst the gang of wild beasts in the fields. You could hear the breaking of bones from where we were standing. We listened to the tearing of flesh, and the sound carried through the rotting smell in the air, causing me to nearly vomit.  

They carried on with their massive assault, and one of the men I was with spoke to me in English.

“They are eating the flesh of the dead. They are getting closer to us,” he pointed at them in the distance when one of the dogs noticed us.  

I heard what sounded like running in the grass when I realized it was my captors evading the wild dogs. I watched as suddenly a massive dog that looked as if it had come from the pits of Hell came out of nowhere and tackled the one who had spoken to me in English. He latched onto his leg, pulling at his pants, and I felt a sort of loyalty to him for the small kindness he had shown me. I took a rock and hit the dog in its nose. It felt nothing as the assault continued- his flesh was torn from his body and off his bones while his heart still beat.

I heard him scream as I stood paralyzed, unable to move. Other dogs followed, tearing at his flesh while he cried. He screamed so loud that I will never forget the sound.

Finally, I found my feet and ran towards the watery graves of others that had been picked to their bones. I fell over one of them, forgetting where I was for a moment. I was still in shock from witnessing the death of the man that had been so kind to me. I panicked when I saw one of the dogs follow me toward the water. I jumped into a small body of water, fearing other wildlife that may attack me as well, but I was more afraid of the dogs. 

The dogs growled at me and retreated toward the men sprawled in the grass. A bomb must have blown most of them to bits, which attracted these monsters. I had read that once a dog tasted human flesh, they would always see you as prey.  

They seemed uninterested in the water, or maybe they lost my scent. I watched them from where I was in the water, hoping they wouldn’t get desperate and follow me. I noticed that by morning light, they seemed to have retreated into the grasses among the abandoned flooded homes. The sun rose, and in the distance, I heard someone yelling. I saw the other two men in a boat near the bank. 

Tired, exhausted, and fearful of what may come next; I waded through the water to the other side of the marsh to meet up with them.

No more was I just a captive. Now I was a comrade.  

“Take water -you see anything?” asked the tall blonde one, who, at this point, I declared as Thor because he looked like a nordic god. 

“Thanks,” I drank quickly.

The other man was short with a constant scowl, and I learned his name was Alex. Alex wanted us to move quickly out of the area, but there were barriers at every turn. We were surrounded by potential hazards between the flooding and disease that had taken several dead. We could see near the abandoned homes, but there was the possibility of explosions from explosives all around us. I was hoping we were getting closer to the front lines, which might mean my being captive and food and water at best. I’d rather be with a hundred Germans than what I had just witnessed.  

Alex and Thor wanted to find a place to sleep for the next night and gather themselves after having relatively no rest the previous night. They felt that they would need all the strength they could muster. I wanted to get out of here. I could smell death all around me. The insects were breeding faster each day, and the real fear was that I would die of malaria, bombs, or starvation -something that didn’t sit well. Yet, if it wasn’t malaria, it would be those hounds from Hell. 

Thor looked at me and gave me some meat he had saved. He was nice for the first time in the several days since I had become his captive. I hope we can all get out of here before the treacherous morning ahead of us. Maybe he would let me go. No such luck.

We found an abandoned two-story home and went to the second floor immediately. There was a window in a tiny room that looked as if it once belonged to a child. The other room was blocked off by a large piece of wood that looked like it had fallen from the ceiling during one of the bombs.  

So we rolled out some bedding that we found in the room and tried to get comfortable for the next few hours.  

The sun seemed to taunt us as it went down in the distance. We tried passing the time by telling jokes. I no longer felt I was being held against my will; my comfort was short-lived. Night crept in quickly- too quickly. It was pitch black outside the house we were hiding in. We seemed to have a feeling of dread. 

Alex attempted to make a joke, but he stopped talking because Thor put his hand over his mouth.

It was Thor who heard the first sound of a yelp. I saw eyes in the distance-silver, and they no longer focused on the fields of the dead. I had this eerie feeling they knew we were here. We remained still and quiet as we watched from the upstairs window of the tattered two-story house. 


I heard something hit the door downstairs to the home we were in. I peered out the window to see what it was, but we already knew.


One of them was using its body, throwing itself against the wooden door beneath us. I moved abruptly, nearly falling over Thor, tripping as I attempted to peer out the window.

Those damn dogs could smell us.

I saw one of the dogs look up at us, wagging its pretty little tail. It was like something out of a fable. The dog ran back towards where it had come then as if warning the others- within minutes, hundreds followed him back to the house.

They were sniffing and smelling the air. They howled, and they yelped. All the while working themselves into a frenzy. In the center of the three or so dozen dogs was one giant dog.

It was not humanly possible. The size of this thing nearly towered above six feet. Its body was as wide as the front door, and I knew it would not take much to get through the front door. I knew it was a male dog by the way it seemed to allude to it through some sort of alpha mind control. I looked at Thor and Alex, who were also confused about how they could read its mind. It stood about six-foot tall on all fours. There was a glow to his eyes that was not like the others. They were almost human-like. They were blue, and now he was looking up at the window at all of us.

The other dogs began to howl, yelp, and growl as if in pain.

Then we heard a voice. 

“Come out, come out wherever you are; I smell you so you can run, you can hide. I won’t need to blow your house down, so run, but you will not get far.”

Alex looked at me and muttered what I could only make out as What the Hell?

Trapped and fearful of the hounds’ next moves, Thor pulled out his gun and shot at the giant dog.  

We heard maniacal laughter then. It was coming from all of the hounds. 

It was like a crowd of school children all laughing and taunting us. I grew more terrified by the second, as nothing about this seemed natural.

I kept closing my eyes and opening them again, hoping that this was not real – that I was somehow dreaming. 

To my shock, Thor looked at me and handed me one of his spare guns. I checked to see how many bullets I had, which were few. Thor looked at Alex, and then we crept up to peer out the window again.  

They were gone.

How? All one hundred or so of these maniacal beasts were gone- but where?

Thor crept out of the bedroom and into the short hallway to the top of the stairs. The floor creaked loudly as he sauntered toward the top of the stairs. He turned down the lantern he had been holding this whole time.

The world was silent for now, too quiet. It was as if death had a date with our fates. We just pulled ourselves up, ready now to fight. Our tired eyes searched the darkness, as did our ears. Our hearts beat out of our chests as we struggled to find our bodies. It was as if we were ghosts living above our bodies, waiting to see what would happen to us. It was as if we were watching a film. No way any of this could be reality.

It was Thor who saw him first.

Thor backed into the bedroom, pushing us inside and trying with everything inside of his soul to keep us all inside the tiny room. A little chair broke as Alex backed against the wall. 

“What is it?” He asked in a thick German accent.

He is inside the house.

Thor’s hands shook. He held onto his rifle, waiting for the door to burst open.

I stood behind him and Alex, waiting for the door to burst open. Yet, it remained closed tight. I looked at both of the men and watched. The darkness seemed darker now that our fears had kicked in. 

I don’t know how long we stood there in the pitch-black.  

It was when Alex noticed the smell. It began to permeate our nostrils like getting gassed in a crowd. The smell nearly made me vomit. I looked at Thor and Alex, who could take it no more, and to my dismay, Thor opened the tiny bedroom window.

The smell was only alleviated by a small amount. It wasn’t enough to help, but I did take a deep breath. Not realizing it would be my last to be grateful for.  

As I stood behind Alex and Thor, feeling quite claustrophobic in the tiny child’s room, I saw Thor’s arm ripped from his body. Strands of flesh snapped back into my eyes. Blood hit my eyeballs and the tip of my nose and smeared against my cheeks.  

Alex was pissing his pants. I could smell the urine in the air among the blood and the screams. I saw the dog’s head inside the window with a mouth like a vice. Even in the darkness, the teeth were white and phosphorus like a creature in a book I had read once. Teeth glowed in the dark, and eyes glowed blue-silver under the distant single street light up the street. I knew there had to be working electricity somewhere, and I knew I had to get somewhere I could call for help. Wars were deadly, but this was something entirely different. It became an art just to survive, as I now knew what I needed to do.

I saw Thor get yanked towards the window as one of the beasts pulled his body out the second-story window. I managed to pull him closer to me and Alex, hoping to help him from dying.

The beast slipped and fell from the second-story window. I managed to shut the window on a second hound as it leaped towards the window on the back of another dog. I heard it yelp as it, too, fell to the ground. Soon another hit the glass, and then another. I tried to manage Thor’s injuries as he bled all over me. Blood was everywhere, and I knew they were smelling it like a shark in deep black water.

I think I’d rather be with the sharks. I was trapped inside a tiny room with one bleeding man and another cowering next to me. I knew we had to act fast and smart if there was any chance of surviving this.

The door to the hallway seemed so close and so far away. I was afraid of what awaited us on the other side. Unless we moved now, we would never know. Chances were the dogs had not opened the door. They didn’t have digits like primates. I could hope anyway. 

I stepped in front of Thor and Alex and managed to get to the door. I stood there listening for any signs of the hounds from Hell on the other side. I cracked the door, holding it tight, ready to push it back quickly if needed. In the darkness, I felt my eyes begin to adjust somehow. I looked in the dark and could not see anything. I shut the door and grabbed Thor’s lantern. I found matches in his back pocket. He was slipping away quickly, and I feared he’d die on me. He was still bleeding profusely. I took a deep breath and laid him on the child-sized cot on the other side of the room. I pushed it back against the wall. I knew he was a lost cause. Even if I could get help, his chances of surviving even a day more were slim. I managed to whisper to Alex in broken German that we would try to return for him in the morning- in the daylight. Hoping it will be safer. 

Deep down, I knew he’d be dead by morning, but I didn’t need Alex to realize that and create more fear which would only be paralyzing right now. 

I looked again in the hall; there was nothing out there. I crept down the stairs with Alex close behind me. I felt suddenly like a babysitter of a very young child. Alex’s fear rendered him nearly useless. I understood, but being a soldier- at least for me- after being held captive for days- made me strong. I didn’t have the fear he did. I was used to not knowing what each day would bring. Life and Death were one and the same; I survived by thirst, drink, hunger, and whatever food afforded me. 

I took a deep breath and felt Alex up against my backside. I turned to him and told him to stay as we reached the bottom of the stairs. 

The front door was still closed and intact, barely. 

I opened the door slowly at first, and to my amazement, there were no dogs outside the tiny house. I shut the door, slowly locking it.  

I looked at Alex and motioned for him to check for additional supplies we could take with us. I found a few matches and another rifle near the fireplace. What a place to leave a gun. I looked for additional bullets. There was one bullet in a box near the gun on the brick lining the fireplace and nothing else. I figured that was better than nothing. 

Alex found a small pistol in an old coat and put it in his back pocket.

We looked outside the window, hoping not to be discovered. I knew, as a dog, they would smell us before we saw the beasts.

I tried explaining to Alex about the distant street light- electricity.

He nodded in understanding and then pointed to a box on the table with medical supplies. I looked at it, and he managed to take a few bandages out and things to fix a wound. I took a deep breath, and so did Alex. 

We both opened the front door to the tiny house, praying that the hounds would not hear us. The street was rubble, so I knew it was as good as Hell freezing over. 

As soon as I stepped out of the house and onto the gravel, I heard a yelp. They had heard us, and they knew we were coming. Now the only option was to work smarter. We couldn’t run on foot; we couldn’t outrun them. I only knew we needed to get to the lights.

In a panic, we set off. I managed to get as far as one house and found a door unlocking it. I snuck inside, and just as we both made it in the door, I saw the door we came out of crash open. I heard growling, and glass breaking and I could hear the sound of breaking bones. They had found Thor. I knew he was a goner, but I hoped he could make it after all. 

 We moved to the back of the house we had escaped into. We decided to hop from house to house on the way to where the electricity was so we could call for help. 

I turned off the lantern. Alex looked at me as if I had lost my mind. I shook my head so he knew the light being off was necessary.

I didn’t want them to see us inside the houses. We went towards the back of the house. There was one door that led to a back patio. This one was easy. There was a wall near the homes, and I figured we would get to the next house by each patio wall.

We got out of the back of the house and were on a good way of quickly getting in and out of each house so that the dogs didn’t get to us first. In one place, then another, out we went, the dogs were just behind us, then into another shelter using the neighborhood patio walls for the quickest way. 

As we got near the building with the light on, Alex fell onto one of the patios spraining his ankle. I helped him up all the while they were on us. I looked up to my shock and horror to see a pack of them scaling the rooftops of the buildings sniffing and searching.

Terrified, we managed to get to the end of the street. Under the street light, there was one building with a light on. We managed to get to the lighted building where we wanted to be. When we reached inside it, every light was on. There was even a radio on speaking in German. I grabbed the radio as Alex saw candy that had to be months old on a table near the radio.

I sat down, and just as I clicked the button to radio out to someone – anyone- the lights went out. 

I began to shake, looking at Alex. What was this?

I searched for a way to find out how to turn the electricity back on, but then I smelled them.

I heard the maniacal laughter again. I looked at Alex, who was mid-bite into a Belgium chocolate, when I saw his head detach from his body.

I felt the warmth of the blood hit my face. I was annoyed by the feeling as it tickled my skin, causing me to rub at it to instinctively take the tickle sensation away. 

I could only stare at them as they thirstily looked at me with wicked phosphorus grins. 

I knew now the light was the trap, and we had been the prey all along.

Smart doggies.

I accepted my fate standing there looking at the beasts waiting for the next paw to slash at my throat and begin to devour my loins.

Only that didn’t happen right away.

I saw them all stop eating and licking at Alex’s dead body and run down a long hallway.

Something was coming.

I blinked and blinked hard when I saw him.

The tallest wolf-dog appeared out of the shadows. It looked me directly in the eyes licking its blood-stained lips.

It approached me with its bright glowing eyes, and to my shock and bewilderment, it began to stand on both legs, an apex predator, to be sure.

Then it laughed.

I looked at him standing over me. It was taller than anything I had ever seen. Its eyes actually turned from blue to silver to gold. 

It strangely scratched the tuff of its hair and then looked me dead in the eyes.

I heard its voice, but I didn’t listen to it.

It spoke once again telepathically.

So we meet again as soldiers. 

I looked at its eyes and the way it stood. There was something oddly familiar about it. 

We are all soldiers here, just finding our way.

I didn’t understand as it approached me closer, eye to eye. I bellowed outwardly, shaking, and my feet wanted to run, but I stayed under its gaze.

How could something like this exist? 

Then I saw two more behind him, then three, then four, then too many to count all on hind legs. Watching me, waiting for my reaction. I gave them none. I knew they expected me to fight to the death, but I didn’t stand a chance. Instead, I closed my eyes and waited for death.

Yelping, whelping, and growling all met me as tears fell from my face. Then I felt it. 


I looked around as they seemed to retreat into the shadows.

The music started again on the radio, and all the lights came on.

What had just happened?

I was afraid to move.

I looked at the blood all over me, on the floor, the walls, and the pieces of flesh on the record player that was now spinning again. The air had grown calm, and the beasts seemed to disappear as the sun finally rose above the lost city. 

I took a deep breath, finally able to. I had held it in for far too long. Tears waited for me as I soon realized my life was being spared. 

I went to reach for the radio to call out to anyone, to let them know I was alive, when I saw it again.

Another trap! NO!

The evil dog bit at me and clawed at me. It came from under the desk where I was standing. 

My blood was now everywhere, the walls, the ceiling, the desk, and where I lay. I saw my comrade and his arm on the floor beside his eyeball. Alex’s brown eye met mine as I cried out in pain as this thing ate at my chest, then the beast from before appeared.

It saved me.

I had yet to learn why.

I only knew I woke up to a perfectly healed body. 

I was no longer in German territory. I saw the beast looking at me when I woke. 

I recognized him. He was the soldier who had shown me kindness.

What was he?

I looked down at my body; it was perfectly healed.

I was confused but glad to be alive.

It was a week before I finally found an army to help me. I was sent to the hospital and nursed back to health. I was later sent home to my family.

I hope whoever reads this will understand that war is terrible. It is a messy, dirty business. 

But so is genetics. While I knew inside I could never tell anyone what happened to me, I also could never be completely normal again. 

I knew there was something wrong with me when I finally returned home. I had to face that whatever that beast had done for me saved my life, but it also changed me.

I was never the same man. Even as I write this, my wife, children, and grandchildren can never know what I am or what I have done. 

I will die of old age soon. I just hope that the world can forgive me. 


I am only reading this story from my grandpa’s journal. I don’t know what happened to him. I don’t even understand what he’s done. But recently, I found that I have changed since his death. I now look in the mirror as a young man of twenty-seven, and I see something in my eyes. 

They look as though they are almost glowing back at me.

I am unsure if these things are hereditary, but a man who can be both man and beast is only a fable, right?

Please see these passages in my hopes of finding out what really happened to my grandfather after his stint in World War II. 

One can only hope to improve this world more than they left it, right? 

I recently sent a letter to a gentleman at Dulce Labs near the west coast who may have some answers for me. 

Pray that they do.


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