Over on my Patreon page I’ve been releasing an exclusive short story every month to five dollar and above backers.
This month marks the first appearance of Pulsa, the story of an ex-concentration camp guard who has left behind his sordid military career with a new family and life in Argentina, but who finds himself driven from his idyllic security by a series of bizarre, horrific events.
The story has its origins in the Pulsa di Nura curse, a sequence I had originally intended to include in my Merkabah Rider series, but which didn’t end up making the cut.
The Pulsa di Nura or ‘lashes of fire’ is a legendary Kabbalistic spell, in which the angels of destruction are invoked to block the remittance of an individual’s sin, thereby unleashing a series of terrible curses.
But the greatest horrors exist in the world which we inhabit.
Lager Sylt, the forced labor camp at Aldernay in the British Channel Islands, employed Jewish slave labor building gun emplacements and fortifications. Conditions for the laborers led to malnutrition and death, and the shortage of ammunition led the SS to execute prisoners by club, knife, and crucifixion.
Nicknamed the Isle of Silence due to the mostly unrecorded history of the place (all documents concerning what precisely went on there were burned with the installation itself before the islands were liberated by British forces), and the local government never commemorated it, though over 700 people are said to have died there.
A plaque was finally erected on the remains of the gate posts in 2008 by ex-inmates.
Here’s an excerpt –
It began with blood.
It came from the tap, gushing over the dinner plates in spurts, splashing Otto Hueber’s son Christian’s brown hands in crimson. Christian had always done the dishes with his mother. When she’d died two years ago, killed in a mudslide that caused her to flip their Baqueano six times on the way home from the market, Christian, then ten years old, had wordlessly assumed her duties around the house. That had been a relief at least, as his wife Iara had joked that Otto was like an elephant that had to be followed around and cleaned up after. He couldn’t help it. After he had left the military, his former discipline had slackened. He had foregone a great many of his youthful habits, even shaving off his previous meticulously groomed sun blonde hair out of ease. Iara and the warm Argentinian weather had perhaps mellowed his prior temperament, softened him. Hauptsturmfuhrer List would never recognize him now.
Otto thought little of the incident at first, assuming it was some peculiarity of the rural plumbing. Perhaps a pipe had burst somewhere and allowed red clay into the main. But no, in a panic, Christian had announced all the taps in the house were spewing the red stuff, and even the standing water in the toilet bowl was red.
When he poured from the pitcher on the table, even his drinking glass filled with blood.
It was blood. Otto knew that metallic smell all to well.
Had a nutria burrowed into a rust pipe and died somehow?
He went down to the river with a pail to fetch fresh water and found it flowing red, the banks choked with flopping trout and lananga, their gills flaring.
“I’m thirsty,” Christian said, as Otto shut out the lights that night. “Will there be water in the morning?”
“I don’t know,” he answered.
When he lay down in the big bedroom alone, he noticed an odd patch of puckered flesh had risen on his right forearm. It looked like a scar, as if a fanciful ‘X’ had been carved there.
Head over there and take a look –