Hello there! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Reinhardt Hitzlsperger, and I came from Dresden, Germany. Eleven years ago during my teenage years, I had a rather interesting experience that I will never forget in my entire life. The story starts in my school where I was a wimpy kid back then despite I modified my appearance trying to be like other cool kids. Back then I describe myself as having a medium height but scrawny body, a blonde messy spiky hairstyle, and for my outfit, I used to wear a red t-shirt with black sleeves, dark blue jeans, red and white sneakers and a chain necklace. I was frequently bullied by other kids due to my scaredy cat like attitude.
"Hey scaredy cat! How is it going?" asked a jock who used to bully me in the school hallway while I was checking my belongings in my own locker. I describe him as a muscular but unattractive person due to his freckles on his face, having a ginger buzz-cut hair, a green-and-white letterman jacket, light blue jeans and brown sneakers.
"Nothing much, please get out of my sight. I need more privacy." I politely asked him to go away. However, he refused.
"Gimme your lunch money! I need it to eat something." said the jock as he brought his lackeyes.
"You asked me for my lunch money again? Why don't you take someone else's lunch money? Right now I don't have enough." I replied angrily.
"Awww poor thing, I don't believe in you." the jock sarcastically mocked me.
"What do you want right now? Please give me some time to have a break."
"I refused to go because you're a liar. I know you hide your lunch money somewhere. Let's settle this mano-e-mano by playing arm wrestling."
"And if I refuse?"
"Then I will find your lunch money no matter what and took all of it while me and the boys broadcasting your top 10 most embarrassing moments that we recorded from our video recorder."
I initially refused his offer. However, I had no choice but to comply with his wishes because of the embarrassing moments that I had such as getting scared by a black cat, drowning in the swimming pool thanks to those ignorants pushing me, getting stripped half naked after I rejected the jock's offer from the previous time, and so on. Those moments were recorded by this buffoon and his cronies and he used it for threatening me. Not that my reputation was stellar or anything, but I hated to tarnish myself even further down to the abyss.
"Very well then, I will play your game. If I win, please let me have some privacy. But if I lose, you can have my lunch money all you want."
"Sounds like a fair deal, all right! Meet me at the cafeteria and we'll settle this mano-e-mano."
As I went into the school cafeteria, I complied to the jock's wishes by playing an arm-wrestling game with other people in the cafeteria watching the game, seemingly supporting the jock. However, I predictably lost to the jock because of my scrawny body.
"Ha! In your face loser! Now give me all of your lunch money as you promised."
After my lunch money was stolen thanks to that idiot jock, I ended up becoming penniless and hungry because I hadn't eaten anything yet. However, one kid decided to help me and listen to my plight while praising me for my efforts on the arm-wrestling match despite I lost at the end of the day. He was actually my childhood best friend, Heinrich. I describe him as an always cheerful fat kid wearing a red glasses, short blond buzz cut hair, a dark green shorts, a white and blue striped shirt and red and white sneakers. I always called him Heine as a nickname for him.
"Hey buddy!" said Heine as he waved his left hand. "Great job at trying to fight with those jocks."
"Thanks Heine. Sadly, I lost the bet which resulted in my lunch money getting taken away by those jocks." I replied with a sad tone on my face..
"Hey! Don't put that sad face. I'm going to turn that frown upside down by giving you my portion of my food." Heine smiled at me as he gave one of his food to me.
"Thanks Heine. You totally know my current feelings right now when I was in trouble. Let's eat together."
Now, Heine was one of the most fascinating guys I had come across in my entire life. He actually had an interest in some occult stuff, urban legends or either conspiracy theories. This was understandable as I knew that Heine's father was a renowned conspiracy theorist who worked as the curator of the Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister museum in which I sometimes visited along with my family in my spare time as my father worked there as a security guard.
While Heine was always chatting with me regarding the Urban Legend spread by the Dresden folks or making a conspiracy theory about the world around us, Heine's personal favorite conspiracy theory however, was about the infamous forest located in the eastern part of the city. The forest was infamous for the numerous cases of missing people. Heine always loved to make conspiracy theories about the incidents that happened in the forest frequent times which resulted in me sick of hearing it but I had no other choice but to hear it because I didn't want to hurt my friend's feelings.
As we began to eat together in the cafeteria with me sitting besides him, Heine then started talking to me. God, I hope it isn't about that forest again, I thought.
"Hey Buddy, just wanna ask something?" Heine looked at me while he ate his sandwich.
"What is it Heine?" I replied.
"Well, have you heard about new info regarding the missing people in the infamous forest located at the eastern part of Dresden? I heard that 4 teenagers went missing when they went camping in that cursed forest."
I figured, it's about that damn forest again.
"Well, you see. I think this is just like the infamous case that happened 4 years ago back in 2004 where a child of a famous actor went missing in that forest. Do you want me to talk about my own theories on what happened in that forest best buddy of mine?"
"S...Sure I guess? I would love to hear your theories regarding those missing people." I responded nervously.
"Really? Alright! Now, my first theory is that I think the 4 campers were murdered by a creature named The Crooked Man who is describe as a very tall creature with inhuman features such as sharp teeth, green skin, twisted neck and black aura that covers its body. He is notorious for brutally killing his victims in the most twisted way possible such as decapitating them or bending their necks so that they would just be like him."
I felt rather bored with the explanation given it was the same theory all over again. However, I asked another question for Heine to keep with the flow of the conversation.
"I see. Can I hear the other theories of yours?"
"Alright, my second theory is that the forest is actually a secret meeting for Germany's notorious political figures and these 4 campers discovered the dirty secret that these politicians had been hiding, so they ended up being kidnapped and had their memory wiped by the government and having them living as a different person."
"And what about the next theory?"
"I think my next theory is that the forest is inhabited by aliens. So as a result, the 4 campers ended up being kidnapped by them and were used as a test subject to study the lifeform of our planet..."
After hearing several theories from Heine, I fell asleep until he gave him the last theory in mind. Luckily, I woke up before the class started.
"Wake up buddy! The class is about to start in 5 minutes." Heine woke me up.
"Urrgghhh...How long was I asleep like this?"
"About 15 minutes." Heine replied.
"15 minutes! Sorry if I haven't heard all of your theories yet." I panically replied.
"That's okay buddy. Anyways, do you want to hear my last theory?"
"Uh sure, but make it quick or we will miss the class."
"Alright, let's talk in the hallway so that we could go to the class quickly."
"Okay then, let's go. We'll continue our conversation in the hallway."
As Heine and I walked across the hallway, Heine resumed our conversation regarding his conspiracy theories of what happened with the 4 campers that got lost in the infamous forest.
"Alright, continuing our conversation, I wanted to ask you something. Have you ever heard about Hansel and Gretel story?"
"Heard it? That story was frequently told by my mother during my bedtime. Why do you ask?"
"Well, here's my theory: I think those 4 campers were kidnapped by the evil witch from that story."
"Wait, didn't the story end up having Gretel killing the witch by pushing her into the oven?"
"Yes, but what if I told you that it was the spirit of the witch who kidnapped the 4 campers so that she could murder them and start a ritual so that she could have a new body again?"
Ghosts and spirits!? I hated these type of stories because of what happened to me 7 years ago. They were truly one of the banes of my existence along with that pathetic excuse of a jock. But since I was talking to Heine, I had no choice but to believe in him and make a rather stupid response about it.
"Well, I believe in you but… I'm sure ghosts and spirit didn't exist and that Witch from the story was punished in hell for what she had done."
"Hey! There's a term called vengeful spirit and they weren't accepted by heaven or hell so as a result, they were stuck in purgatory until the judgement day comes. I think the Witch is one of them as she needs to finish her own business in the world because why not?"
Oh right, I forgot about vengeful spirits. I had no choice but to trust him. I really hated hearing ghosts stories like this.
"Alright then, I trust you regarding your final theory. It's just a theory after all right?"
"Oh! Me and my father may create some bizarre or rather nonsensical conspiracy theories. But some of them had a chance to be real at the end of the day."
Oh right, I forgot that some conspiracy theories can end up being right at the end of the day and I remembered that Heine is the son of a renowned conspiracy theorist. Like father like son I guess?
When we tried to end our conversation and enter the respective classrooms, the jock who took my lunch money earlier and his own gang suddenly greeted me in the worst way possible.
"Oh lord, not him again. Please spare me some mercy so that I could not meet with this guy." I muttered.
"What's wrong pipsqueak?" The jock glanced towards me and my friend and cornered me by slamming his left hand on the lockers.
"What do you want? I already gave you my lunch money so please buzz off!"
"Oh nothing, I overheard your conversation with another dork regarding the cursed forest located in the eastern part of the city."
"Oh yeah, what about it then?" I replied.
"Oh you know scaredy cat, come to think of it, I heard that the forest truly had nasty rumors. I have a challenge for you."
"I'm sorry but I have to decline your challenge."
"Oh really scaredy cat? If you accept this challenge and win at the end, I will never bug you ever again. If you refused, then I will send the video regarding your embarrassing moments across the school and you will never sleep well ever again."
"Fine fine, I will comply with your wishes, what's your challenge then?" I asked the jock as I was getting annoyed by him frequently threatening me.
"Well, since you're a coward, I want to test your courage by having you stay in that infamous forest until dawn comes. If you survive, then I will never bug you again. Deal?"
From the moment he said that, I knew that he and his henchmen wanted to tarnish my reputation even further. I initially wanted to refuse his offer but given that I was threatened, I had no choice but to agree with his words.
"Alright then, challenge accepted. When can I meet with you guys then?"
"Meet me at that forest at midnight. Hopefully you won't crap your pants! Hahaha!" the jock smugly replied as he got to his own classroom.
After the class is finished, I went home with my bike and had dinner with my parents while we chatted together. We are a stereotypical middle class family. My mom, Lauretta, is a decent person who cares about my well-being and I describe her appearance as a slender woman having a shoulder length blonde curly hair, casual 1950s woman dress dyed in pink, a seafoam apron and headscarf and pink slippers. My pops, Ferdinand, is a strict person but truly cared about his family. I describe him as a middle aged man with a broom mustache, short brown hair, muscular body, circle sunglasses, a light brown security guard shirt, dark brown pants and black shoes.
"Hi son, how's your school today?" Asked my mom as she prepared our dinner.
"Nothing much mom, a couple of jocks threatened me again."
"Ouch, that's really awful regarding what happened to you. I hope you're okay." my mother replied as he patted my head.
"Son." My pops replied. "Given that you're always subjected to bullying, have you followed my advice on ignoring them so that they could go away?"
"I already did pops. But they still keep harassing me even if I ignore them."
"I see. I can't help you but I need to tell you this: You need to stand up for yourself, show that bully who's the boss." motivated my pops.
"But, I really lack confidence to stand up for myself due to the incident that happened 7 years ago that involves you and my friends."
"No buts kiddo! What happens in the past, happens in the past, you need to build your confidence and stand against those idiots."
"Pops, they used an embarrassing video about me as a weapon to threaten me so that I could comply to their own wishes. Right now they threatened me to do a courage test on the infamous forest located in the eastern part of the city."
"I see. Well, I'm definitely going to meet them and teach them a deserved lesson tomorrow because you were ordered to go to that accursed forest. As for you, ignore their wishes and go to sleep." said my pops.
"Very well pops."
I decided to ignore the ignorant jocks who had challenged me to do that stupid courage test in the forest back in school and follow my pops' orders by going to sleep instead. The next morning, I went to school as usual. Fortunately, I didn't see that idiot jock and his two henchmen. My school live continued normally. However, on the day after tomorrow, I ended up hearing several unsavory rumors regarding the forest again from the conversation between two girls who were actually my classmates, Hannah and Marianne, in the school's hallway.
"Hey Marianne! I heard that Ralf and his two henchmen went missing when tried to go to that infamous forest." said Hannah, the tall girl with blonde hair and a polkadot dress.
"Yeah Hannah, I wonder what made them do that?" Marianne - a medium height girl with a brown corduroy jacket, a blue shirt and long jeans - responded.
"I dunno, probably because he wants to bully other people again as usual to show that he's superior compared to other people besides him."
"Yeah, Ralf really has a nasty reputation with the nerds and wimps due to his tendency to harass them."
"Ah right! I remember that Ralf always targeted one person because he's being a wimp despite trying to be a cool kid adapting to a new environment."
"You mean Reinhardt, yeah. The guy's a wimp but he needs to stand up for himself."
"Hopefully he's gonna be okay though. Ralf is now gone from his life anyways after he and his henchmen went into that forest."
"Yeah, I think I'll agree with you that Reinhardt will have some tranquility after Ralf gone missing given that Reinhardt is always getting frequently bullied by Ralf."
I decided to ignore them while continuing my stroll at the hallway so that I could go home early as my class session was already over. I was glad to see that the bane of my existence had gone missing in the forest. I knew that the jock's parents were pretty much notable figures because his father was a rather famous movie director and his mother was a member of the City Council of Dresden and was pretty much an over-emotional diva who spoiled her son too much but I didn't really care anyways. Even then, that should have raised some awareness with the political figures of Dresden regarding the missing people in the forest. This truly gave me a similar vibes regarding the case that happened 4 years ago but I didn't really care that much about it anyway.
Meanwhile, as I continued my strolling, I bumped into Heine again. I greeted him so that I wouldn't be rude to my own friend.
"Hey Heine! How is it going?" I waved my right hand to my friend.
"It's been good! How about you buddy?"
"Fine, thanks. Anyways, I will go home now since my class session is over."
"Ah I see. Anyways bud, have you heard about the unsavory rumors regarding Ralf and his friends who went missing in the forest back then?"
"Ralf and his friends gone missing eh? Yeah, I heard about it, I'm glad that they're gone from the face of the earth. They're nothing but trouble anyway." I smirked as I held my hands behind my head.
"I see. Anyways, that rumor started when his mother freaked out at the TV due to his son's disappearance."
I figured that she definitely lost her mind because of her son's disappearance and also the fact that she was responsible for the rumors spreading across Dresden faster like a female rabbit giving birth to her children.
"Huh, interesting, I wonder how on earth his mother knew that he disappeared in that infamous forest?"
"Well, you know, he asked permission from his mother so that he and his friends can go to the infamous forest to camp there. His mother approved his wish to camp in that forest."
"So basically his mommy approved him going camping along with his friends in the infamous forest? I figured that he spoiled him rotten. Anyways, since I know that his mother is sometimes unstable and over-emotional, did she call Dresden's police force to conduct research in the forest?"
"Yes buddy! She did call the cops to conduct the research in that forest but unsurprisingly, some of them were missing. Only few were able to escape but despite they didn't find Ralf's body, they managed to find a video recorder belonged to is just like the case that happened 4 years ago where a child of a famous figure disappeared into the forest. Coincidence? I think not!"
Yeah, that was just like what happened 4 years ago. That incident became a massive trending topic back then because of not only the child that went missing but also several cops who investigated the forest. Though funnily enough, as time went by, people forget about that news. Some haven't even heard about it until now. Given that the jock was a son of a famous political figure, I wasn't surprised that this incident would definitely become booming in the headlines again.
"I see, so the video recorder is in the possession of the police then?"
"Affirmative my friend. Do you want to go to the police center to retrieve that evidence?"
"Uh, sure. But I don't care about finding Ralf anyways, that guy can go straight to hell where he belongs."
"No silly, we will try to retrieve that evidence so that we could uncover the mystery of the Dresden Forest."
"I see. The issue is, will the police officer give us the evidence that easily? They seem to be overprotective when it comes to guarding their evidence."
"Chill dude! Did you remember that your old man used to work with Dresden's police force back then before getting transferred as a museum guard? I'm sure that some officers will hear our request due to your father's connection with law enforcement."
That was true, my pops used to work at Law Enforcement before getting transferred as a museum guard when I was 9 years old due to the injury he received when he was trying to save me and my friends from that abandoned building. Ah yes, remembering that thing is a rather painful experience to have.
"You know what, maybe you're right. I'll stick with your plan then Heine."
"That's great! Now let's go to the police station shall we."
After our conversation ended, I decided that I would go along with Heine to the police station to retrieve the evidence that was left in the forest. I didn't really care about saving that jock or anything but I would follow what Heine wished to solve the mystery regarding what happened in the forest. As we arrived at the police station, we met one of the police in the receptionist room. She was a medium height lady with blonde ponytail hair, a standard police uniform and a police vest.
"Hello there kids! Do you have an appointment here?"
"Yeah, we need to meet one of the officers here who got involved in the investigation regarding that infamous forest." Heine replied.
"I see," said the Policewoman as she held her chin. "So you want to meet the police officers who investigate the forest?"
"Yes we do. We need to talk to the officer who got involved in that investigation to solve the mystery of what happened in the forest." I replied politely.
"I'm sorry kids." The policewoman replied. "But, have you heard the news? A lot of officers from our force went missing during the investigation in that cursed forest. This didn't happen for the first time in history as we're experiencing the same case on what happened back then in 2004. The rest of the police who survived the incident are having a mental breakdown after escaping the forest."
"I see…" I replied to the policewoman before getting interrupted as Heine whispered to me about something.
"Hey buddy, shouldn't you convince the policewoman that you're the son of a former police officer."
"Ah yeah, thanks for reminding me Heine!"
"So kids, what are you talking about right now?" the Policewoman wondered as she overheard our conversation.
"Oh nothing ma'am! However, we have a question for you. Do you know a former cop who used to work here by the name of Ferdinand Hitzlsperger?"
"Ah! I remember that person. Before I was here, my boss told me how wonderful he was because of his contribution to the police force and I was truly impressed by his achievements. Sadly, he isn't here anymore as I heard from other cops that he hung up his badge due to the massive injury he received when he was working."
"I see, what if I told you I was his son?"
"Wait? Are you his son!?" the policewoman replied, startled.
"Yes ma'am. I'm his son"
"Ah! I'm glad that I met the relative of one of the greatest police officers of the Dresden Police Force. How's your father doing right now?"
"He's fine. He's happy with his new job and tried his best to keep a stable income for our family to survive."
"I see. Well, can you say hello from me to your father or at least get me a picture of him. I will do anything if you do this little request for me."
"Anything?" Heine and I replied with a smug face.
"Yes, anything really."
"Alrighty, will you please arrange the meeting between us and one of the police officers who got involved in the investigation of the forest?"
"Sure. But unfortunately, he isn't here right now."
"Where on earth is this police officer now?" I asked.
"Well, I think he suffered a mental breakdown after the investigation that the other officers including him conducted yesterday. However, I can give you the address on where he lives."
"Thank you ma'am! We appreciate your cooperation" Heine replied before I speak.
Fortunately, the policewoman who was guarding the receptionist desk was willing to cooperate with us by giving the address of one of the police that was involved in the investigation. It was revealed that the police officer in question lived in an apartment in the northern district of the town so Heine and I went there with our bikes. As we arrived in the apartment, we met the landlord of the apartment in a rather messy receptionist room at best. I describe him as a rather pudgy old man wearing a flat cap, green vest with white shirt underneath, grey pants and brown shoes.
"Hi sir!" Heine greeted the old man.
"What do you want young kids? Can't you see I'm busy," the Old Man crankily replied as he read his newspaper as he solves his crossword puzzle.
"Can we please meet with one of the tenants who lives here?" I asked.
"Which one do you want to meet then?" the old man snarkily replied
"He's a police officer who works in Dresden Police Force sir. Does the name Rudolf Heusmann ring a bell?"
"Rudolf Whatshisname?" The old man rubbed his cheeks. "Ah! Now I remember that goddamn douche! It's payment time and I haven't seen him in the morning. He lives at Room 2201 in the second room."
"Thanks mister for the information!" Me and Heine both replied.
"Happy now? Now get out of my sight and let me finish my puzzle!" The old man shooed us.
Well that was pretty rude, wasn't it. Regardless, Heine and I went to the location the old man mentioned. When we arrived in the aforementioned location, we were suddenly faced with a big problem.
"Heine…" I said as I attempted to open the door.
"What is it buddy?"
"I think the door is locked."
"Yes, I attempt to open the door but it won't budge."
"Well, we need to ask the old man downstairs then?"
"Negative. I think he will react with hostile way if we bother him with his crossword puzzle. Didn't you see his reactions on us when we bothered him?"
"Yeah, I think you're right. That and the old man doesn't even bother to explore this part of apartment anyway and just minding his own business."
"Anyways, you got any idea to budge this door Heine?"
"Hmmmm...I have no idea about it. Sorry bud."
After several minutes passed, suddenly we came with an idea on how to open the door.
"Ah! Now I remember. I think we can use another tool for lock opener like safety pin for example."
"You're right buddy! Why haven't we thought about this before?"
"I'll admit, I'm really crappy when it comes to open doors with tools like that, but I guess I'll try my best to do this technique because my father used to do it when it comes to unlock something."
"I see. Anyways, do you have any safety pins for us to use?"
"Sadly no. But I recall that you brought several paper clips in your bag."
"Oh right! I did brought up several paper clips to keep my notes tidy. Thanks for reminding."
"Anyways, can we use your paper clips to unlock this door?"
"Sure buddy! Here, have two of them."
"Alrighty, you got any pliers?"
"Sadly no buddy."
"Oh well, I guess I'll try my best to make a lockpick with these two paperclips."
Despite my poor skills, I finally managed to create a lockpick with two paper clips despite the fact that I didn't have any pliers. After that, I managed to unlock the door, even if it was a rather difficult task to deal with due to the complicated mechanism as it took us 2 hours to open this door due to the paperclip frequently breaking when opening the door.
"Finally Heine! We managed to open this goddamn door. Sorry if I broke several of your paperclips Heine. It's a necessary sacrifice!"
"Yay! And it's okay, I have a lot in my home."
As we explored the room where the policeman stayed, it was dark at first until Heine found a switch. However, as we turned on the lights of the room, we saw the room was completely messy as if a burglar was trying to ransack the place.
"Wow, this room looks like a shipwreck right Heine?"
"Yeah. Anyways, shall we continue our investigation buddy?"
"Sure! Let's continue our investigation regardless."
As Heine investigated the living room and went through a pile of useless junk scattered on the table, he found something interesting.
"Look what I found buddy!"
"What is it Heine?"
"A written note about something."
"Alright, let me try to read the note that you found Heine. I'm coming right there."
As we read the note that Heine found, we were disturbed after we read the contents of the note. It looked like a suicide letter as the contents looked like this:
"I'm sorry my friends for living you in that accursed forest. I don't even know what's going on. I don't want to be here but due to the fact that this is our job to find the missing person because he's the goddamn son of the famous politician. It was a big mistake on our part by taking that risky mission because of what happened back then in 2004. Now I know what happened when I investigate this accursed my forest. I discovered your bodies getting mauled by an unknown creature until I meet him. It was… a rather unnerving creature...with a nefarious smile that shows his sharp teeth, green skin and twisted neck. This creature is after me...It's after my life. I ran away from that creature as far as possible with a video recorder that we found in the forest. I decided not to go back to that cursed forest again and I should bring that evidence to the police station tomorrow. But...That creature is after me...He's trying to get me! I can't sleep because that cursed creature! He's always coming in my dreams! I'm sorry my friends. I didn't want to leave you...I know we should never take this job anyways and this is the result...I have no choice but to end my suffering to atone for my sins...FORGIVE ME FORGIVE ME FORGIVE ME FORGIVE ME FORGIVE ME FORGIVE ME FORGIVE ME…."
The rest of the note was filled with "forgive me" in all-caps that filled half the page.
"What just happened? I feel creeped out with this note Heine."
"Yeah, me too. I think one of my theories were proven right. There is the Crooked Man after all."
"Anyways, since the mystery is solved, why not we just go home Heine?"
"I think you can go home alone now. But...I think there's more than meets the eye buddy. I'm going to investigate this a bit further to confirm my impression. Let's take that video recorder that the police officer took during the investigation in that infamous forest."
"But, I don't think it's a good idea to meddle with people's stuff even further."
"Well, the damage has been done since we already meddle with his stuff by trying to meet him until we found his note. So there's no going back buddy."
"I guess you're right. Very well then, we'll continue our investigation."
"Anyways, have you checked all of the rooms regarding the video recorder yet?"
"I guess. But I haven't found a video recorder that the police carried yet."
"Wait a minute! Now I remember that there is one room that we haven't investigated yet and it's locked shut."
"I see. So we need to open the locked door I guess?"
"Maybe. But I don't think we have any paperclip anymore to open the door."
"Well, guess what, I found more paper clips in that bulletin board that we found in the living room. Maybe that could be useful."
"You're a genius Heine! Let's open the door and get out of here."
As we made a lockpick from the paperclip we found in the messy living room, I used my skills again to open the locked door. When we managed to open it, the room was pitch dark despite the time being around afternoon.
"Heine, the room seems to be pitch dark. Can you find the switch? I'm not going in there."
As Heine entered the room and turned out the lights, I waited by leaning against the wall besides the room's door.
"Ah! I actually saw the video recorder in the desk. May I take it?"
"Make it quick Heine as we need to go home fast!"
However, when I walked into the room which was revealed to be the bedroom of the police officer to check Heine's progress, we found a rather shocking revelation.
"Hey buddy! I got the video recorder from the desk. Now we can go ho...What's wrong buddy, you look rather pale."
"A...A...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" I freaked out as I let a loud scream.
Yes, we ended up finding a man who hung himself from a ceiling fan. We went out of the apartment shortly after that while the corpse of the police officer who committed suicide were brought by the paramedics as the police investigated the crime scene.
"You meddling kids...NEVER COME BACK AT MY TURF EVER AGAIN!" The old man angrily replied as he slammed the door of the apartment.
"Sorry Heine due to the freakout that I had back then." I scratched my head in embarrassment.
"That's okay, at least we got what we're looking for. I'll also say may the cop's soul rest in peace. He shouldn't deserve this."
"Yeah, I hope he will go into heaven for all the deeds that he had done when he was alive."
"Son!" Greeted my father as he found us while riding his motorcycle. "I finally found you. I've been searching for you from 2pm and wondering where have you been this afternoon. Also, what's with all the police officers and paramedics surrounding that building?"
"Erm...It's nothing pops. Sorry if I didn't come home earlier."
"You better be young man! Your mother is worried sick about you and asks where did you go. As it turns out, you were hanging out with your friend all along."
"Yeah pops, I'm sorry that I didn't tell you earlier. I promise that I will ask permission when going out with my friend."
"You better be son! Now, I have a question, what's with all the cops and paramedics surrounding that building." asked my pops as he touched my shoulder.
"I...Uh...It was an accident I swear!" I replied nervously.
"Yes, I can vouch what happened, Reinhardt did nothing wrong Mr. Hitzlsperger, it should be my fault on getting Reinhardt into this mess." Heine defended me from trouble.
"Settle down boys. Now, please explain what happened in there."
"Uhhhh...Pops, do you know a man named Rudolf Heusmann?" I replied
"Ah! Rudolf, he's an old friend of mine when we're at police force together. You visited his home? What happened to him?"
"Ummmm pops, you may feel uncomfortable while hearing this but…"
"We did nothing wrong Mr. Hitzlsperger! We just want to visit his home and asked for something but Mr. Heusmann didn't answer, so we have no choice but to sneak into his apartment and what we found was horrifying. Mr. Heusmann died."
"It wasn't our fault! We didn't expect that he hung himself. Sorry if we snooped in other people's houses without asking permission first. We won't do it ever again. Please don't punish me and Heine." I cried after this.
"I see. Since I heard the full story, and since I know that you're the type who are truly scared of something spooky son, I'll believe in your story and I don't blame what happened as I mourned his loss too. However, let this be a lesson to not snooping on people's houses again otherwise there will be grave consequences."
"Very well pops, I promise to never snoop people's houses again."
"Now let's go home son, your mother has been worried sick about you!"
"Can I brought Heine to our home? There's something we need to discuss."
"Alright my son. If that's what you want. Heinrich, do you want to be invited for our dinner?"
"Why yes, thank you! I kindly accept your offer Mr. Hitzlsperger."
After the conversation, my father, Heine and I safely went home, and I met my own mother in the living room of our house, hugging me.
"Son! Where have you been? I was worried about you!" My mother cried.
"It's okay mom, I'm safe, sorry if I didn't tell where have I been earlier."
"Please tell me if you're going somewhere. I was worried you know."
"Yes mom, I promise that I will tell you where am I going in later future. Anyways, my friend is coming here for a visit."
"Ah! You brought your friend to our home? Sure, bring him here since I'm currently preparing dinner for you all."
"Alright mom. I'll bring my friend here."
As I brought Heine into the dining room, me, my parents and Heine eating Schnitzel together for dinner. After I finished my dinner, Heine and I prepared to go upstairs to my room while asking permission for my mom first.
"Mom! Can Heine and I go upstairs for studying together? I already finished eating my Schnitzel." I yelled while my mom was washing the dishes after dinner was done.
"Sure, since you finished your dinner along with your friend, I guess you could go upstairs for studying."
After the conversation, Heine and I went into my own bedroom, sitting on my bed, while checking the evidence that we found in the apartment that we explored earlier.
"Alright Heine, so we need to check the video recorder that we found in the apartment then?"
"Of course buddy! That and we need to check the letter that we found to solve the mystery of the forest once and for all."
As we check the video recorder, I initially sighed a bit because I saw the bane of my existence again with his two lackeyes, the twins who wore purple and white letterman jacket. They were standing in front of a wired fence with huge hole as behind that fence lay the infamous forest.
"I'm bored! Seems that the scaredy cat won't come to the forest right now."
"Yeah boss. Can we go home now? This forest gives me the creeps."
"Eh, I guess. You know the drill when the scaredy cat doesn't come. We'll send that embarrassing video when we go back to school in the morning so that we could laugh and loud on his cowardice hehe!"
"Yes boss! We're going to get a jackpot in the morning when we sent that video. Haha!"
"Hell yeah! We're going to sit back and laugh at what we had done to that idiot who refused to give me a lunch money."
"Speaking of which. Ummm...Boss, I want to tell you something."
"Yes, make it quick idiot, we need to go home faster, this forest starts giving me the creeps."
"Can I take a pee?"
"Ugh… I hate to stay in this forest a little bit longer but sure, make it quick."
"Okay boss! I'll be as fast as I can."
As one of the twins went into the forest doing his business, the video recorder lasted until 15 minutes. I was surprised that idiot hadn't forgotten to turn off the video recorder yet.
"Hey, I have a question, what took your brother so long on just peeing?"
"I don't know what took him so long on peeing boss, he used to finish his own activities faster like a lightning."
"Sigh...I know letting him traversing through the forest alone just for peeing is a bad idea. Very well, let's try and find him."
"Okay boss! Let's find my lost brother"
After the conversation in the video, the two idiots then explored through the forest so that they could find their missing companion.
"Boss, this place gives me the creeps."
"I know that. I also hate this place. But we have no choice but to explore through to the forest to find your idiot brother."
"Hey! My brother isn't an idiot you know."
"HOO!" Suddenly, the sound of an owl hooting began to startle the jocks.
"What on earth was that!?"
"Relax, it's just an owl. I mean, it's not like a monster that will attack us right?"
"Right, that makes sense."
As they explored deeper through the forest, there was no sign of their missing companion, just a dark forest that gives a rather ominous aura.
"Boss, I don't think I want to be here anymore. This place gives me bad vibes."
"I'm in the same boat as you but since it's your brother's fault that we're stranded in this forest, we have no choice but to find your idiot brother."
"Very well then boss."
Suddenly, the jocks saw a bush start to shake.
"Oh dear god! What was that boss!?" said the jock with the purple jacket as he hugged his boss.
"Please don't hug me, it's just a bush. Nothing more nothing less. You are no better than that scaredy cat."
Suddenly, the jocks heard the sound of a wolf growling. The sound was rather unnatural as the wolf sounded rather demonic.
"Oh dear god boss! Let's get out of here! I don't want to stay here any longer."
"Yea, I think it's safe to say that we need to get out of this forest."
The wolf then appeared in front of the jocks. I was frightened when I saw the wolf as it had four red eyes, and its face almost looked like a demon incarnate due to its deformed characteristic and said wolf had six legs rather than four and a black fur.
"Holy hell! What is that creature? We better run! Hurry!" said the jock in purple jacket.
"I agree with you, before that thing catches us, we better RUN!"
Despite the bullies' attempt to run from that wolf like creature, it managed to catch them due to its otherwordly speed.
"Oh scheisse! That creature is fast. NOW WE RUN THE OTHER WAY!"
Despite their effort to escape that creature, it was a futile attempt as no matter where they went, the demonic creature managed to find them faster like a lightning.
"I guess this is the end boss…" said the jock with purple jacket as he hugged his boss while the wolf-like creature attempted to mangle them and eat them.
"Not if I can help it!" The bane of my existence then kicked the jock with the purple jacket's face and managed to run away.
"Boss, don't leave me boss...BOSS!" screamed the jock with the purple jacket as he was about to be mangled to death.
"Heh, finally, now I can escape home freely."
Suddenly, several glowing eyes began to appear in the dark forest.
"Oh scheisse! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
That was the last time we saw the bane of my existence before he dropped his video recorder to the ground. While I was apathetic to their deaths, I shivered after seeing what happened in the camera.
"See! I told you that there's more than meets the eye for this accursed forest. This sounds rather different compared to the letter that we found in the apartment."
"Ummmm y...yeah…" I stuttered because I was still scared after watching that video.
"Hey! I've got a better idea, how about we investigate this forest so that we could find the source causing it and end the curse once and for all?"
Suddenly, I felt shocked and appalled after hearing Heine's idea. Who would have thought this is a good idea to begin with after seeing that video?
"Hey buddy, are you okay? You look so pale." Heine said, concerned.
"Heine, I really want to be honest with you..."
"Yes, what is it?"
"Given what we had seen in the video recorder, I think it's a bad idea to travel through that forest. Sure, I'm apathetic to those jocks deaths, but even then, I'm really scared of what will happen to us in the future."
"Come on buddy, don't be scared. Don't you want to miss this one in a lifetime opportunity? We're going to be heroes after we solve what happened in the forest." Heine persuaded.
"I wouldn't want to miss this opportunity but I think it's still risky and I don't want to get involved with this."
"Hey! Even the best people took some risks to become successful in their prime you know. I don't see any difference here."
"It's true on what you said. But not all risks could have some payoffs and if we don't pull our cards right, it could cost us in the long run."
"Buddy, I know not all risks will have its payoffs and could cost us in the long run. But I was born to take those risks and solve the mystery of what happened to this accursed forest. You don't want to become a famous hero don't you?"
"Yes but when you have a goal with higher risk like this, then it's time for me to step off from your insane plan that could endanger both of us."
"Buddy, listen to me, not all of the risks that we will take are all that bad. In the meantime, you're trying to lock yourself up in your personal safe space. Just an advice from mine: You need to get out from your safe space, buddy, as I'm going to be realistic here: When you have a job, you know that you need to take some risks to succeed."
"No Heine! I didn't want to join this mumbo jumbo because not only am I concerned about our well-being, it's also because you're my only friend and you understand my circumstances on not going to this forest. I don't want similar things that happened 7 years ago getting repeated again. Didn't you remember the story of my dark past that I always told you?"
"You know what, I want to tell you this: You need to move on from your past, it's always preventing you from moving on to become a successful person. You want to die as a hero or you want to live yourself as a nobody? Because I'd choose the former and I'll accept any risks that it takes."
"I'm seriously concerned about your well-being and I don't want you to get hurt because of the insane risks that we take when we go to the forest. But if that's what you want, then so be it."
"No, I'm still considering on taking you to the forest not because I hate you. It's because I want you to man-up! I don't want to see you as a wimp anymore! I want you to become a better person Reinhardt! Not all life is surrounded by sunshine and rainbows.
"Then I refuse your offer and keep myself safe from harm's way."
"Alright buddy, I'm not going to force you then. If you want to stay as a wimp? Then so be it. I won't mind if you change your mind but I'll accept my fate if I failed to uncover what happened in that forest. I would rather die as a hero rather than living as being a nobody."
"Fine, if you manage to make out alive, good for you. I want to stay out from this mumbo jumbo as much as possible."
"In that case, we're not going to talk again after I safely return to that forest. You need to reflect yourself buddy. You're a wimp who never takes any risks in his lifetime."
"Well you're a stubborn person who ignores other people's pleas and wants to slake your own selfish desires so that you could be the "hero" of your own story. Please listen to me Heine, I'm serious that I didn't want you to get hurt, just like my father and my friends 7 years ago."
"Oh, if that's what you perceive me as? Then so be it. I still think you need to reflect on yourself in the mirror. Especially when you're calling me selfish and stubborn while in reality, your words also apply to yourself. A guy who never moves on from his own past."
"If that's the thing that made me safe, then so be it! I don't think we're friends anymore."
"Very well then, don't regret it if I return from the forest alive and manage to find the source of the problem. I don't consider yourself your friend anymore unless if you reflect on yourself and come out from your safe space."
After this debacle, Heine left my home in anger and this was truly the last time I've ever seen him again. It truly left me with a bitter note and I wanted to apologize to Heine for what happened. Unfortunately, 3 days after the incident, I heard a rather unsavory rumor from Hannah and Marianne about Heine.
"Hey, do you know that the son of a conspiracy theorist and Reinhardt's best friend, Heinrich Muller, is absent from the school for 3 days straight?"
"Yeah, I'll bet it's the cursed forest again that swallows the people. I mean, this is the same forest that made Ralf and his cronies went missing without a trace."
"Oh yes you're right! I have a feeling that the mystery of the forest excited him given he's the son of conspiracy theorist after all."
"I actually kind of agree with your point."
So it was true then, Heine had kept his promise by going to the forest without ever coming back. I decided to greet the students who were talking about the rumors regarding Heine.
"Excuse me Hannah, Marianne, may I ask a question?" I interrupted their chat.
"Oh hi Reinhardt! So you want to ask a question? Ask away!" Hannah responded.
"Well, I wanted to ask on how did you two know if Heine went missing in the forest?"
"Ummmm Reinhardt..." Marianne responded "You haven't check news aren't you?"
"Sadly I haven't. Sorry about it. News channels don't interest me that much."
"I see. Next time, you may want to check the news for more information. That's how we got the rumors from and I also know that your friend is obsessed with the infamous forest that we're assuming Heine went missing over there." Marianne responded as she gave me advice.
"I seconded on what Marianne has said."
"I see...Sorry to interrupt your chat girls. Thanks for giving me information."
"No problem Reinhardt." the two girls responded as I bid farewell towards them and went home with my bike.
As I went home, I went to my bedroom, lying down on the bed and thinking about what happened to Heine. I began to contemplate and feel bad about him and his father who was probably worried about his son's disappearance. I originally wanted to ask my father, but it was for the best not to ask him because he was definitely not going to know what I was going to talk about.
Heine was right. I never moved on from my own horrific past and also pointed out why I was such a coward who would never move on. Maybe in reality, Heine seriously wanted me to stand up for myself so that I could be a better person in the future instead of relying too much on other people. However, my final conversation with him just shattered our relationship even further.
Thinking about Heine made me haunted by my own past again. I usually listened to Kraftwerk songs especially my favorite song, "The Robots", via my walkman for meditation reasons. But at that time, it didn't work for me at all because of my concerns about what was going to happen with Heine and my past still haunting me until I was able to overcome it.
Do you want to hear my story on why I became such a coward during my teenage years? Well, it happened when I was 9 years old when I played football with my friend near a decrepit building. I know this is a bad idea to begin with but my friends insisted me to do so because all of the football fields were occupied by other people and my friends wanted to have some adrenaline when playing this sport.
Don't get me wrong, I love football and I always thought on myself that I wanted to be a great footballer in the future on the likes of Gerd Muller, Joachim Streich or even Franz Beckenbauer. It's a very good time for me reminiscing about young me becoming the greatest footballer in the world when I was young. However, those times ended when I accidentally kicked the ball through a very high window from that decrepit building.
"Wow! That was a nice kick Reinhardt! But how we should play football right now? We only have that ball."
"Sorry guys. But I'm not sure if I want to take that ball that I kicked. That building is scary."
"Well, since you're the one that kicked the ball, you are responsible for it. Not us. We won't continue to play football if you don't take it."
"Very well then. I'll take the ball that I kicked."
"Thanks Reinhardt! We appreciate your courage on taking that ball!"
I initially refused at first because the abandoned building itself was pretty notorious due to it being the slaughterhouse during the communist regime. While not as scary as the rumors that happened in that accursed forest, it was still frightening as the building itself was rumored to be haunted by ghostly shrieks or wails. I had no choice but to explore this slaughterhouse because it was my responsibility after kicking that ball. Before I got in, one of my friends gave me a flashlight to explore the slaughterhouse.
As I went inside this building, I noticed that some of the infrastructure and the furniture inside the building were dilapidated like a huge shipwreck. I also saw several amateurish graffitis that decorated the wall. The building itself had no lights as the lamps were broken in the building. It was understandable as the building itself was abandoned after the fall of the Berlin Wall in which the two German states were reunited with each other.
As I travelled deeper through the building, I heard several ghostly shrieks and wails that scared me.
"What on earth was that!?" I exclaimed, startled.
As the wail began to sound louder and louder, I began to run away to the second floor and tried to hide myself to save my life. Unfortunately, most of the iron doors in the building were locked with the exception of one door. It was an abandoned bedroom of the innocent bystanders who got detained during the communist regime. Much like the building itself, the bedroom itself looked dilapidated as there were so many bunker beds that didn't age well or were thrashed by someone else.
Luckily I hadn't seen any dead bodies there. However, I found a jackpot, a soccer ball that I accidentally kicked from there and a broken window. However, I was unable to get out even with crates that were scattered through there because the window was very high. As I attempted to take the ball, I attempted to get out of the haunted place but I kept hearing the ghostly wails and shrieks all over again which made me run away through the door at the left side of the bedroom.
After I ran to the door on the left side of the bedroom, I was surprised that I found out it wasn't locked. However, what I found out was horrifying: It was revealed that the room that was beside the bedroom was actually a torture chamber and I accidentally found 4 hanging corpses which already became skeletons in front of me.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" I let out a loud scream before running away from the scene. Unfortunately, when I ran away from that room, I bumped into someone which made me unconscious.
"Owwww…" As I woke up, I noticed that I was tied up in a chair at the torture chamber and I noticed three suspicious men in long coats and mafia hats in front of me.
"Hey kid, you awake?" said the man with brown coat and hat and sunglasses as he grabbed my head and punched me in the face. He was revealed to be the leader of those three suspicious men.
"Awwww! W...Where am I?"
"You're in our turf kid, you and your friends sneak to our turf without warning to play soccer and that pisses me off!" he responded as he punched my face again.
"M...My friends, where are they!?" I panicked.
"Take a look in front of you." said the guy as he showed me my five other friends being bound and gagged while the other two men held guns to their heads.
"Nooooo! Let go of my friends you demon!" I screamed but the guy in front of me fired his handgun to the ground to make us quiet.
"Be quiet you insolent brats! And I thought our turf won't have any intruders as we use a voice recorder to make false rumors about ghosts to scare any intruders of our turf away. But I guess I was wrong."
"Y...You made those ghostly sounds that scared me to no end?"
"Hehehe yes. It's so that you idiots won't discover our secret."
"It's about what we're gonna do with Berlin boss!" said one of the henchmen who wore a grey coat as he spoke about their plans.
"Be quiet you idiot! You're nearly spilled the beans about our plan to these brats." the leader then punched the henchman until he got wounded.
"Owwww! Sorry boss."
"W...What will you gonna do to Berlin?"
"Not of your business brat. However, perhaps I might find some use for you brats after all! Starting with you." The boss pointed at me.
"W...What are you're going to do with me? A...Are you going to torture me?" I shivered.
"Be quiet!" shouted the man.
"Now follow my orders otherwise your friends here will be killed by my men: Please tell me the telephone number of your parents."
"P...Phone number of my parents!? No, I won't tell you!"
"You won't tell me huh? Well I'm going to make you talk. Boys! Shoot this brat's friends to teach him a lesson!"
"Right away boss!" the two henchmen responded as they attempted to pull the trigger but fortunately, they were stopped by my screaming and whining.
"No! Please no! They haven't done anything! Please! I beg of you to spare them!" I cried.
"Then tell me your parent's telephone number or you will be spared brat!"
"But you won't get anything from it. You will have nothing but bad luck when you called my parent's phone number."
"I don't care brat! Just give me the phone number otherwise your friends will suffer." forced the boss as he punched me hardly. "Boys! Aim the gun on this brat's friend so that we could make a good example."
"Alright! Alright! It's 687-654-732! Can you free my friend now? They didn't do anything wrong." I pleaded and cried to those criminals.
"Soon brat, soon." the leader then grinned as he used his cellphone to call my father.
"Hello, my name is not important. What important is we got your kid and his friends. You better give us a huge sum of money around 5.000 Deustche Mark. You have 24 hours to do so and don't call any outside help or law enforcement otherwise we will kill your kid and his friends."
After the conversation stopped, the leader of the gang threatened my friends to give their parent's phone number too. He called their respective parents and after that debacle, he gave a chortle as he rubbed his hands like a Saturday Morning Cartoon villain.
"Nyehehehe...Our plan is complete. Once we got that money from these brats' parents, we will able to buy the final bomb so that we could detonate all of the landmarks in Berlin to dethrone that idiotic president and chancellor. Once we're done, the communist regime will reign supreme again!"
"Y...You took us hostage so that you could destroy the beautiful landmarks of Berlin just you don't like the new regime!? Why? There's a lot of innocents that will visit those beautiful landmarks or work at it and they had nothing to do with it."
"Maybe so. But we lost our jobs ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the unification of Germany and I hate it!"
"You could search for some new jobs instead of resorting on bombing all of Berlin landmarks that were visited by other people."
"Heh, I don't care about those jobs, they seem weak to me. A necessary sacrifice is needed to restore the regime and once I got my old job, I show these idiots how wrong they are for accepting the unification with the West Germany."
"So you prefer to have your old job because of your seething hatred of the unification with West Germany!?"
"Absolutely! The Westerners are nothing but a stain to our beautiful country!
"Y...YOU MONSTER!" I heavily retorted.
"Anyways, Since I already told you and your friends about our secret plan and you're talking too much, I have no choice but to kill you and your friends."
As the three evil guys tried to eliminate us while my friends and I were crying for help, my dad managed to come in time and tried to rescue me.
"PUT YOUR HANDS UP AND DON'T MAKE ANY MOVE!" Shouted my dad as he aimed his handgun towards those criminals.
"Oh crap, this brat's father is a police officer!? I should be careful with what I'm dealing with next time." the leader then panicked.
"Never! You see what will happen to these kids? Hand over your money or the brats will die in a few seconds!" said the leader as he refused to surrender while ordering his henchmen to shoot my friends.
"Alright, here's the briefcase. Now, will you release the hostages peacefully?" ordered my pops as he threw the briefcase to the criminals.
"Heh, thanks for the money. But since you're an idiot police officer, I'm gonna kill these children anyway and you too because you're meddling with my plans."
The leader of the criminals then prepared to shoot me and my friends after my dad gave him the briefcase. I was scared at first. However, my dad managed to stop the three evil guys by disarming his henchmen's weapon by shooting their arms, and he wrestled against the leader to save us.
"You won't get away with this you evil bastard! You will be brought to justice!" said my pops as he wrestled with the leader of the criminals.
"Heh! As if!" the leader tauntingly exclaimed as he kicked my pops in the stomach.
After the long fight, my pops managed to subdue the leader and handcuff him and his henchmen.
"I...I refused to lose. Fine, if that's the case, I will blow up this place to the ground along with all of you!"
"That includes us boss!?" startled the two henchmen.
"Yes, it includes you two incompetent idiots!"
The leader then tried to activate the bomb via the remote controller he had been hiding.
"Hehahahahaha! Now prepare to die all of you!" Grinned the leader as he activated the remote controller.
As the bomb activated, my pops quickly tried to unbind me and my friends as we tried to escape quickly from the building along with the arrested criminals. Unfortunately, when we tried to run from the bomb, one of my friends accidentally fell down and despite my pops attempt to save him, both he and my friend were caught in the explosion.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" I sat outside the building crying as I thought my pops was caught in the explosion. However, my dad miraculously survived the explosion.
"Oww. That hurts badly!"
"Dad! Are you okay?" I came running to my dad while crying and tried to save him from the building rubble by getting rid of the rubble and pulling him out from it even though I wasn't that strong.
"Son, is that you? I'm glad that you're safe!" My dad ask while critically wounded.
"Yes, it's me dad! I'm sorry if I ignored your warnings for playing in dangerous areas with my friends, I have no choice." I cried as I hugged my father.
"That's okay son. Please don't do that ever again! So long as you're safe, I'm okay with it. I'm sorry if I can't save your friend."
As paramedics came into the scene, my pops, the other survivors and I were saved although some of the other survivors are permanently scarred until this day. It was soon revealed that the leader of the criminal who took me and my friend hostage was a former member of the Stasi named Joachim Dirlewanger. He was notorious for brutally torturing the dissidents of communist ideology while taking a sadistic pleasure of doing so. Thankfully he died along with his two henchmen during the explosion.
However, because of this incident, my pops lost his legs and they were replaced by prosthetic legs as a result. At the same time, this incident also resulted in me becoming a coward who refused to stand up for myself and isolated myself from the outside world because I didn't want to get my new friends, my family or myself getting involved with another fearful incident ever again.
At the same time, because my dad failed to save one person, he had no choice but to hang up his badge as a police officer. Shame that he was a great police officer back then. However, despite his injuries, he managed to get a job around 2003 in Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister Museum as its security guard ever since. This was also the same year where I also met my new friend, Heine...
I always told Heine about the incident that happened with me in the past and Heine usually sympathized with what I got through. However, because of our stupid arguments that we had earlier regarding the haunted forest, our relationships fractured as a result. I really wanted to apologize to Heine, but I couldn't because Heine was really missing after he went to the forest.
At first, I didn't want to go to the forest because of the notorious incidents that made the slaughterhouse that I visited look like a child's play in comparison and the forest's ominous aura. However, due to the guilt and the constant nightmares that haunted me for consecutive 3 days after hearing the unsavory rumors from Hannah and Marianne, I had no choice but to go to that accursed forest.
However, in case something happened to me, I always brought my walkman so that I could listen to Kraftwerk songs to calm me down. Before I departed from my home at night, I wrote a letter to my parents so that I could tell them that I was going to the haunted forest and apologized to them by saying that I was a coward who was unable to stand up for myself. I also told my parents via the letter that I wrote that with the intent of atoning for my own actions because of the argument that happened with me and Heine which resulted in the latter disappearing forever after going to the infamous forest.
As I departed with my bicycle, I finally arrived in front of the accursed forest. The ominous aura of the forest at night suddenly gripped my body. I trembled in fear and my body was sweating because of the unsavory things that would come later. However, I tried my best to overcome my fears by listening to one of Kraftwerk's songs and tried to sneak through the wired fence with a huge hole that Heine and I saw from that jock's video recorder so that I wouldn't get caught by the guard.
I finally managed to enter the forest. However, the unsettling atmosphere still managed to grip my body and so did the wind that began to make my body shiver. What the rumors said were true, the forest was much more eerie at night and I was still shaking in fear. There was no light in the forest. So for preparation, I brought my own flashlight while exploring this accursed forest. To calm myself down, I listened to Kraftwerk songs as usual. But it still didn't help due to the unsettling atmosphere of the forest that began to slowly creep me out as the time went by.
As I began to explore deeper and deeper through the forest, I heard several ghostly wails and felt as if something grabbed my feet. I looked down below my feet and what I found was horrifying…
"SAVE ME! PLEASE SAVE ME!"
It was soon revealed that a REAL GHOST was the one who grabbed my feet. It was a ghost of a Nazi soldier who had visible scratch marks and red wounds from all over his body as if he was mauled by a wolf. He had the face of someone that wanted to scream and eyes with no pupils.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" I screamed as I tried to run from the ghost itself. The rumor was true, the forest was haunted!
"OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD! Please save me!"
I ran away from that ghost until I was exhausted. At first, I sat down beside a tree to refill my energy and tried to calm myself down by listening to a Kraftwerk song. However, something touched my shoulder. As I slowly looked at what was behind me, I discovered something terrifying and otherworldly. Yes, it was soon revealed that the tree was alive, and it attempted to eat me!
Much like with the ghost, I ran away and screamed as far as I could while the tree attempted to chase me.
"This is not a forest, this is HELL that was unleashed upon this world. God, please, save me!"
After I lost the sight of that evil tree who tried to chase me, I was completely exhausted again, bereft of any energy and wanting to take a rest. However, when I took a rest for 5 minutes, I sensed something moving at the bush. Oh dear god, it must be the wolf that we saw at that jock's video recorder. However, it was revealed that I met with a different kind of monster. It was hard to describe but the monster itself had a rather disfigured face as if it was punched multiple times, a chubby and huge body like Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars and six hands in which it used them for walking like a caterpillar or a spider.
After I encountered that unholy abomination, his face suddenly became much more sinister while also letting out a sinister laugh like a wolf that found its prey. As he attempted to grab me, I ran from the forest as fast as I could despite my low stamina. But that monster was fast like a lightning. I still kept running away from that monster, but unfortunately, I slipped and fell down from a cliff and passed out after that fall.
"Did the monster get me...Did I die?" my conscious muttered as I was in a world between life and death. However, as I was unconscious, I heard a soothing voice of a kind lady. It sounded so familiar to me and she seemed concerned about me. Was she my mom who found me in the forest?
"Hey! Are you okay?" said the voice, concerned.
"W...Where am I?" I woke up and saw a beautiful lady in front of me. I describe her as a rather beautiful and slender yet voluptuous lady with fair height, dark purple ponytail hair with bangs, a black strapless form-fitting dress with dark grey lace trimming, black and purple feather boa and her dress showing her ridiculously deep cleavage. In addition, she also wore black opera gloves and a black lipstick on her lips and had narrow mauve eyes with purple irises.
"You're at my home." the lady responded as she rubbed my head.
"W...Who are you? W...Where am I!?" I panicked "That monster, is it gone? Did I die?"
"My name's not important. What is important is that you're safe here." The lady then smiled.
"Oh man, I strolled through the forest in order to find my best friend, but I got caught by those abominations resided in the forest. I need to find my friend and apologize to him!"
As I stood up, I felt a huge strain on my leg and I screamed.
"You can't walk yet child, you need to take a rest for a bit as your hamstring is injured when I found you in the forest."
"Ouch, that figures, I can't rest for now! My friend, Heine, is missing for 6 days and I don't want anything happened to him."
"I see, once you recovered from your hamstring injury, you will definitely find your friend. Patience is a virtue."
"How much should I wait until my hamstring is recovered?"
"About one week or so."
"One week!? I can't wait for that long. I really need to find Heine as quickly as possible."
"Like I said, you need to recover from your hamstring injury. However, I'm going to give you something so that you could walk again. Hold on."
After the conversation, she exited the room. As she went out for a while, I noticed the surroundings in the room. It was revealed that I was in a bedroom and the decoration of this room gave me some familiar vibes. It was as if the room itself was made from gingerbread and candies. Could it be… As I slowly realized something, the lady came into the room.
"I'm back! Here's the object that could help you to walk again while you still recovering from the hamstring injury." said the lady as she gave me two wooden crutches.
"You're welcome. Now, if you feel hungry, I prepared a feast on the dining room. When you came out from the bedroom, that's where you encountered the dining room. I'll be waiting for you there if you're hungry."
Come to think of it, I really felt hungry due to my deprived stamina after the constant running from the monsters. As a result, I accepted her offer.
"Why thank you ma'am. I do feel hungry and thirsty right now so I might need some food and drink to refill my energy."
"That's great, let's go to the dining room then!"
While we both went to the dining room, I muttered to myself about that lady because I felt something off coming from her. Maybe it was because of her appearance or the fact that the house was made with gingerbread and candy. However, I couldn't bring myself to hate her as she seemed so kind and considerate to my conditions. Even then, I still needed to keep my eyes open because I believed that she had a hidden agenda of her own.
As I arrived at the dining room, I noticed that there was a lot of food on the table such as Roasted Turkey, Hashbrowns, Schnitzel, Bradwurst, Cake, Sandwiches, Chocolate Bread, Soup and so on. That lady really was a skilled chef.
"I've got the dishes ready for you. Pick which one is your favorite and enjoy!" The lady smiled while sitting at the dinner table.
"Thanks for your offering but wouldn't this be too much for us to handle and how about you? You're going to eat these foods?" I wondered.
"Sorry kid, I'm a vegetarian. I only ate vegetables and fruits. If you can't eat all of the foods that I prepared, I can sort it all out."
"Really, thanks! Can I start with my favorite food?"
"Well, as I said, you can start with your favorite food if you want so no issue here and be my guest." the lady then smiled.
As I continued eating the food that the lady prepared, I began to ask several questions towards the lady so that I could get to know her better.
"Since you seemed like a nice lady, I really want to ask some questions so that I could know your life better. First of all, where are we and why did you save me?"
"You are in my house, in the middle of the forest. I decided to save you out of sheer kindness because when I was exploring the forest, I saw you're injured and fainted at the same time."
So I was still at this forest? Figured. I decided I was going to ask another question on why she lived there alone.
"If this is truly the middle of the forest, why did you live alone here? I saw some monsters that tried to kill me. Wouldn't you get killed by those monsters?"
"What monsters? I never seen any monsters in my entire life when staying in this forest alone. Perhaps you're just hallucinating because of your fear of the unknown. As for the reason why I live alone? I actually prefer enjoying solitude from the outside world since I love tranquility in this forest."
The monsters felt real to me when I encountered them, but then again, the lady had a point. I thought it was just a figment of my imagination as I had a fear when it came to exploring some unknown territories including that accursed forest.
"I see, anyways, your house gave me a rather familiar aura as if it came out from a fairytale that I frequently heard since I was a child. Why is the house looks like it was made with gingerbread and candy despite you know, you could use other foundations that can be used to make this cottage instead of using food ingredients?"
"Well, I made this house because of stylistic choice. I don't want the house to become your generic cottage or cabin in the woods, so I decided to decorate my house like this. If you feel uncomfortable, I'm sorry to hear that."
"I see, ummmmm...Ever hear of Hansel and Gretel story then?"
"Oh! Hansel and Gretel? I have and it was just a fairytale that old folks told just like superstitions. You don't need to be scared as we live in the real world where supernatural things didn't even exist."
I had a feeling that this lady tried to cover something up from me. However, I decided to go on with the flow because I didn't want to jump to conclusions and accuse her without any evidence.
"I see, anyways, last question, who are you and why did you dressed like that?"
"Like I said earlier, my name is not important. You will know my name someday. As for my dress, it's like my home, stylistic choice as usual. True, you could argue that my style of home and my fashion style contradicted each other, but I love to wear an alluring gothic fashion because a woman wearing a cute princess like fashion is just too mainstream for me. Does that answer you question?"
"I see, sorry if I ask you these questions so that I could know you better and I'll admit that I was suspicious of you first but you seems like a good person on the inside."
"That's okay, I forgive you since some people who never knew or interacted with me would mistaken me as The Wicked Witch of the Woods like in that Hansel and Gretel story you mentioned earlier. However, do you remember the message about don't judge a book by it's cover that was spread by other people? That's me in a nutshell. I may have looked like an evil person due to my fashion choice but I'm a benevolent person by heart."
"Alright, I'll believe in your words kind lady." I surrendered as I accepted her kindness.
"All's well that ends well." The lady then smiled.
"Anyways, there's another thing that bugs my mind. Your voice, it sounds familiar. I think I've heard your voice via radio but I could be wrong. Have we met before?" I rubbed my chin while asking this question.
"Not really, no. However, if you feel familiar with my voice, then I can answer your question. I used to work at Dresden's Radio Station four years ago back then as a famous Radio Presenter under the name of "DJ Maggie". You may recognize the voice and the nickname, but you didn't recognize the person behind the scenes."
"Ah! Now I remember! When I was a child, I always listen to your voice in the radio station. It was very hypnotizing and soothing at the same time. Not only that, you also played several songs from German's famous bands including Kraftwerk. Good times."
"Yep, that's me. I really like Kraftwerk, they're such a talented band. But there's also several talented bands across Germany whose songs I played via Dresden's radio station such as Kraftwerk songs, Rhythm is a Dancer by Snap!, Moskau by Dschinghis Khan, Rasputin by Boney M and so on. I'm not only limited to Germany's major musical hits, but I also played classical music by the likes of Beethoven or Mozart too. However, of all the songs that I played in the radio station, Kraftwerk is the most interesting of them all."
"Ah! I really like Kraftwerk too! It's one of my favorite bands of all time. Their songs are just ahead of its time."
"I know right!? If you asked me? Das Model and The Robots are my personal favorite Kraftwerk song of all time."
"Yeah I agree with that. Speaking of Kraftwerk, ummm...Do you have any ideas where my walkman is? I think I left it somewhere when I fell in that forest."
"Don't worry, it's safe by me and I'll give your walkman if you want." The lady then left the dining room and went somewhere else. As she returned to the dining room, the lady gave me my walkman. Surprisingly, it was still functioning pretty well despite me tripping myself from the cliff while running from the monsters.
"Anyways, do you want to hear my broadcasting skills kid? It's just for flaunting reason as I'm experienced at radio broadcasting." teased the lady as she stuck out her tongue in a playful manner.
"Sure, once I recovered from my injury, I might be going to tell my parents about you since they are a huge fan of your charismatic personality on the radio. But even then, I think it's getting late. I went into the forest around 9 pm and how long was I unconscious from the fall."
"Hmmm... That's understandable if you feel exhausted as your hamstrings is still injured. You've been unconscious for around 2 hours if I recall correctly."
"2 hours!? I think that's past my bedtime, I should go to bed."
"That's okay, I understand if you feel tired to hear my broadcasting skills. I might be a night owl person but I'll try to be considerate to those who are sleeping at night. Right now, you need to go back to sleep and once it's morning, meet me at the living room. It's located on the right side of the dining room so you know what your next destination is."
"Alright, thanks kind lady, I'm going to sleep right now. Good night!"
When I slept, I had several horrific nightmares as I met the monsters that I encountered in the forest in my dreams and then there was also a vision where I plead to the kind lady until it was revealed that she was the real monster herself who wanted to eat me. I almost woke up at midnight but the lady managed to calm me down a bit by singing a lullaby. When morning came, the lady woke me up.
"Wakey wakey! As we promised, let's go to the living room!"
"Ah! What time is it?"
"It's around 5am and do you have a good time sleeping?"
"Not really, no. I woke up from a nightmare that I had until you sang me a lullaby to calm me down."
"Ah, yeah, I remember. Anyways, do you want to go to the living room? Remember to use the crutches that I gave you since your hamstring is still injured and all."
"Sure, why not?"
As I went into the living room of the house, the lady was waiting for me by leaning herself against the door to the living room. After we went into the living room together, I noticed that there was no TV, just a jukebox located at the left corner of the living room and some furniture that you would see everyday in the living room, although it was made with chocolate and candies just like the house's decorations instead of regular furniture. The lady then ordered me to sit on the sofa while she sat on a chair and a table with a microphone located on the left side of the jukebox.
"Alright, are you ready to listen to my beautiful broadcasting skills kid?"
"I'm ready to hear it kind lady!"
"Alright, here goes…"
As the lady began to flaunt her broadcasting skills, she played a music on the jukebox and it was revealed to be the famous Dresden Radio jingle. After that, she returned to her seat and put her own headphones on.
"Hello all of the wonderful people of Dresden! This is me, DJ Maggie, and I hope you have a wonderful day. Today, we are talking about the current musical hits such as Disappear by No Angels or Apologize by Timbaland. I'm sure that you will like these songs. Before we play those songs, I got a beautiful request from one of our subscribers. And here he is!" She pointed out to me.
"Uh...Are you talking to me?"
"Yes! I'm talking to you. You are a special guest for this broadcast after all!"
"Ah! Thanks for offering me to this broadcast! I'm really honored to participate in it." I smiled.
"Me too! Anyways, since you're our special guest here, first thing first, I want to know your name. What's your name, charming young child? "
"It's Reinhardt Hitzlsperger Ms. Maggie. Thanks for asking."
"It's a very wonderful name that you have Reinhardt! Anyways, any musical hits that you want to hear in our beautiful broadcast? If you don't like the current hits, I will definitely play something else that matches your taste of music."
"Ummmm...Since I don't know about current hits in Germany, I guess I'll stick with older music."
"Alright, I can understand that, what kind of older music that you want to hear Reinhardt?"
"I think I'll pick any of the Kraftwerk songs thank you. It really soothes my mind. I will pick The Robots as this is my favorite song after all."
"Alright, Kraftwerk song it is then! Ladies and gentlemen of Dresden, while we delay playing the smash hits at the moment, we will play the older songs first, starting with Kraftwerk-The Robots which has a duration around 3 minutes 41 seconds. I hope you enjoyed this music, wonderful people of Dresden!"
After I requested the song for her, she played the radio bumper first at the jukebox and then played the song that I requested and returned to her seat. Hearing this song made me feel some tranquility for that time being.
"And that's the end of the beautiful song we played today. Thank you for the request Reinhardt! Any other songs that you want to hear before we move to play several musical hits from this year?"
"Sure, I think I wouldn't mind hearing Rhythm is a Dancer by Snap for the last request of mine."
"Alright, Rhythm is a Dancer by Snap then. After we played this song, we will then move on to several current hits that were played this year." The lady smiled.
The lady began to play the next song in the jukebox as I listened to the song calmly. As she promised, after she played the song, she began to play the biggest hits that were played that year. Not my type of song but they were still decent to listen to.
"Thanks Reinhardt for participating in this broadcast. I really had a fun time when doing this."
"No problem kind lady!" I smiled.
"How's my broadcasting skills in your opinion?"
"It was very good! I was hooked with your performance." I clapped
"Thanks, I really appreciate it!" the lady began to blush in excitement.
"However, I wanted to ask something, how did you manage to have an electricity running in your house in the middle of the forest? I'm curious because to power up that jukebox and microphone, you need to require a lot of electricity to do so."
"Magic, a whole lot of magic." The lady sarcastically responded. "Anyways, If you want a serious answer, I actually used a windmill besides my house to power up the electricity of this place as the forest can get windy at times."
"Ah, I see!"
"Yup! Anyways, a small request of mine: In the future, don't call me DJ Maggie. Pinky promise?"
"Uh...I think it's a rather embarrassing nickname to have and I'd rather have you call me a kind or nice lady that's all."
"I see, thanks for reminding."
"Now all that's been said and done, I'm going to do my other favorite hobby of mine in the other room."
"Oh! You have another favorite hobby? What is it?" I wondered.
"Painting. I love to paint something because I love to create beautiful pictures."
"Ah! Come to think of it, I'll admit that I also saw that your house is decorated with so many paintings. Although most of them are rather...Macabre-ish in taste. Are you the one who created those paintings?"
"Affirmative Reinhardt! I'm the one who created those paintings. Sorry if some of the pictures scared you. However, much like my fashion and the house design, it's my favorite stylistic choice because macabre picture can show the true nature of a human being and the world itself."
"Sounds gloomy. Even though I disagree with you, I think I can relate with your mindset on why did you choose macabre paintings."
"It's okay if you like happy paintings. However, my point still stands. Do you want to see how I paint those pictures?"
"Sure, I won't mind."
"Then come visit me at my workshop, I'll show you how it's done. The workshop is on the left of the dining room. So you definitely know where's your next destination."
"Thanks, I'll see what I can do despite my hamstring is still hurts."
"Don't push yourself. I will guide you to the workshop instead."
"Thanks for the help kind lady, although I can do it myself."
"Hmmmm...Suit yourself then, I'll be waiting in there."
As the lady went into her own workshop, I decided to catch up on her. As I arrived in the workshop, the lady sat in front of a blank canvas. Unlike the house itself which was decorated with sweets or diabetes inducing foods, the painting workshop itself had its walls covered in black cloth and dark grey floor tiles.
"Alright, welcome to my workshop Reinhardt! Do you want to see my style of painting something?"
"Sure! That doesn't seem like a bad idea."
"Alright. Here goes!"
As I observed the lady painting about something, I observed her technique on how she painted those paintings. Needless to say, her technique on painting something was rather elegant considered the passion, tender, love and care that she put in one of her favorite hobbies. After she finished painting, she began to show her own work to me. The nature of the painting that she drew was rather unsettling but also captivating at the same time due to the macabre and realistic nature of the painting.
"So, how do you like my painting style?"
"It was interesting. The painting honestly looks like a monster that is a combination between a bat and a butterfly who wants to get out from the painting. Unsettling but beautiful at the same time. It shows that you put a tender, love and care towards this picture kind lady."
"Yep. If you feel unsettled with my picture, that's alright. Anyways, do you want to try to show your painting skills? If you can't, I will teach you how to do it, of course."
"Sure ma'am! But I don't think I have the skills to paint something and I'm afraid that I will make a lot of mistakes unlike you ma'am."
"That kind of mindset is garbage! There are no mistakes in my dictionary, just happy accidents that people make when trying to do something."
"So there's no mistakes for trying something, just happy accidents?"
"Of course! You're just lack in confidence when trying new things. If you want, I can give you an empty canvas so that you could draw something." The lady smiled as she took a small canvas in the workshop and put it at the easel.
"Here, try and release your talent by drawing a picture in this empty canvas. It can be anything you want to be and I'll be the judge of it."
"If you insist, then okay, I will try my best to do this."
"Remember, there's no such things as mistakes, just happy accidents and I'll be the judge."
As I drew in the canvas that the lady provided, I only managed to draw two mountains, two m-shaped birds, a house and a stickman. The results ended up being less impressive and I was rather disappointed with it.
"Ouch! Look at my painting, it's dreadful."
"Reinhardt, give me the painting that you made and let me see what you did." ordered the lady.
"Here it is." I gave my own poorly made painting to the lady as she gave her judgement.
"Oh my…" Startled the lady as she touched her left cheek.
"I hope you won't get angry or mocking me for my dreadful skill when painting something."
"Dreadful? It's gorgeous! For starters, that is."
"So...Do you like my painting?"
"Of course! It's not the best painting in the world. But at least you tried at your best. Remember, there are no mistakes in my dictionary, just happy accidents."
"T...Thanks for the compliment ma'am."
"Don't be nervous Reinhardt. Even then, there's a lot of room for improvements for your painting skills. I can teach you how to become better in just one week! Do you want to become my student?"
"Becoming a student of you? Sure! I'll try at my best."
"Great! If you want, I can also teach you radio broadcasting skills as a bonus."
"Thanks! I really appreciate it that you teach me some artistic skills that I have no experience at."
"Don't worry, you will gain the experience you need in just one week after I teach you. Anyways, let's go eat some food after this since I have a feeling that you're hungry and all."
"No problem! Now let's head to the Dining Room and eat."
Like when I met her the day before that, I ate most of the food that the lady provided while she ate only fruits and vegetables such as spinach or apples.
"I know you're a vegetarian ma'am. But...Isn't there too much food that you prepared on the table? What if I got full then?"
"You did forget the things that I said right? If you can't eat all of the foods that I prepared, I can sort it all out."
"Anyways, why did you became a vegetarian in the first place?"
"Well, a lady need to preserve her beauty and her youthfulness of course. This is the reason why I decided to become a vegetarian in the first place."
"I see. Sorry if I asked that question."
"That's okay, if you want to stay youthful like me? I can cook some of veggie meals if you want like Veggie Burger."
"Veggie burger? That sounds delicious."
"I know right? Fun fact though, burger is a nickname of Hamburger which is named after one of Germany's cities, Hamburg because of the Hamburg Steak dish that got popular in America. Nowadays, Burger is a popular food across the world and has a variety of recipes including veggie burgers. Be proud since this is one of the wonderful histories of German culture that I told you about."
"Seems interesting. Anyways, think I'm going to try veggie burger tomorrow, I'm full."
"Alright, suit yourself then."
Two days had passed and my relationship with the lady became much more intimate as time went by. I also decided to tell her the story of my life and why I decided to go there. Not only that, I learned several new skills from her such as painting…
"Now, if you want to try to paint something nicely, you need to calm down at first, don't let your inner demons consume you and try to find a happy place. Then, you can pay attention to the subject."
"So the advice that you want to give me is that: I need to be relaxed and don't get pressured by other stuff?"
"Yes, that's it! I'm sure you can try your best to make that painting. Now, try to draw me in that canvas and remember, find your happy place if you feel nervous."
"Alright, thanks for the advice."
After I finished drawing the kind lady in the canvas, the lady came to me to see the results of my picture.
"How's the drawing that I made based on yourself ma'am? It's not the best but I try my best to follow the subject."
"It's...Beautiful! Although you could use some improvements due to the colors being saturated a bit. I can teach you again and again in later future to improve your skills. But now, it's still good!"
"Thanks ma'am, I'll see what I can do in later future and when I'm done, I can try to draw some macabre arts just for you."
"That's the spirit!" The lady clapped
"Uhhhh...I'm rather nervous when it comes to speaking in public places. Should I do it then?"
"Hey, like we did at the painting class, I'm sure you can do it! You're safe right now as this is just between you and me. If you still nervous? Find your happy place and pretend as if you're talking to your friend. But if you don't know how you do it, I can give you a script to understand what are you supposed to do for this broadcast."
"Alright then, here goes: Hello everyone in Dresden! I'm...Uh...Reinhardt Hitzlsperger...And today, I...Uh...Will...Broadcast a special song from a special person…"
"You seemed to be nervous huh? Alright, let me try to teach you again so that you could regain your confidence a little bit. In the meantime, wanted to hear another song to ease your mind?"
"Sure, what's the name of the song? Is it related to Kraftwerk?"
"Nope. It's called Video Killed the Radio Star by Buggles. The song is rather interesting to be analyzed actually because it's about people's perception of new technology for the media arts and the fear of the next generations won't appreciate the past. Fun fact that Kraftwerk are also another reason why the song was made because things are going to change in later future thanks to them. I'll be honest that I can relate with this song due to the transition from the old technology to new technology so I can't blame them."
"I see. Can I hear this song then? I think I actually disagree with that statement because radio is still just as important as TV for now."
"Sure! Also, don't worry, I'm in the same boat as you regarding my opinion on this song Reinhardt. Anyways, I'm going to play this song in the jukebox and hopefully you will have a good time listening to it."
And lastly cooking…With me and the lady wearing some cooking aprons and chef hats.
"Are you ready to make some new dishes little chef?"
"I'm ready as ever ma'am!"
"That's the spirit! Anyways, since you're still a novice, try and make spaghetti and garlic bread first. I'll give you the ingredients and the recipe to make it."
"Alright, I'll see what I can do with my cooking skills!"
Despite the fact that the food that I made ended up being disastrous due to my inexperience as a chef, I tried my best to cook the spaghetti and garlic bread and eat these foods for myself.
"Huh...I thought it would taste bad, but it actually tastes pretty decent even though I'm still atrocious at cooking."
"Hey, there's no such thing as atrocious! Your cooking skills are pretty good as always, all you need is a little push by me and bam! You're going to be a master chef in the future."
"Maybe you're right, thanks for the motivation, you know, I always whine because my lack of skills but you tried your best to motivate me to become better, thanks."
"No problem! I'll be there for you if you need some help cooking." The lady smiled and patted my head.
This continued for more than 4 days until I became an expert on the skills that she taught before I recovered from my hamstring injuries. However, at the same time, I will admit that I noticed something off with the lady such as when she told me some fairytale stories such as princess stories when I tried to sleep...Those stories were pretty much grimdark and ended up in rather somber notes which is not my type of bedtime stories…
"And so, when the lightning struck, the Queen then regains her full power and murdered all of the seven dwarves. After that, she hypnotized the prince to marry her so that Snow White will be stuck in her own consciousness without everyone helping her which resulted in her becoming a rotten corpse despite her soul is being trapped in her body. And thus, the Queen and the Prince lived happily ever after while exterminating the poor people from her kingdom and left those that were judged worthy by the Queen…"
"That sounds...Dark. I really don't like where this is going. I thought the good people were supposed to get a happy endings. Not the other way around."
"Well, you called it dark? I called it a great subversion of the genre. Besides, the world itself is full of grey and gray morality where no one is on the right side of things and has no happy endings at the end. That's why I told you that kind of story."
"True, but I believe that there's some good people across the world just like you."
"I'm flattered but yeah. Another reason why I told you this type of story is because I thought kids like you love this type of darker and edgier story where bad guys win at the end and hope is lost. Am I right?"
"That's a rather false statement you have. Sure, some people would love this type of story but I don't think I will like these types of stories. It's way too bleak and hopeless for me to enjoy."
"Well if you don't like it? Fine by me. But I still like it because it truly gives me a cathartic feeling and in my opinion, fairytale archetypes like happy endings or kind heroes archetype especially the sweet princess archetype are overrated and bland anyways."
"Eh, I disagree but whatever you say."
At first, I tended to ignore those type of stories that she told during bedtime because people had different tastes, so I don't blame them and try to get along with it. But as each day went by, the stories she told to me for bedtime became much more demented than usual such as when the lady told me about the story regarding the Prince getting brutally decapitated when trying to save Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella committing suicide while the prince was getting manipulated by the stepmother and her kids to rape, pillage and burn the innocent people in the kingdom or any of the fairytale character that met horrific fates. It was as if she didn't like those characters. Didn't help that I also received the same horrific nightmares like I did when sleeping in there for the first time.
That was not the only thing from her that made me feel rather off. I mean, her costume choice and her house fashion were one thing, but in the last days when I was almost fully recovered from my hamstring injury, she became much more unhinged as usual. True, we still had some normal conversations as usual and the lady still managed to help me enhance my skills, but at the same time, she looked like a hungry predator that tried to catch a fresh meal while seeing me.
"That's a great painting Reinhardt! It will become much better when you offer me your flesh and your youth of course." said the lady as she massaged my shoulder while looking at me like a predator.
"Uhhhh...What do you mean about it?"
"Oh! Nothing at all Reinhardt. Just my crazy talk and all ahahahahaha." the lady gave a small chortle. "Let's continue our lesson and pretend as if nothing happened!"
Another final nail in the coffin for me regarding that lady was on how she angrily responded when I asked about why she frequently went to the locked room that was located at the left of the kitchen in which she responded by ordering me to not to go in there. That, and how I heard several unearthly screams that came from there. This happened during the second-to-last-day where I was almost recovered from my hamstring injury.
"Ummmm...Ma'am, what happened in there?" I pointed to the locked door at the kitchen.
"Oh! It's nothing to see here really, moving on."
"I wanted to confess: I felt something off from you for the past two days. Sure, my hamstrings are better now. But can you please tell me what happened? We're friends after all."
"It's okay, I think there's nothing important to discuss here." The lady was sweating while also wearing a fake smile on her face.
"I see. Well, I think it's just an innocent person who wants our help after all. Let me enter that locked door to see what happened in there."
"No! I'm not letting you, please don't go in there, we made pinky promise after all. If you go in there, I have no choice but to terminate our friendship that we build over six days and you didn't want that to happen right? Now please, DON'T GO INTO THAT LOCKED DOOR! I'M THE ONLY ONE WHO ARE ABLE TO ENTER THAT DOOR!"
Kind lady, I'm sorry if I said this: I still like you but my suspicions for you grew stronger than ever as if you were hiding something sinister from me. A friend should never hide something from another friend after all like when I always told Heine about my troubles that I endured in the past. Even then, I wanted to try my best to reduce my own suspicions towards the lady because of her kind nature. That was not until the day after that however, where our relationships became fractured beyond repair.
After I recovered from my injured hamstrings, I decided to part ways with the kind lady. However, I didn't find her in the house when I woke up and as a result, I tried to look for her in this house alone in the places I was most familiar with: the Dining Room, the Living Room, the Workshop, the Kitchen and lastly, the Bedroom. I didn't find her in those rooms.
However, as I went into the bedroom, I found something interesting: A huge brown book was left on the table as I haven't seen that book before. The book itself looked like something that was made in the 16th century. I decided to read the book that I had found and what I found was a horrifying truth...It was revealed that the book itself was a personal diary written by that woman. If you want to know what the contents from that diary is, here are some of the excerpts taken from that book and I'll pick the most crucial parts:
Page 14 (Written in 1519):
"Dear diary, it's me, Magdalena. I recently met with a handsome and charming man named Charles when I went into the town for myself to find a good suitor. He is a rather boisterous but charming at the same time. I was annoyed but at the same time, love his attitude. That's not until I found out that he's the king of Spain. Fitting because I'm also a daughter of an aristocrat too and I have ambitions to rule all of the Holy Roman Empire territories in the future. I think I found myself a jackpot because he will be a stepping stone for me to become the Queen of Holy Roman Empire. And as the new Queen, I had an intention to purge all of the filthy peasants that has been plagued this land from the face of the Earth. They're filthy, didn't contribute to anything, uneducated and pretty much weak that they didn't suit my standards of perfection. Hopefully the date goes well for me."
Page 15 (Written in 1519):
"As we're getting closer with each other, I suddenly discovered about a poor peasant girl named Annabelle that was working in Charles's palace when I hang around with him. She's kind, bubbly, gentle, polite, hardworking albeit a bit naive and she came from a distant village struck in poverty. A textbook of a gentle and feminine peasant which is a stereotype that I hated the most. I ignored her at first because there's no way that she will take Charles away from me due to how poor and uneducated she is."
Page 16 (Written in 1519):
"I've made a big mistake to underestimate that peasant girl! I found out that Charles was attracted to her because of her benevolent nature despite the social class difference and she is also the one who helped him when he was injured when he was trying to fight with a bull as I failed to save him or even cure him because I didn't know anything about treating wounds. Seems that I got another wall in my way and if Charles decided to marry her, then I'm going to resort to drastic measures to get rid of that peasant girl once and for all."
Page 17 (Written in 1519):
"So it is decided then that Charles will have an engagement with that useless peasant girl. Very well, you win this time. However, I'm going to resort to drastic measures to get rid of you and made Charles mine forever. Fortunately for myself, when traveling through the town, I heard several rumors that there is an unnamed old hag who lives on the outskirts of the town who is notorious for practicing witchcraft. I'm wondering why the Inquisitions and Religious groups haven't decided to kill her yet. Whatever that case, I'm going to try to meet with this old hag so that I could learn the magic spells I needed to get rid of the peasant girl once and for all. Once I'm done learning the spells that I needed, I'm just going to kill that old hag anyway and stole the spellbook from her."
Page 22 (Written in 1519):
"I really hate this old hag. All I wanted to do was to learn witchcraft in order to teach both Charles and that airhead girl a lesson. But no, she gave me these mundane tasks such as cooking, cleaning and so on which is a task that were done by the filthy peasants or maids. And what's more infuriating however is that after I am done with those tasks, the old hag refused to teach me and said that magic spells should be used for good. Not for evil purposes such as hurting other people's lives. This idea is laughable to the highest level. Old hag, the world runs in a Grey and Gray Morality and no one is either good or evil. If you don't want to teach me the necessary spells that I needed, I think I'm going to have to get rid of you once and for all…"
Page 23 (Written in 1519):
"I managed to kill that old hag by stabbing her with a knife because what she said to me got on my nerves. After that, I manage to steal all of her spellbooks and tried to learn all of the necessary spells by myself for one week before the marriage day of that idiot king and useless peasant girl started. Just you wait until ruin your marriage, Charlie, because I'm a devil from the shadows that will make your life a living hell…"
Page 28 (Written in 1519, when the day King Charles married and coronated as the new king of Holy Roman Empire):
"The day of marriage of King Charles and Anabelle has come. Soon, they will become the new king and queen of Holy Roman Empire. In the meantime, I snuck out to the kitchen and then use my new spells to hypnotize the royal chefs to poison the food that they had prepared for the wedding. Ah yes, I'm going to enjoy the spectacle when most of the people in the wedding day died in a slow and painful death because of that lethal poison. I'm gonna destroy your life Charles, just you wait."
Page 29 (Written in 1519):
"As the waiter prepared a huge feast that I poisoned for the married couple and their family. I just sat back and observed what happened as most of them who are unlucky are dying in a slow and painful death by choking themselves after eating those feast that I poisoned. I estimated around 50 people died from mass poisoning including that idiot farmer girl. Oh yes! This is truly a great day for me. However, those who survived, ran like a frenzied ape after the incident. Although it was revealed that while Charles also survived the incident, he suffers from massive mental damage after seeing some of his family members died from the poisoning. Perfect timing for manipulating his current fragile state for my own agenda…"
Page 31 (Written in 1519):
"I decided to use my hypnotizing powers to get all of the idiot religious ministers to coronate Charles as the King and myself as the Queen. As Charles was coronated, I decided to manipulate his fragile mind by telling that it was all of the peasants and lower class fault that his family were assassinated because all they care about is money. I also manipulated the ministers to believe my own statement regarding that it was the lower class people who assassinated the prince's family and also said that they did it because they were getting sick and tired of the current government. So as a result, with the approval from the king, the ministers then gather all of the soldiers to commit a massive purge against the lower class. While I'm just sitting back and enjoying what's going to happen next."
Page 32 (Written in 1524):
"5 years had passed huh? It's as if it was yesterday that I wrote this diary entry again. Anyways, it's great to see most of the lower class peasants are either getting brutally slaughtered or oppressed by the upper class in the span of 5 years because of that little incident that started it all. I estimated around hundreds of thousands died in the king's arms which is a great thing to see as Charles himself suffered a huge mental breakdown after seeing tons of death and destruction he caused. Unfortunately, I heard unsavory rumors from the minister I manipulated that some peasants survived and tried to start a revolution in Germany. No! My beautiful kingdom! I won't let them overtake the kingdom and I'm going to try to extinguish the rebellion forces once and for all. I decided to manipulate Charles's fragile mind by reminding him again of the incident that happened 5 years ago and as a result and also conspire with the ministers to extinguish all forms of rebellion in Germany in which they agreed. I also decided to join the battle because I want to murder all of those lower class peasants with my own hands."
Page 33 (Written in 1524):
"As I participated in the battlefield as a healer for the wounded soldiers, I also brutally murdering all of the revolting peasants with my own magic spells. They're pretty easy to murder like a kid crushing some ants because how defenseless they were. Unfortunately, however, one of the soldiers on my side discovered my true nature as a witch. As a result, I have no choice but to flee from the soldiers who suspected my true nature to the unknown forest. I don't want to be persecuted by the Inquisitors by being burned at the stake and being labelled as a witch."
Page 34 (Written in 1524):
"I'm alone in the forest. Hungry, dirty and at the same time, shocked that I was discovered as a witch by one of the soldiers that I forgot to brainwash. However, I'm also rather happy that Charles has a severe mental breakdown at the end thanks to me and those lower class who rebelled will be purged by those soldiers anyway. During my hardships, I finally found an empty, abandoned cottage in the forest. That should be a nice place for me to take a rest. I need to get rid of my old name so that people won't be getting suspicious of me while also learning new skills to survive this cold and eerie forest. Luckily however, I brought my magic spell-books to survive."
Page 35 (Written in 1528):
"4 years had passed as I lived in this forest. I originally wanted to attack the Holy Roman Empire as I managed to learn all of the spells that I mastered. But then again, I decided not to because what's the point that I will be defeated by the Inquisitors or those peasants at the end despite my powerful spells. I had no choice but to degrade myself to become a lower class person which I hate the most. However, despite this, I think I found something that is a lot more interesting compared to just ruling the Holy Roman Empire. It was revealed that I can become a goddess that could rule the world. To that end, I need to create a mural from million bodies to summon seven demon lords of hell and control them for my own whims. This is fitting for me because I really love to do some artistic stuff such as painting or sculpting since I was a child just like Leonardo Da Vinci. However, that would take years and years to complete that mural. What kind of perfect spell that could make me immortal so that I could summon those demons and control them in my own whims?"
Page 36 (Written in 1528):
"I finally found the perfect spell to make myself immortal. To do that, I need to kill several innocent children, eat their flesh and drink their blood to sustain myself my beautiful youth and immortality. I think I have found a perfect prey. As I stroll through the forest, I noticed that there are two innocent young twins that got lost in the forest. However, I need something to allure them to my side and to that end, I converted the cottage into a gingerbread house instead. And it really work as those two innocent children managed to fall into my trap. Their names are Hansel and Gretel and I decided to eat Hansel first by fattening him up but unfortunately, he was unable to gain fat even if I feed him some treats. So as a result, I decided to cook Gretel alive for my oven and seems that she knew my tricks and sleeves. However, I'm not an easy person to be fooled. As a result, I decided to kill Gretel first by stabbing her neck while Hansel is forced to watch in horror. I then kill Hansel next when he's at his low point and victory is mine. I ate both of their flesh and drank their blood for a huge feast and seems that the goal to create mural of million bodies will be easy after all. And yes, I'm going to keep my house in gingerbread style to lure all of the children to my cottage..."
Page 37 (Written in 1528):
"However, I recently found out about the side effects regarding the immortality spell. It is stated that you have to do this every 4 years otherwise you will become an old woman as a result. It was also stated that you should not eat any meat related food before the ritual started otherwise you will experience severe stomach-ache for 10 years. As a result, I have no choice but to study gardening spells so that I could produce fruits and vegetables on my own and even then, I think 4 years is still a good time because I can try to find some unlucky prey that got lost in the forest despite it's going to be a hard time. But I think there are going to be some idiot hunters or trespassers of this forest that could make my job easier. Or in worse case scenario, I had to get out from my hiding ground and try to survive in new environments to gain more new victims if it happens to take more than a hundred years."
Page 38-39 (Written in 1628):
"I believe it's already a hundred years since I live in the comfy cottage and a hundred years ago, I also built a basement to create my own mural. I decided to visit the town to see if things had changed and interestingly enough, I actually lived in the forest on the outskirts of a town called Dresden. Some of the people there are friendly enough to let me visit their town even if I forged my own identity. But at the same time, I also heard several rumors regarding what happened in the forest that I live because of several hunters, children, traders or innocent travelers went missing in the forest. I decided to ignore those rumors because those are the victims that I murdered for my own mural or in some cases, children for extending my own youth and immortality. It's been years that I don't know how many people that I killed. I guess it's around thousands because it's a bit hard to stumble across some travelers, hunters or children in that forest. Then again, I'm going to use that rumor for my own advantage. First, to give this forest an attention to let thrill seekers and Inquisitors travel to this forest and maybe to protect myself while I'm studying several powerful magics to defeat them. Which reminds me a bit. I need to create several powerful creatures to earn a higher body count even easier for my own mural."
Page 40 (Written in 1628):
"I finally managed to find a spell that can help me create some otherworldly creatures to make this forest a living hell on Earth and this is probably my favorite spell of all. All I need to do is paint some otherworldly creatures that you can think of in a canvas. However, you need a human blood to create your own painting otherwise it won't have any effects. While they are going to be stronger creatures that will help me to kill all of the people who trespass this forest, these creatures are only limited to one location and won't be able to move from there unlike the seven demon lords that I will summoned in later future. That should help me to make this forest became much more infamous so that thrill seekers or people from Inquisitions will be attracted by this forest and my mural will be complete."
Page 101 (Written in 1945):
"Wow, it's been a lot of years isn't it. Interestingly enough, while I'm still living in the forest, Germany landscape has changed a lot and I saw several interesting events that happened in a lot of years. From the rise of Prussia, cessation of Holy Roman Empire thanks to Napoleon Bonaparte, massive industrialization, World War I and currently, we are having the second World War and this forest still stays intact and me still as youthful and immortal as ever. I'll be honest that the Nazi ideology? Truly interests me because they have a philosophy to purge all of the people that are non-Aryan from the face of the Earth. I have the same ideology but only with lower class. I really hate degrading myself that I had no choice but to wait for several years in order to become the goddess that can rule the world and purge those who are unworthy. Just you wait Hitler, you are a mere infant compared to my own philosophy. And I should thank your idiot soldiers and the Americans who uses this forest as a guerrilla battle much like the previous war that Germany experienced which made it easier for me to get several victims for my own mural because I killed those idiot soldiers via my own creatures that I create from my painting."
Page 102 (Written in 1945):
"Well, I just saw what happened in Dresden. Lots of people died thanks to the bomb that was dropped by the British and American troops. I don't really care about their deaths but I'm glad that I'm using this opportunity to pick all of the corpses that were scattered across Dresden and escaping to the forest without anyone noticing so that I could add them in my mural collection. Oh war, you made my life easier aren't you?"
Page 109 (Written in 1949):
"4 years had passed and I heard a rather interesting news. It seems that after the severe World War that we have for the second time, Germany had been separated into two countries: West and East Germany. The West were established by Americans, British and France while the East was established by Soviet Union. And since I live in a cottage in the forest at Dresden, I identify myself as a person who lives in East Germany. I'm aware that this country adopted an ideology that I can't help but laugh at: "Communism". Oh dear, who made this must be a jester of the century. Equality to all class? That's a truly stupid idea to the highest level. Same goes to Socialism ideology. If you ask me? Humans are nothing but selfish beasts who tries to fulfill their own desires to the very end, including myself and people in lower class are created to be oppressed by the lower class or either getting purged from the face of the Earth. That's how the world works. Even then, the thing that I'm concerned about is that seems the East Germany are trying to isolate themselves from other countries and it's time for me to bring a new guns so that I could get more victims for my murals and other children for my immortality ritual and I know just what to do."
Page 110 (Written in 1949):
"Since I need more victims and I've already mastering the persuading spells like 400 years ago, I decided to study the technology a bit because how the world has evolved as time went by. And yes, I'm interested in this technology called Radio and the art of broadcasting. I decided to study the mechanics of the radio and the art of broadcasting before applying for a job as a Radio Presenter. Though hopefully there's a radio studio that would accept my skills."
Page 115 (Written in 1958):
"Seems that it took me 9 years for me to apply as a radio presenter in Radio DDR 2 studio because the previous radio stations aren't good enough for me to apply as a radio worker. However, I did work as an Elementary School teacher in Dresden while forging my own name and tries to blend well to avoid suspicions to lure the kids or any idiot person to that forest but that's not saying much and my passion is not in teaching kids. Though I managed to learn some good stuff such as other languages like English during my tenure as an elementary school teacher for 9 years before I resigned to pursue my own personal interest as a radio broadcaster and also discovered something interesting when I re-read my spellbooks again: If you have a high affection towards the child that you will sacrifice for immortality ritual by eating them, you're going to have a stock of foods stored in your body for one year without gaining weight. This is a rather nice payoff as I will use these new skills that I learned as a teacher for my own advantage in the future."
Page 116 (Written in 1958):
"First day on my job as a Radio Presenter for Radio DDR 2. I'm glad that the higher ups finally acknowledge my own skills with me discussing the culture and education parts. However, at the same time, the higher ups ordered me to propagate the communism ideology towards the younger people. I really hate that ideology but I had no choice because I don't want to get fired or executed by the Stasi. Sure, I might have a hypnotizing power, but at the same time, I need to avoid suspicions. However, things are just going to be interesting for the people who live in East Germany."
Page 120 (Written in 1960):
"I became an Employee of the Month for two years straight thanks for my stellar performances as a radio broadcaster. Although it's really funny because communism doesn't care about hierarchy. But then again, I also saw that other employees are also getting praised with their hard-work and tenacity in the studio. Anyways, time for me to pull my big guns by giving the population of Germany a rather interesting broadcast…"
Page 121 (Written in 1960):
"Heh, I managed to trick some of the idiotic people from Dresden by saying that the Allied Forces are coming and tried eradicate the communism regime. As a result, I'm giving them some information that the Allied Forces are performing a guerilla attack in the forest. Around 5.000 people, including the Stasi members and children, believe in this rhetoric that I used and got brutally murdered in the forest with my creatures as a result. And since most of the news outlet in East Germany didn't spread some negative news including the brutal massacre that happened in the forest, perhaps communism ideology does have a good benefit after all for myself."
Page 150 (Written in 1992):
"What do you know, it's been three years ever since the collapse of the Berlin Wall. And seems that I just need 50.000 more body for my own mural. That should take a long time to complete it but I can't wait to transcend into higher form and summon those demon lords of hell. However, I need to bring up new guns because the same strategies won't apply as time went by because anything bad that happens will be on the news. I've been here around 400 years now and my mural isn't complete yet. Anyways, on the bright side, after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, I learned a lot of songs that were produced in Western Germany and they seems to be evolving as time goes on and I find some of their songs to be interesting, especially the ones by a band called Kraftwerk. They seem to be talented and intriguing and as a result, I decided to apply for another job as a DJ in a different radio studio around 1991 and use the name "DJ Maggie" as my DJ pseudonym. When I work as a DJ, I decided to play any of the Kraftwerk songs or any music that are considered to be Germany's biggest hits. Often times, I also played several songs from other countries because they seemed to be interesting to listen to."
Page 151 (Written in 1992):
"Anyways, since Halloween is near the end of the corner, I decided to set another plan to gather more victims for my own mural. To that end, I gathered information about a celebration known as Oktoberfest as it was revealed that the celebration is only exclusive to a city known as Munich. However, I decided to make Dresden people enjoying the Oktoberfest festival too by announcing that the forest outskirts of Dresden is a great place to celebrate both Oktoberfest and Halloween show at the same time. It's going to be noisy but at the same time, I'm going to net more victims for my own mural."
Page 152 (Written in 1992):
"Oh crap, I didn't expect this stunt that I pulled make it into the news as it is stated that around 45.000 people went missing in the forest after the Oktoberfest incident. Well, this won't end well for me as the forest will be barricaded soon enough to prevent outsiders getting into the forest. And the studio's reputation is in danger thanks to the false information that I gave towards Dresden population. I decided to join the press conference that was held by the studio executives to clear my own reputation while sweeping some negative things I had done under the rug. I need to be careful when it comes to pull that kind of stunt again otherwise I will become the primary suspect."
Page 190 (Written in 2004):
"Well, it's been 12 years since that incident that I pull and seems that some of the radio executives decided to hire me again as a radio presenter around 10 years ago despite the stunt that I pulled because of my reputation as a hardworking employee. However, the forest is still barricaded to prevent outsiders coming in which is a huge blow for myself. But at the same time, I still got lucky because several serial killers who dumped their bodies, weird cults who commit mass suicide and thrill seekers seems to come to this forest very often because the incident that happened 12 years ago. That actually helped me to gain a huge bodycount to decorate my own mural."
Page 191 (Written in 2004):
"I noticed that several of the crew members from the film industry decided to shoot a film in this forest. Don't they have any brains to know that the forest is cursed? Well in that case, this will be a great jackpot for me and I noticed that there is also a kid who participates on making this film. Regardless, she will be another jackpot of mine for my immortality ritual and I decided to make the experience for the film crew to be realistic for them."
Page 193 (Written in 2004):
"I managed to capture the child and develop an intimate relationship with her before I eat her. But at the same time, this incident ended up made into the news with several people who shot the film getting traumatized and some of them committed suicide thanks to the stunt I pull. Oh yeah, the surviving actor also contacted the Dresden Forces to search for his own kid that I devoured. This is a great thing because I massacred a great amount of them with my own creatures. However, at this time, I decided to resign as a Radio Presenter for good for personal reasons. Although at the same time, to experience the nostalgia that I had as a radio announcer, I decided to install a jukebox in the living room on my house to listen to several Kraftwerk songs or any Germany Hit songs and a microphone because why not? However, next time, I need more luck to finish my own mural."
Page 201 (Written in 2008):
"4 years had passed and I think I need 1.000 people more to complete my own mural. Anyways, two days ago, I found out a body of three highschool students in the forest until I discovered that one of them is a son of a famous person and as a result, the law enforcement tries to search the body. However, I decided to massacre some of them anyway but some of them managed to run away from the scene. I think I have a deja vu because I had the same experience in 2004. Regardless, I think I got more bodies to decorate my own mural."
Page 202 (Written in 2008):
"So I meet this chubby kid who seems like a next good meal for my ritual but I had to wait until Halloween comes because I couldn't eat him just yet, otherwise I will experience a horrific side effects. However, he's actually rather smart as he didn't fall into my trap. He intends to solve the mysteries that happened in this forest and after he met me, he became much more suspicious and tries to ask me several secrets that I hide otherwise he will try to get answers from me by force or in worse case scenario, taking a picture of my house and me and give it to the Law Enforcement because in his mind, I was responsible for all of the disappearance that happen in the forest as I'm the only person who lives here. As a result, I have no choice but to give him a special lesson. What a waste of meal really…"
Last page (Written in 2008):
"Okay, so I met with this kid named Reinhardt. I actually found him when he fell from the cliff and was knocked unconscious. He's a rather interesting fellow and perfect for my next prey. He's a cowardly person but I managed to reinstate his confidence so that I could build a nice affection for him. I can't eat him just yet because he still suffers from hamstring injury and I need to wait one week to let him recover. Fitting because one week later, it will be close to Halloween. However, at the same time, during my short trip in the forest, I accidentally discovered that two people, a policeman and a stereotypical housewife, who were revealed to be Reinhardt''s parents, were searching for him. I decided to kidnap them but at the same time, I'm not going to kill them because I already forged a rather close relationship with Reinhardt. Perhaps I may have a special treatment for them along with Reinhardt when Halloween comes. Fortunately, however, seems that Reinhardt is clueless on what happened behind the locked door that leads to the basement where I lock his own parents there tee hee…"
That was all I could gather from this diary and when I read it, I felt rather appalled on what she had done in the past and my suspicions were correct. She was an immortal witch that lived for centuries! And oh dear, seems that I was too late to save Heine. I'm sorry for the things that happened in the past Heine. I just...Don't know anymore and I ended up making you disappointed and died by that witch's hands. But at the same time, my parents are in danger so I have to save them and I don't want to lose my loved ones. Once I found your body Heine, I will give you a proper funeral.
I decided to go to the locked room that the lady prohibited me to enter and when I got in, it was revealed to be the stairs that led to the basement. When I followed the stairs, someone knocked me out unconscious and when I woke up, I was in a cage, tied in there, along with my parents who were bound and gagged in the same cage.
"Mom! Pops! What happened with both of you!?" I panicked "Sorry if I involved you two in this mess, let's get out of here!"
"Welcome to the basement Reinhardt." the lady clapped her hands while having a smug smile on her face.
"You...What have you done with Heine and my parents!?"
"Heine? Who's that? Oh! That chubby kid who threatened me to confess my crime otherwise I will be sent to law enforcement and your own best friend that you frequently told me?" The lady started to giggle. "Hahahaha... He's truly an idiot. Anyways, regarding the answer on your parents, I intentionally have them bound and gagged while sitting besides you so that you three can spend with each other in your last moments. Does that answer your question?"
"Why!? Why did you do this?"
"Well, we're friends after all, aren't we Reinhardt? I actually let you reunite with your own parents because I'm in a good mood today and you can call this as a pure mercy from your new goddess that will rule the world in the future. Before we part ways, I'm going to let you see my unfinished masterpiece first. Hehehehehehehehahahahahahahahaha!"
As the lady opened the curtain, I saw a huge mural that was made from flesh and bone. The mural itself had a lot of distorted faces as if they were former humans who became grotesque parodies of life and some of their bodies were mangled horribly. The mural depicted those bodies as if humanity were fleeing from the legion of hell. No, they were not human anymore, they were just a grotesque parody of life that were mangled and combined in one, huge mural. I was appalled by this to the point I wanted to vomit.
"So, how do you like my masterpiece Reinhardt and Mr and Mrs. Hitzlsperger? Interesting isn't it? I made this from a hundred thousands of corpses and still just need hundred more to reach the number that I required to complete this mural: A million. I spent years and years to build this mural so that I could perform the ritual to transcend myself into godhood by summoning the seven demon lords of hell and control them for my own whims."
"Why...Why did you do this? I thought we were friends! I thought you were capable of doing good deeds!" I cried
"Hahahahaha...Your personality never ceases to amuse me Reinhardt. Friends? Come to think of it? I'll take back on what I said earlier, I didn't consider you to be my friend in the first place kid. You are just a tool for me to start my immortality ritual. In fact, I knew that you were grown suspicious of me from the get-go. So I decided to pretend to be nice with you and betray you in the last second. You are just a mere fool who was easily manipulated by other people at the end of the day. And come to think of it, you're going to be my 120th victim for my immortality ritual."
I started to cry after seeing her true, rotten nature. I knew that I should have trusted my gut feeling in the first place. In the end, she was just a pure, unadulterated evil witch who only cared about fulfilling her selfish desire. Nothing more, nothing less.
"You know, since you ask something about your friend, Heine, I think I remember that I put him in the part of the mural. Ah! Now here's the body in question."
The lady pointed her finger to the body located at the very southwestern side of the mural and it was revealed to be Heine's body. His body became much more twisted while leaving only flesh just like the other people who got stitched in that mural and his face became something that came from the infamous painting called "The Scream". I was appalled and cried at the same time when seeing what happened with Heine's body.
"You monster! Why did you do this!?"
"Well, originally he was going to be my meal for my immortality ritual but considered that I got frequently threatened by that kid, I decided that I'm going to kill him and make him as a part of my own mural."
"Y...You monster! I want my friend back!"
"Fat chance! He's already dead anyway and the dead will never come back to life. I need him so that I could become a goddess that could rule this world."
"Why...Why do you work so hard to make this mural just to ascend to godhood? There's a lot of better things that you can do such as helping poor people who are starving across the world."
"Hahahahaha! Your comment amuses me. I wanted to become a goddess so that I could make a perfect world where weak people are eliminated and the strongest ones rule the Earth. Once I become a goddess, I think I'm going to start a brutal purge of poor people with seven demon lords of hell starting with a continent known as Africa. That continent disgust me to no end due to lots of poor and weak people living there. After that, I'm going to continue my purge in the Asian continent and so on. Once I'm done, I'm going to leave only a billion people alive who are worthy of my guidance so that they could never rise up against me and if anyone rebels, I'm going to pit the demon lords against the resistance so that they could be purged from the face of the Earth."
"Y...You monster, this is truly beyond appalling. Aren't you concerned with the innocent that will get involved in your plans!? Please don't do this!"
"Heh, innocent people? I don't really care that much about them. They're just a necessary sacrifice to further my own plan as the new ruler of the world. Speaking of sacrifices, you know, I think before I kill your parents and put them in my own mural, I think I'm going to give them a last feast first. And the feast in question? Would be none other than YOU hehehe! I'm going to enjoy their despair before they're getting killed by my own hands."
I decided not to speak anymore because it was going to be hopeless anyway. I was going to be eaten by that witch along with my own parents and I felt really bad for them because I let them getting involved in this mess.
"Well that's all for now, I'm going to prepare the oven so that I could roast your body and made a special feast for myself and your parents, Reinhardt. Oh right! I need to cut you first to get the blood so that me and your parents can drink it for my own immortality ritual."
As the witch went upstairs, I sat in the cage pathetically until I decided to think about the escape plan. As a result, I had no choice but to wait for the witch to cut my body for blood. After the witch prepared the oven located in the kitchen, the witch returned to this room to take us to the kitchen.
"Alright you three, the oven's ready. Time to make a meal out of you Reinhardt."
As my parents went into the dining room under the witch's orders, I was left in the kitchen with the witch herself.
"Alright, I'm going to cut you, I promise that I'll make your death slow and painless hehehe…"
However, when she started to cut me in pieces, I decided to kick her in the stomach and after that, I took the knife with my mouth and cut the rope that tied me.
"Reinhardt...Why you LITTLE!"
The witch became furious and began to shoot purple beams out from her hand. That purple beams could turn an object into dust as it was demonstrated by the furniture that were obliterated by her beams.
"I don't want to lose my main meal, but seems that you're too much of a nuisance. I'm gonna kill you if it's the last thing I do!"
The witch continued to shoot her purple beams into several things as I managed to escape to the dining room and liberated my parents. However, when we ran, the witch started to teleport herself and blocked the front door for us.
"Where do you think you're going huh?"
We decided to run away to the back but the witch found us faster like a lightning and kept shooting purple beam on us. As a result, we decided to hide in the wardrobe located in the bedroom.
"Oh Reinhardt, come out come out wherever you are! All work and no play makes Maggie a dull gal! Hehe...Hehe...Hehahaahahaha" She let out a crazed laugh while still trying to find us.
As the cost was clear, my parents and I decided to escape from the wardrobe. However, as soon as we managed to get out from the wardrobe, the witch spotted us at the top of the wardrobe and looked at us like a hungry predator.
"Found you!" she said as she let out a crazy giggle.
My parents and I screamed as we attempted to run away. However, the witch managed to capture us and took my parents as hostage as she attempted to slit their throats with a knife.
"Oh, Reinhardt, if only you were obedient to my orders, I won't even try to take your parents as a hostage. Don't worry, I won't hurt your parents as long as you surrender to me and I'll eat you hehe...hehahahahahaha!"
"Reinhardt...Son, please let us go. We are ready to die by this woman's hands." said my father with a rather sorrowful face.
"Yes Reinhardt, please, you have to let us go. You're going to be fine without us." My mother replied too.
"Hahahaha! Make your choice Reinhardt! If you're surrender, then I'll spare your parents, if not, then I'll kill them anyways. You've got ten seconds to choose because right now, I'm hungry!" threatened the witch.
However, as I saw the diary that I left on the table, I decided to pick it as a form of resistance against her.
"Never! I will never surrender to you witch!" I picked up the diary that she left on the table.
"My diary!? Don't tell me that you read it!"
"Yes, I read your diary witch! Now give me back your parents otherwise I'm going to give it to law enforcement and you're going to rot in prison for eternity!"
"WHY YOU LITTLE! Alrighty then, I'm not going to kill your parents as long as you give me that diary. Pinky promise?"
I suddenly realize that this witch would never keep her promise as I saw her give an evil grin after I gave her the diary as she would murder my parents anyway.
"I knew that you won't keep your promise! Catch me If you can you old hag!"
"WHY YOU LITTLE!"
I ran away to the kitchen so that I could burn the diary into the oven. After I managed to run into that room, the witch suddenly found me using her teleportation spell.
"Alright Reinhardt, you'll win this time, give me the diary and I'll definitely let you and your parents free at the end of the day. Let's pretend this will never happen. Pinky promise?"
I realized that the witch was trying to lie to my face again with that smug grin after I decided to give her the book anyway as it was revealed that she never wanted to keep her promise and instead, she just wanted to kill us in the end.
"NEVER!" I opened the oven and threw her diary into there. That made the witch furious.
"WHY YOU! REINHARDT! I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!" The witch leaped and tried to catch me. However, I managed to evade her attacks and pushed her into the oven and closed it for good.
"NOOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOO! THE FIRE! THE FIRE! I'LL GET YOU FOR THIS REINHARDT! YOU WILL REGRET THIS! I MIGHT DIE BUT MY SPIRIT WILL HAUNT YOU SOMEDAY! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"
And thus, the ungodly witch was burned into ashes and returned to hell where she belonged. However, as she died after I pushed her to the oven, the house began to collapse as my parents and I began to escape the collapsed house. While we managed to go outside, we saw a huge black smoke coming from the house. It was revealed that they were the spirits that were tormented by the witch herself, including Heine who decided to part ways with me. After the witch was defeated, they were freed from the witch's curse and moved on to the next life.
As my parents and I saw those events, I began to cry and hugged my parents.
"Mom! Pops! I'm sorry if I ended up going without your permission, I just wanted to atone for my sins and apologize with what happened to Heine."
"It's okay son. Me and your father read the letter that you left in the house and I can understand the circumstances that you're experiencing Reinhardt." My mother hugged me.
Suddenly, my pops hit my shoulder.
"I agree with your mother, I read your letter and seems that it's a good thing that you decided to stand up for yourself and confront your worst fears!"
"So you're not going to ground me despite what happened?"
"Of course son! You are grounded because you went to a dangerous place without our permission!" Teased my pops. "Of course not, since we experienced the same thing and you ended up becoming a hero by saving us in the end, I'm not going to ground you or anything like that. In fact, this is the moment that you become a man. A real man who conquer his fears!"
"Really, thanks pops!" I hugged my pops in excitement.
"No problem, but next time, if you went to dangerous places? Please tell me and your mother and I'm going to tell you how to survive those places."
"Understood!" I replied.
"Now, since our boy saved us from that evil witch, who wants to have some Schnitzels?" My mother replied.
"ME!" Me and my father replied as we ended up having a laugh with each other as the sun rose brightly when we walked outside of the forest.
And thus, ends my fascinating story that I had in my entire life. It's already been 11 years and despite the fact that I hate that witch, I decided to use the skills that she taught me to my advantage and as a result, I became one of Dresden's most famous macabre painters. Not only that, I also decided to use the broadcasting skills that she taught me to become a football pundit for Bundesliga matches as football used to be my passion as a child. I also married with a beautiful woman that I met 4 years ago during my trip to Munich even if she gave me some familiar vibes due to her interesting appearance and had two cute little children with her while still lived happily with my parents in Dresden.
However, right now I'm going to visit the forest that has been opened for public ever since my father told me that the forest is pretty much conducive for hosting several events until this day and as a result, it was mostly used for public such as picnics, festivals, camping or hiking. Even then, often times I also visited the forest to pay the tribute to my late friend, Heine, as I also put some flowers in the forest and said this to my friend:
"Heine, I'm sorry on what happened eleven years ago. You're right that I'm truly a coward who never move from my own safe space. However, it was thanks to you that I moved on from my safe space and conquer my greatest fears. I'm sorry if the witch killed you at the end. I hope you're rest well in the next life and had a happy life there. Sweet dreams, my friend, I won't forget you."
"Honey! Have you finished yet? The kids need some company too!" My wife is calling from the car as she honking it.
"I'm done my dear! Let's go to the kindergarten to pick up the kids."
"Alright then, let's go!" My wife responded.
And thus, after I paid my tribute towards my late friend, my wife and I went to the kindergarten classroom to pick up our kids. I will tell them my own fascinating story that I experienced 11 years ago.
A/N: Thanks for reading this story guys. I really appreciate it! Special thanks to my friend in Discord, Looperreallyreallysucks, who proofread and corrected my own story and the TV Tropes user, Lightysnake, on his proposal of the Wicked Witch from Hansel & Gretel in Complete Monster cleanup thread which reminded me of the obscure game that I played since I was a child but can't anymore called Ron & Cherry's Day Out. I couldn't have done it without these two guys who helped me regain my own confidence. This is not the first time I created my own story as I still revise my other story and as a result, I decided to make short stories first including this one to practice my own skills. Some Trivia of this story that I made btw:
*In terms of setting, I chose my story to be set in Germany because not only the story itself is inspired by Hansel and Gretel. But because the authors of Hansel and Gretel, Brothers Grimm, were born and raised in Germany
*For the city itself? Dresden was actually not my first choice when trying to make the story. I could easily choose Stuttgart, Wolfsburg, Leverkusen, Dortmund, Hoffenheim, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Rostock or Cottbus. However, I decided to go with Dresden because not only the name sounds cool, but also because one of the manga that I read, Brynhildr in the Darkness, mentioned this place. And yeah, I decided to trust my instincts on picking this place and it kind of works a bit at least for me.
*The main protagonist of this story, Reinhardt's, last name wasn't going to be Hitzlsperger. It was going to be Hassenhutl, based on Ralph Hassenhutl, the current manager of a premier league football club, Southampton. However, I decided to change it to Hitzlsperger based on the football player, Thomas Hitzlsperger, because it's sounds cool and reads pretty well.
*The main antagonist of this story...Magdalena, I'll admit that I have a hard time describing her appearance because I based her design on the attractive witch from "Ron and Cherry's Day Out", Cornelia from "Fire Emblem: Three Houses" and "Akeno Himejima" from "Highschool DxD". I'll admit that I had a hard time to describe her because of Cornelia's dress but I think it paid off really well. And yeah, originally I tried to stick with red lipstick for her appearance, but I decided go with the black lipstick due to the Gothicfeeling of the character and it reminds me a bit of the Witch from Ron & Cherry's Day Out
*Similar to Reinhardt, one of the antagonists of this story, Joachim Dirlewanger's last name, wasn't originally going to be his final name as his old name was going to be Joachim Fischer as it is based on an obscure football player from Denmark called Viktor Fischer and the name sounds rather cool. However, after hearing several bad things about a Nazi called Oskar Dirlewanger, in TV Tropes forum, I decided to change his name into that. I considered to reset his last name to Fischer again but Dirlewanger sounds really fitting for now.
*Speaking of Joachim, I originally wanted to use haunted house setting for Reinhardt's flashback arc because it reminded me a lot of another obscure game that I know when I was a child, "Sinthai the House". However, I decided to change the setting into an abandoned building that is revealed to be the torture camp during the Communist Era of East Germany because it's hard to found some haunted houses in Dresden via Google Search.
*Speaking of the antagonist of the story, I'll admit that I wanted to make Magdalena a bit complex because it's not only my love of complex female Pure Evil villains but also inspired by a video from Super Eyepatch Wolf called "What Makes The Villain Feel Real". It's a great video and you should watch it.
*I decided to make Magdalena as a radio presenter because of the communication major that I took for college as the major has a subject called "Content Media Production". And I decided to make Magdalena's end-goal to be creating a mural of million corpses so that she could transcend into becoming a goddess to eliminate the people that she hates so that her immortality goal had some kind of meaning at the end of the day while correlating with some of her character traits: "Artistic" and "Megalomaniac". I also added her experience as a teacher during 50s Germany because from my research, the Radio Station that Magdalena worked there, Radio DDR 2, wasn't founded until 1958.
*Lastly, when the story is near final stages when it was proofreaded by Looperreallyreallyrocks, I originally wanted to change the location of the forest to be on the north-eastern part instead of the eastern part as the story suggest for location accuracy. However, I decided to go with "East" at the end of the day because why not?
That's all I have to say. Feel free to give constructive criticism via reviews and hopefully for my next stories, I will improve.