Sort of like this, but with fewer humans and more golems.
Sort of like this, but with fewer humans and more golems.

It hurts to breathe.

Bleick watches in dazed confusion as blood drops to the dirty flagstones underneath his boots. He’s afraid. Scared down to his bones. That he can feel. He’s a veteran, he knows the normal initial rush of fear that accompanies combat. This is different. Something like a pile driver or a piston, strength that can’t be denied, pushes him between his shoulder blades and he stumbles ahead. More fear. The monsters frighten him like he was a child, scared that Shock Headed Peter was going to leap out of the closet and cut off his thumbs. He’s afraid he might start to cry. He hugs himself as he stumbles towards the dungeon cell.

It hurts to breathe.

He hugs himself tighter and welcomes the pain. The pain drives away the fear, drives away the urge to cry. The pain reminds him that he’s a soldier of the Reich, a decorated veteran of the Wehrmacht. The Captain and the Sergeant are still free, they’ll figure a way out of this. He’s a soldier, he has to be ready when they call upon him. He straightens against the pain, wipes his bloody nose with the sleeve of his uniform, and starts to pay attention to his surroundings.

With the rest of survivors from the troop, Bleick is herded into a large dungeon cell. The front of the cell, looking out onto passageway, is made up of large iron bars, with the door cut out from the middle of the bars. Light is provided by a single flickering lightbulb strung from the ceiling. It smells of piss and shit and fear. There’s a narrow drain in the corner. There are no windows. One of the monsters in its black leather greatcoat, gasmask now slung around its neck, slams the door shut and locks it. The monster grins and licks its lips and leaves. Continue reading “(Fangs of the SS) CHAPTER 24: The Enemy Of My Enemy…”


These that do counterfeit the Crank be young knaves and young harlots that deeply dissemble the falling sickness. For the Crank in their language is the “falling evil”. … and never go without a piece of white soap about them, which, if they see cause or present gain, they will privily convey the same into their mouth and so work the same there that they will foam as it were a Boar, and marvelously for a time torment themselves…

A Caveat for Common Cursitors, Vulgarly Called Vagabonds.

Thomas Harman

The sun was going down and it shone red and yellow through the murk like a rotten cracked egg above London. Farmers and drovers were leaving the city, their day’s business done.

He’d been riding a swayback nag for the last two days. Spine like a saw and he hadn’t felt his cock for the last day. He was afraid to look, in case something had been cut off.

Arnold Mulemaker the jeweler lived all the way over on the other side of the city. No way to get there before he closed up for the night. He found that he was again gnawing his lip in frustration and fear. Getting close and it seemed that the closer he got, the slower things moved. He might have shaken that bastard Helmsley in Vlissengen, but there were no guarantees. He had to assume that they were still on his trail. Hell, probably worse than that. They had to know where he was bound, there being so few boltholes open to him now. They were probably already waiting for him in there. So he had that in front of him. He spared a glance over his shoulder to check on what was behind him. Him that called himself Stephen Gardener.

He had to hand it to the little shit, he’d gotten Nick into England, smooth as butter. And now they’d been on the road for three days, heading towards London. Pleasant enough company, always ready with joke or conversation. Stingy with the coin, though, and Nick took him for being completely skint. But with all the jokes and stories, Nick was no closer to knowing who this cove was than when he first woke up and saw him in that room in Vlissengen. One thing he did know for certain. He didn’t trust him. At all. Continue reading “(Broken Instrument) CHAPTER 24: NICK: BACK IN THE SMOKE”


The sound of trucks making their way up the road to the castle and all the figures climbing the cliff pause simultaneously.

When the sound fades away as the trucks enter the castle, they start climbing again. Above them, built right on top of the cliff face, loom the walls of Bathory’s castle. Geburah is the highest, it moves with almost a scuttling motion, its four arms spread wide, taking advantage of every possible handhold. Below it and to either side climb the rest of the golems. As heavy as each of the golems is, they all take care on each hand hold. A constant patter of dust and pebbles rains down the cliff face.

Mirsky is in the middle of them, moving very slowly and carefully. His lips twist as he whispers every obscenity he knows in every language he knows. They’ve been climbing for 20 minutes now and he hasn’t repeated himself once. His foot slips, pebbles patter down onto Malkuth’s face, and something pungent in Yiddish, something having to do with well endowed donkeys and Lenin’s wife, comes out of his mouth. He blinks sweat out if his his eyes and reminds himself that for Leah he’ll do anything. Even this. At least it’s not raining. He turns his curses onto himself for thinking such a stupid thing and waits for the downpour to start. Continue reading “(Fangs of the SS) CHAPTER 23: Sneaking Into The Castle Of Blood”


Despite these obstacles, some women did secure licenses, especially licenses for alehouse-keeping. … Yet the women licensed to keep alehouses in the sixteenth century and later constituted not only a small minority of licensees but also a small minority of a particular sort: they were almost invariably widows.

Ale, Beer, and Brewsters in England

Judith Bennett

The sun was was straight overhead and it shone red and yellow through the murk like a rotten cracked egg above London. Poley was in his element, on the move and surrounded by people, all jostling and talking at the top of their lungs. Ralph walked slightly in front of him, breaking his way through the crowd, giving Poley enough space to speak into Ralph’s ear with a certain degree of privacy.

“Find Ollie the Straight and give him this.” He handed Ralph a folded and sealed piece of paper. “I’ll be at Alewife Harvey’s and it says for him to forward any news he receives to me there with the most pressing urgency. ”

Ralph looked back at Poley and stumbled a bit. “Harvey’s? Why there?” He reached out and took the piece of paper.

“Because she knows me and won’t object to me doing business from her tap room. And she’s smart enough to keep her mouth shut. I can also play her along with hints of her suit making progress at Court.”

Ralph went down Fenchurch, towards the center of the city, and Poley continued towards Kate’s. Now, he barely saw the people around him, his steps taken by instinct, while he spun the jewel of his plan in his mind, carefully inspecting each of its facets.

One of the facets pleased him well. Continue reading “(Broken Instrument) CHAPTER 23: POLEY: OPERATING IN THE SMOKE”

photo by J A Helminen
photo by J A Helminen

Nothing stirs in the courtyard of the castle in the cloudy afternoon.

A giant scarlet banner adorned with the swastika hangs from the highest tower in the castle. Wind intermittently makes it flap and rustle. The wind doesn’t reach down into the courtyard, the air is clammy and still, with a slight odor of decay coming from somewhere. Sunlight is revealed and then hidden by the clouds racing across the sky. Not much light reaches the bottom of the courtyard; the shadows are long even in early afternoon. Sometimes there’s a faint electrical buzzing sound coming from somewhere, like a giant wasp trapped in a glass. Continue reading “(Fang of the SS) CHAPTER 22: Vampires vs. Wehrmacht”


The South Bank has always been associated with entertainment and pleasure … The prostitutes of the Bankside, practicing their trade within the “Liberty” of the Bishop of Winchester, were known as “Winchester geese”… The area also acquired a reputation for dubious taverns and doubtful pleasure gardens.

London: The Biography

Peter Ackroyd

Even though the sun was only a hands breadth above the horizon, it already shone red and yellow through the murk like a rotten cracked egg above London. Helmsley and Jean had been rowed ashore, through the forest of ships in the London Pool, just after dawn and now they were finally finished with the Customs House. De Langhe’s papers had passed inspection without the slightest twitch of an official eyebrow.

Helmsley had even been congratulated on his service in the Protestant armies of Bohemia, an honor he had made all dissemblance to accept with thankfulness and humility. He passed on invented tales of Catholic perfidy averted by only the most stalwart application of Protestant might and the grace of God. In truth, the encounter did him good. It made clearer in his mind who he was supposed to be, a hard-fighting Protestant soldier, a killer of Catholics and proud of it. Outwardly, he was returned after a long absence and happy to be home. Inwardly, he seethed. Continue reading “(Broken Instrument) CHAPTER 22: HELMSLEY: THE SMOKE OF THE RANKEST HERETICS”

Queen of the Damned by RoseOnyxis
Queen of the Damned by RoseOnyxis

“I want to arrive around noon.”

Wetzel looks up from the map that he’s examining by flashlight. He’s in the passenger seat of his jeep. Krober leans over the back of his seat and looks at the map and where Wetzel is indicating. “We’re about here now and here’s the castle. A couple of hours. We should probably stop soon, then. Let the men rest until sunrise, then get on the way, arrive and catch the bloodsuckers napping.”

Mueller, the driver, swears and jerks the wheel. The other two men look up and see a fighter plane come screaming out of the sky, on fire, and slam into the desert not far away from the road that they’re on. There’s the sound of a hammer hitting metal and a large dent appears in the hood of the jeep. A spent fighter plane round neatly rests in the middle of the dent. Continue reading “(Fang of the SS) CHAPTER 21: Pieces Start To Gather”


In 1585, the ports again linked England and the Netherlands by becoming, as so-called cautionary towns, the security guaranteeing the Treaty of Nonsuch, a political and military alliance between England and the United Provinces. In return for English troops and money, the Dutch surrendered Flushing and Brill (Vlissingen and Brielle) to English control as a gesture of good faith.

Historical Dictionary of the Elizabethan World

They arrived in Vlissingen that afternoon on a small ship flying the flag of Holland, one of the United Provinces. The ship carrying Helmsley and Jean was loaded with timber to sell in the port. Its cargo was part of a stockpile used by agents of Hugh Owen to provide cover for their exit from Spanish Flanders. The papers that the captain carried proved that the ship and its cargo and its passengers all hailed from Emden, carrying a load of Baltic timber.

The trip, short as it was, had been a nightmare. Driven by the urgent need to catch that fat bastard Nick, Helmsley had forced the captain to lift anchor the moment he had received the finished papers from de Langhe. Unfortunately, that storm that he had observed massing in the west had been a very slow moving one. The rain lashed them with cold flails and only by laboriously tacking back and forth down the Scheldt had they managed to defeat the strong wind blowing from the west. One small blessing was that the storm had driven all the blockading ships into shelter, so they made their way into the North Sea unimpeded. The storm had finally blown past during the morning and now the midday sun was only intermittently obscured by fast-moving fluffy clouds. The wind blew the sea into whitecaps. Continue reading “(Broken Instrument) CHAPTER 21: HELMSLEY: EARLIER THAT AFTERNOON”