Unnamed Journal Volume 2, Issue 3 - Page 26

The Teutonic Beast inhuman strength of its huge arms. He saw the interior of the beast, gaping down into black nothing. He tossed a frag grenade down it. It bounced around and went down and the beast let go of Henry. Instead it reached two or three arms into its great gullet and tried to find the grenade. Henry backed away quickly. So it knew the grenade was a threat. For a moment, Henry feared that the beast would succeed and toss the grenade back at him, as Germans had been doing with American grenades. So he reached down and picked up his pistol where he had dropped it and pointed it at the beast again. He was ready to fire his final round when the grenade went off. It blew the guts out the creature, spreading orange goo across the dugout in a radius away from Henry. The various animal eyes of the beast went dead and it seemed not to fall but to fade. And then, Henry was alone in the dugout with a dying German unteroffizier. He had bullet holes in his shoulders and his torso had been blown to pieces. He looked exactly like the dead men they had seen in no-man's land. These had been the beasts his men had killed. They could have killed this one, if they had had rifles and bombs. The thought of that was bitter. It made his face twist far worse than the dying ragged gasp of the dead German. Henry gaped at this sudden change as much as at the grotesquerie he'd just fought. What accounted for it? What made a German man shift to a horrible beast and then back again? How could anyone make sense of it? The Platoon had never been cowards. They had reacted sensibly to an inconceivable horror. Then they turned around and face it again. And he had gotten them killed. He was a fool. The German was whispering something. It seemed to be saying two words over and over. Henry leaned in to listen. "Das gift...die neumond...das gift...die neumond..." He said that over and over until he stopped saying it and then he was quiet. Henry had studied a little German in his school days. "Gift" meant poison. "Neumond" meant new moon. Henry stepped out into the bloody trench and looked up at the inky black sky. It was, in fact, the night of the new moon. With the star shells, he had not noticed. Poison. New Moon. That was all he was likely to understand. H enry returned to Suicide Ditch and found three men: Harolds, Donnelly, and a boy named Johnson who was missing a few fingers but otherwise fine. Together they crossed no-man's land in the night a XYHB\ܙX\[Y܈H[HوH[Y\X[[\ˈ^H]H[[\X[\H\X[وB][[[H[Y]^HH[H[ H۝[YY[[[[H[\\H[Z[[KB[HY\\[Z[][[]YH[Y\[ZY][[ۈHۙ\YوB[\YY[[[\[H[ٙXH\[[\K[[HH\YۙHوHY[[\Y[H[[\ܙY]]Y\[ۋXHX[[\Y]H[ܜX\وH\YKYܛ[ [H[YHY\[Y\\X[ۜH]\]\[H[H^H[HY[YHوH^H[HܙZ\KHY]\\]YHܙZ\HYܙKHYۛۈ[][]ۈ\H[[Y ][