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An Excerpt

By Kale RossPublished 5 months ago Updated 2 months ago 23 min read

Canicatti, Sicily | July 6th, 1943

Nadine sipped her steaming hot, black coffee from a white ceramic cup, while Elmar used the edge of his knife to break down their hefty bags of meth and opium into twelve, three-inch lines on top of the glass table in the center of the hotel room. They had become dangerously addicted to mixing the two drugs, but the high was a rare euphoria that was impossible not to chase once experiencing it.

Nadine continued to sip her coffee impatiently, shaking uncontrollably, scratching furiously at her arms, neck, and face. She needed her fix, and she needed it now.

“Hurry up, brother! The goddamn lines don’t need to be perfect.”

“Patience, Nadine. I am making sure we each have a fair share. This is all we have left, we need to make it last through the night, and you know how Lutz gets around opium. He will try to kill me for a snort. Remember what happened last time? Remember what he tried to do to you?”

“Do not worry about that fat piece of shit. If he gets out of control, I will handle him.”

“How will you handle him?”

“I will plunge my dagger into his testicles, and make sure he can never pleasure himself ever again. Then I will cut his cock from his belly, ensuring that he will never violate another woman for the rest of his pathetic existence.”

“Did you ever tell Ulrich about that night?”

“He does not need to be distracted by such things.”

“Such things? One of his men tried to rape you, sister. He deserves to know.”

“Enough, Elmar. I will tell him when I am ready to tell him. Right now, all I want from you is to finish breaking up the goddamn lines.”

Elmar shook his head, and sighed with disappointment at the blinding trauma that enveloped his younger sister. They were forty-year old fraternal twins, and they each fought in the first world war. Elmar was a highly skilled infantry man, fighting for German glory. His tour was cut short when a french explosive rolled into his trench. The explosion claimed his right eye, melted the right side of his skull, and rendered him completely deaf in his right ear. He was lucky to make it off the front lines alive, and was hospitalized for the next six months, undergoing extensive skin graft surgeries. Nadine worked in communications, and was tasked to gather intel on enemy troop movements. After word reached her about her brother, rage consumed her, and she abandoned the safety of her office post, traveled to France, disguised herself as a French citizen, and began carrying out covert assassinations on high-ranking French operatives.

Nadine and Elmar shared a bond that most people could never understand. It also meant that they shared each other’s pain. She could not live with herself knowing that she allowed the French to get away with what they did to her brother. So she killed as many as she could.

After the war ended, and the years passed, word of her successful, un-sanctioned assassinations found their way up the line of German intelligence. As the horns of the second great war roared across the globe, Ulrich had assigned Nadine and Elmar to his death squad as free ranging bounty hunters. They could enter countries with ease, and at will, and were tasked with carrying out crucial missions that larger platoons of German soldiers could not yet accomplish. It paid well, and allowed the siblings to do what they did best. Kill.

As the second war raged on, Ulrich and Nadine became heated lovers, which caused Nadine to fall into a drug-induced relationship that quickly consumed her psyche, as well as her physical appearance.

The addiction first started with pervitin. She was introduced to the drug right before her murderous journey to France. A young doctor who was treating Elmar’s wounds, told her that the pill would help keep her awake for multiple days at a time, and lethally sharpen her senses. He also told Nadine that the methamphetamine would help her execute her assassinations with unyielding success. She had heard all she needed, and wanted to hear. Before leaving the hospital, she used her body to pay the doctor for a leather satchel, filled with two hundred pervitin pills.

When Nadine finally returned to Germany, her leather satchel was empty, and her hands were drenched in the blood of French military, and political officials. She immediately threw herself at Ulrich, because she knew he had access to the drug she had become addicted to during her time in France. Ulrich had become a powerful, important, and extremely busy man, but he also had passionate needs. So in return for granting her unlimited access to the pills, he demanded payment. Two times a week he would take Nadine to his private residence, a massive, brick and stone castle nestled deep within the German countryside, where they would take pervitin and have sex for forty-eight hours straight. She loved Ulrich, but she loved the drugs and the euphoric sensation the high gave her while climaxing much more. She was a woman with needs, and Ulrich was offering her the only solution that could satisfy them.

As the years passed, the red, white and blue pills lost their potency, leaving her no choice but to transition to pure methamphetamine, and cocaine, which she snorted directly into her bloodstream. They were the only substances that could mimic the high she had been chasing for so long. It wasn’t soon after her switch, that she got introduced to the magic of opium by Elmer, who had been released from the hospital, and was battling aggressive, suicidal depression from his lingering trauma from the first world war.

Her legs and arms were covered with lesions from injections, and bloody rashes from excessive scratching, but the euphoria was so enchanting, she would do anything to please Ulrich, no matter the cost — as long as she got her fix in the end.

Elmar worried about his sister, and was determined to break Ulrich’s dopamine hold over her, setting her free. He was certain that Ulrich’s love was selfish and hollow, and that he would discard her as soon as her use depreciated in value. Being a minute older than Nadine, he was naturally selected to become the life-long, protective big brother. Unfortunately, time had been cruel, and rendered him disabled, and deformed. It was an embarrassing burden that now made him dependent on his baby sister.

“They’re ready. We each have six lines. Three meth, and three opium.”

Nadine’s eyes dilated with anticipation, and she began salivating at the mouth.

“You know the drill, Nadine. Snort the opium first, then wait thirty minutes before snorting the meth. Do not alternate them. The nearest hospital is twenty miles away, and we have no vehicle. You will be dead before I can get you down the stairs.”

Throwing her hands above her head, Nadine hissed at her brother in utter annoyance, yanked a thin metal straw from her jacket pocket, then started pushing him off of the couch.

“I know what to do, Elmar. Now get the fuck out of the way.”

Elmar stood, not wanting to keep Nadine waiting any longer, walked into the small kitchen, chose a hand-painted ceramic cup, and plate, from the chestnut cabinet, poured himself a hot cup of coffee from the press, adding a teaspoon of milk from the fridge, and filled the plate with macaroons he had purchased at a local bakery before booking their room. As he sipped the steaming dark roast, and nibbled on the soft, and crunchy, almond and coconut cookies, he watched as Nadine expertly snorted all three of her assigned brown lines of opium. She closed her eyes, and slowly fell backwards, sinking her crooked spine deep into the couch’s plush, leather cushion. She reached beside her, grabbed the three-layered wool blanket, and wrapped it tightly around her body. Her neck twitched twice as she nodded off, indicating that she had slipped into the euphoric realm of her unconscious.

Elmar’s job was to monitor Nadine, and wait for her high to reduce. Once she woke up, their jobs would shift, and she would begin snorting the meth so she could be alert enough to monitor him as he began snorting his attractive brown lines of opium.

He walked across the three hundred square foot hotel room, pulled a delicate oak chair out from beneath the corner writing desk, and placed it in front of the balcony door, which was open, letting in fresh drafts of cool summer air. For the next thirty minutes, he sipped his coffee, ate his cookies, ran his thick fingers through his dirty blonde hair, removed the uncomfortable eye-patch from his left eye, and scratched at unsatisfiable itches on both of his inner elbows while watching as the citizens of Canicatti mingled, argued, negotiated, fought, danced, and sang with each other on the streets below.

They had traveled many miles, and through numerous volatile countries to be here tonight. They were also the ones who tipped off Ulrich about the Tutino’s presence in Casablanca, which ultimately led to their capture. They were currently tasked with the next phase of that operation. Locate, and monitor the Tutino’s remaining children, which Elmar had done when he crashed Milici’s funeral.

Neither of them were in the loop about the violin, nor of the violin’s contents which Ulrich desired more than anything in the world. Their orders were to locate, contain, and wait for Ulrich and his men to reinforce their effort.

Elmar tracked Corrado from the burning instrument shop, and covertly tailed him as the boy walked home. Nadine lost sight of Rosalie in a crowd of drunk singers after she left the cafe. Nadine was also high on morphine at the time, which enhanced her chances of failure. She knew that Ulrich would be furious with her for losing the girl, but she knew that his fury would be fleeting because Elmar had discovered the location of their family home. All they needed to do now was go to the house.

As Elmar stared at the people below, through the white steam of his coffee, he heard Nadine moan out his name.


“I am here sister.”

“I had a dream about Willy. He was…running through a forest, and I was chasing after him. He was smiling. He was singing. He was happy.”

Elmar always hated when Nadine dreamed of Willy. It always ruined his high because he felt responsible, and never forgave himself for what happened. He was Elmar’s only nephew, and he had died far too early, and too tragically. Elmar wasn’t sure if Nadine blamed him, but the blame he held himself was more than enough for both of them.

Over the years, Nadine learned how to weave Willy’s existence into the fabric of her euphoric highs, deepening her addiction to meth, and opium. It was a way for her to see him again. To hear his giggle. To hold his hand. To hear him sing. To watch him run. It was the only way she knew how to heal the inconsolable damage done to her heart.

He could never blame his sister for dreaming about Willy. He was her only son, and was the only person who ever made her truly happy. Then suddenly, he was taken away from her. Permanently. Forever.

Elmar had dreams about Willy too, except his dreams were nightmares — haunting him during every waking second of his sobriety. This curse, mixed with the warring demons of his past, were his reasons for chasing the numbing high of combining the sedation of opium, and the stimulation of meth.

They each had their reasons for seeking their own paradises of ecstasy, and they each respected their reasons why. They were also highly trained, and highly-skilled killers. The drugs helped them cope with the absurd amounts of violence they inflicted upon the world, and brought an unorthodox balance to their brains which strangely humbled them into appreciating the new reality they now resided in.

“It’s time to snort the meth, Nadine. I cannot wait any longer.”

Nadine peeled herself up from the couch, picked up the metal straw with her right thumb, and index finger, and snorted each of her three assigned lines of meth. Once the meth found her nerve endings, a wave of dopamine flooded her brain, enveloping her in a state of ecstatic paradise.

“Well sit down then,” Nadine barked at Elmar, who was pacing back and forth in front of the table, “Your pacing is making my head hurt.”

Elmar slid himself onto the couch, next to Nadine, lifted the black eye patch from his left eye, picked up a white, and blue hand towel that was resting on the table, and used it to clear both of his nostrils as best as he could. He wanted the drugs to have a clear path to his bloodstream, and he always claimed to have vivid visions when he drifted without the eye patch.

With both nostrils cleared of mucus, Nadine handed Elmar the metal straw. She rose from the couch, and made her way into the kitchen.

“Did you leave me any macaroons?”

Her only response was the sound of opium being snorted up the smooth cylinder straw, and the deep snorting of Elmar trying to secure every last bit of the drugs into his body. The following sounds made her quiver, and caused her skin to crawl around her bones like a million spiders hunting for prey.

It was Elmar. Choking on his over-seized tongue. It would always happen when he nodded off after snorting opium, and was propped upright in a seated position. Nadine knew the drill. She flew across the room, delicately braced Elmar’s head in her right hand, then used her left to push him down onto his side. She then lifted both of his dangling legs, and placed them both onto the couch, allowing Elmar to stretch, and spread out. The choking ceased, and she could hear her brother breathing successfully. She then pinched her index, and middle-finger together, and pressed them against his neck, just beneath the jaw.

His pulse was there, but it was faint. Elmar had overdosed seven times in the last three years. She was determined to get him to stop taking opium, but she knew first hand how difficult it was to break an addiction as devouring as theirs was. It was something they would need to do together, as brother and sister. As twins. Just not right now. Right now they needed to get high, and make sure that neither of them overdosed.

Nadine walked back into the kitchen, lifted the lid of the small, white cardboard container on the counter, and inspected the contents. Only two macaroons left. She hissed, and laughed because before she snorted her opium, that box had ten cookies inside of it.


She selected a cup from the cabinet, and filled it to the brim with warm coffee. She liked it black, so she took the cup in one hand, and the box of cookies in the other, and sat down in the chair that Elmar had set up next to the window.

The coffee wasn’t as hot as she liked, but the cookies were the perfect combination of chewy, and crunchy. She took her time, savoring every single bite, then washed both of the macaroons down with the pungent coffee.

Finished with her snack, she rose from the chair, walked back across the room to the front door, reached into the right pocket of her jacket that hung from a knob bolted to the door, and removed a small, plastic pack of cigarettes, and a book of matches. She returned to the chair, placed one of the hand-rolled cigarettes between her chapped lips, struck one of the matches against the strip of powdered glass and red phosphorus, brought the flame to the opposite end, then inhaled half of the cigarette in one enormous breath.

The cloud of silver smoke she exhaled was large enough to fill the room. A sharp breeze luckily slithered its way in through the window, and ushered the cloud out into the night. Nadine inhaled two more times, then flicked the remaining butt down to the streets below. She plucked two more cigarettes from the pack, lighting one, and placing the other down onto the desk beside her.

She took her time with the second, and third cigarettes, making them last, while using Elmar’s snoring to allow her brain to drift into a realm far away from her reality.

Her fantasy, and reunion with Willy was cut short due to an annoying loud banging on the room’s door. Knowing who it was, she sighed, rose from the chair, wiped away the dangling mucus from her nostrils, and used water from the sink’s faucet to invigorate her face.

The knocking continued.

“I am coming, my love,” Nadine said.

She unlocked the deadbolt, twisted the handle down, and opened the door. Her eyes narrowed, and her lips curled in disgust at the sight of Lutz’s fat carcass swaying between the door frames. He reeked of booze and cigar tobacco, and was caressing his groin.

“Expecting someone else?” Lutz said with a heavy grin, while licking his bottom lip.

“Where is Ulrich?”

Lutz forced his weight forward, shoved Nadine back into the bowels of the room, slammed the door shut behind him, and locked it.

“He’s busy interrogating the pretty desk clerk downstairs. Do not worry. He will not make it up here until it is over,” Lutz said as he continued to caress his groin.

Nadine knew what the fat man’s intentions were, and tried to run for the window. As she turned, her foot caught itself on the leg of the glass table, and she fell hard onto her ribs. She tried using her arms to pull herself, but two large, sweaty palms latched around her ankles, pulling her back. She then felt herself lift off of the floor, and spun around until she was laying flat on her back.

Lutz was standing over her, undoing his black belt, and unbuttoning his gray pants. She tried to scream, but it fell only on the unconscious ears of her unconscious brother. She then tried screaming out for Ulrich.

“He cannot hear you. Even if he did, why would he care about what I am going to do to you?”

“He will kill you,” she screamed.

Lutz dropped to his knees, pressed his two-hundred and fifty pound gut onto her stomach, raised his left hand across his chest, then struck Nadine in the face with the backside of his palm. He then lowered his head, licked the side of her cheek with his putrid tongue, and whispered into her ear.

“He will praise me.”

Lutz leaned back, then began to go to work.

He ripped her shirt down the middle, exposing the soft fabric of her black bra. He then gripped his fingers around the button on her pants, and tore it clean off. He tugged down, until her pants were bunched up at her ankles, and salivated at the sight of the red polka dots on her black panties. He hollered, and moaned in ravenous pleasure at the sight of Nadine’s nearly naked body. He was eagerly pulling down his underwear when a sharp, warm pinch in the nape of his neck consumed his body with numbness.

As he struggled to figure out why he had suddenly become catatonic, blood began to seep between his lips, and drip down onto Nadine’s bare stomach. The pinch increased with pressure and his eyes fixated on the tip of the blade that was protruding out from beneath his chin. He began to choke on the overflowing stream of blood, and his body convulsed at the introduction of death.

A pair of weak hands shoved his swaying body to the side, and he toppled to the floor, freeing Nadine from his weight. Blood continued to exit his body, and Nadine watched as the carrion life of this monster exited with it.

Dazed, scared, and confused, she craned her neck away from the dead man, and locked eyes with Elmar, who was laying on the floor at the base of her feet.

She used the adrenaline pulsing through her veins to pull her pants back up to her waist, and spring herself up from the floor. She then carefully lifted her brother to his feet, and gently returned him to the safety of the couch.

She needed to break through his daze, and bring him back to reality, so she slapped him across each cheek.


He spoke, but Nadine could not decipher the guttural sounds he was making. So she slapped him again, this time a bit harder.

“Elmar! You need to wake up!”

His responses were slow, but were growing with clarity.

“Na-ine? Is…that…you?”

“Yes brother. I am here. Do you know what you have done? You…killed Lutz,” she said frantically.

“I…saved…your…honor. Are you…alright?”

Her eyes began to swell with tears, and she hugged Elmar’s rolling head tightly to her chest, rocking gently back and forth.

“Yes, Elmar. I am okay.”

She continued to hold him close, until another knock required her attention. This knock was softer, and less threatening. It invited her to open, which she did. As it swung open, she saw the only pair of blue eyes she wanted to see. Except one of them was no longer blue. It was a detesting burnt red, and charred black.

“Ulrich!” Nadine said, gasping with great alleviation.

He remained quiet, and was flanked on both sides by Erich, and Rolf. He stared intensely into Nadine’s shifting eyes while he formulated his question.

“Where is Lutz?”

Her eyes bounced from man to man, studying their blank, stoic expressions, trying to think of how she was going to explain why her brother stabbed one of Ulrich’s men through the throat with a knife. Her struggle only intensified, so she did the only thing she could. She stepped to the side, and allowed the sight of Lutz’s dead body to command the room.

Ulrich stood at the threshold, and analyzed the situation. His eyes focused, and unfocused on Lutz’s dead body, Elmar’s unconscious euphoric snoring, Nadine’s exposed chest, her black bra, and her tear stained cheeks. Keeping his voice just above a whisper, he took one step inside of the room, took Nadine’s hand in his, and spoke directly to her.

“What happened?”

Nadine was too scared to tell Ulrich that Lutz had tried to rape her, for the second time, and that Elmar had no choice but to use deadly force to stop the attack. She thought about that fear as she stared back into Ulrich’s eyes. Then something suddenly clicked inside of her brain.

Fuck fear.

Lutz was a deplorable creature who deserved the death he received. His filth was now wiped from the earth, and she could sleep easy knowing that his heart will never beat again. Which is exactly what she told him.

Ulrich listened to Nadine’s traumatic story, digesting every word she said. As the details were explained, his stoic expression transformed into fury, and rage. His face filled with blood, causing the skin around his eyes, nose, and mouth to glow a light crimson. The only thing he wished was that Lutz was still alive, so he could give him the death he thought he deserved. He pulled Nadine in close to his chest, shielding her shame with his body, and wrapped both of his arms around her spine. He placed his cheek onto her head, and whispered into her ear, as he rocked her back and forth.

“He is dead, my love. No harm will ever come to you again, I promise.”

Nadine squeezed her arms around Ulrich’s waist, craned her neck upwards, and demanded that he kiss her. He did just that.

Once he felt her heartbeat ease its pounding, he peeled his lips away from hers, twisted his head to the side, and gave his men their orders.

“Strip his body, cut off his cock, and hang him from one of the lamp posts, with the word, rapist, draped around his shoulders. Make sure the letters are large, and visible from afar.

Rolf and Erich stared at each other for a moment, mulling over the orders they had just been given. The silence forced Ulrich to turn around.

“Did you not hear me?”

“We heard you, sir. It’s just. Lutz was a good man. A friend,” Rolf said.

“He was my friend too. Until he betrayed me. That is why he is to be hanged. The cock, is for violating the honor of the woman whom I love most in this world. Do you disagree with the punishment? Or will you betray me as well?”

Erich responded first, and with haste.

“The punishment is acceptable. The level of his betrayal warrants no quarter. We shall strip him of his dignity, then hang him high for the town to see. He whacked Rolf hard on the spine, which prompted the soldier to raise his eyes to meet Ulrich’s, then nod in agreement with Erich.

“Good,” Ulrich said as he reached into his pocket, and removed a small container filled with pervitin. He gave the men three each, before closing the container, and stuffing it back into his pocket. Rolf and Erich quickly jammed all three of the pills into their mouths, and began to strip Lutz’s body of his clothes. Erich surgically used his SS dagger to remove Lutz’s penis, which he tossed into the dusty corner of the room.

Once the dismemberment was complete, Rolf slipped his arms beneath Lutz’s shoulders, while Erich grabbed the legs. Together, they lifted the body from the floor, and staggered over to the balcony door. They maneuvered their way through, then heaved the carcass over the banister. The body bounced off of the hotel’s wood awning, then crashed into the stone sidewalk beside a group of teenagers eating gelato.

Panicked screaming, and chaotic footfalls filled the night with an ominous haze. Rolf and Erich stepped back into the hotel room, then exited without speaking a single word to anyone. Ulrich slowly stepped past Nadine, and Elmar, who was struggling to come back online, and stepped out onto the balcony. He wanted to see this.

From his perch, he stood with his hands locked behind his back, and watched as Lutz’s fat, naked and deformed body was fastened to a noose, then hung from a light post. The sign across his chest was made from a large piece of white plaster, and the red ink used to write the message was Lutz’s own blood.

Ulrich couldn’t stop the grin from forming on his lips. The sight was too sweet. Lutz had been openly defying his orders for months, and kept leaving wakes of sexual assault everywhere they went. But it was when Lutz met with the Fuhrer in private to discuss all of Ulrich’s failures, in an attempt to relieve him of his command, right before departing Germany for Casablanca, that he decided he would kill him.

Lutz was a very good soldier, and an excellent marksman. So his plan was to wait until they found the violin. Once he had what was inside of it, his use for Lutz, Rolf, and Erich would evaporate, and he would be free to kill them.

His death had come a bit premature, which wasn’t a problem in his mind considering how close he was getting to finding the violin. He was just happy Nadine was safe, and her honor had not been completely stolen away from her.

He was happy Lutz was dead.

Ulrich spun on a dime, waltzed back into the hotel room, and sat down next to Elmar who was being held up by Nadine, snorting small pinches of meth from her pinky. He looked down at the glass table, and smiled at the broken up lines of meth. He picked up the metal straw from the glass, brought it to his nose, and snorted an entire line into his brain. He slammed his spine back into the couch, as his nerve endings exploded with energy.

He turned his head towards Nadine, who was already staring back at him, as if knowing the answer to the question brewing on his tongue, and was told the only thing he needed to hear.

“We found the children, Ulrich. Elmar found their house.”

thrillerShort StoryPsychologicalHistoricalExcerptCONTENT WARNING

About the Creator

Kale Ross

Author | Poet | Dog Dad | Nerd

Find my published poetry, and short story books here!

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (3)

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  • Test2 months ago

    I wanted to let you know there is one issue with spacing in this story. I believe it is a sentence that has two many spaces in between and starts on a different line. This is absolutely outstanding!

  • Ева2 months ago

    is this a made up story? or based on real events?

  • Tanya Doolin4 months ago

    I really enjoyed reading that story. It was interesting. I look forward to finding out was Elmer and Nadine are going to do now that the children have been found.

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