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King Ludwig's Castle

by Nicholas McKenna 8 months ago in fiction
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The secret in the mountains

Photo by Kylene Hashimoto from Pexels

looked half asleep and uninterested as he toured the castle with his class. He never wanted to study abroad but his friends convinced him. “These are our college years.” “When will we be able to travel again?” He knew they were right, but he wanted to go some place for a week or two, not a months. He missed his bed, his family, and mainly his dog.

! The tours leaving without you!”

Sadie screamed down the hall trying to get his attention. John and Bethany were standing next to her waiting for Zach to catch up. He was staring out a window at the scenery. The castle was with a beautiful view of the mountains. had never seen anything like this before. more interesting than the facts the tour guide was saying.

When they caught up with the tour, the tour guide was talking about the history of the castle but Zach could understand every other word. She was speaking in German and every two seconds the class would look from the tour guide to their teacher translating, like tennis fans watching a volley.

“This castle was by King Ludwig II during the 19th century over the ruins of an older medieval castle. Ludwig built this castle for his friends and family to live in although Ludwig himself would live here for 172 days and sleep here 11 nights. He died and the castle would become open to the public six weeks later. Parts of the castle unfinished to this day.”

As the tour continued, they went outside to see the view at night. The shadows from the moonlight gave the castle a beautiful, fairy tale like look reminding them of something out of a Disney movie. for them a full moon tonight.

“It’s so pretty!” Sadie said grabbing John's arm and pulling him closer to her.

John smiled “yeah it’s beautiful.”

Sadie, seeing the two getting closer, walked over to Zach. “It is lovely, isn’t it?”

“Yeah .” kept looking at the castle.

Walking around the perimeter, Sadie discovered dark purple flowers growing around the castle. She picked a and brought them to her friends.

“Look what I found!”

Bethany’s eyes lit up. “They’re so pretty!”

John and Zach looked at each other not sure how to react. Sadie put one in Bethany’s hair and one behind her ear.

Bethany turned to John. “How do I look?” John put his hands on her hips. “Gorgeous” He replied.

Sadie walked over to Zach and put a of the flowers in his pocket.

“A souvenir from this trip.” He didn’t know how to respond. “Uh… Thanks”

Looking up, John noticed that the tour had moved on without them, but he couldn’t tell where they went.

“Guys, which way did the tour go?”

Everyone looked around and realized they were by themselves, none of them could figure out which way to go.

Bethany pointed back the way they came from. “Let head back in. At least we know which way that is.”

John looked the other way. “There’s a path right there, they must have gone that way.” He starts walking down the path and the others follow. Bethany grabs his arm “We shouldn’t go this way. We don’t know where it leads.”

Sadie and Zach shook their heads in agreement. “Come on, this is the other way to go. Where else could they have gone?”

“That makes sense.” Sadie said.

starts walking with John down the path. “OK, Let’s catch up with the tour.”

The four start walking down the path which wound around the castle where there wasn’t any moon light. While in the shadows, they came across an opening to the castle. A window to a room that was unfinished. They see a light and decide to go in.

“This is creepy.” Bethany said.

John put his arm around her. “Everything will be fine. keep walking toward the light.”

“You’re not making me feel better John.”

Sadie inched closer to Zach. “This is kinda scary.” She said.

turned to her trying to be brave. “No, I don’t think so. It's a little dark.”

knocks into a pile of stone and jumped back shrieking as he did.

The others started laughing at him.

“No so scary huh?” Sadie said in a sarcastic tone.

They approach the light to find a fire burning in the middle of the room. There's meat roasting on a stick, giving off a smell neither of them could figure out. John got closer to see what was cooking. “What is that?”

Bethany put her hand on his shoulder. “We shouldn’t be here. Let’s go.”

turned and started walking back towards the window. Sadie saw him and went to get Bethany and John, so they could go. “Let’s go, someone’s been here.” The three of them turned looking for Zach, but he was .

….….….”

They were all calling for him when Sadie bumped into something in the corner of the room. big, soft, and furry. “Why is there a fur coat in here?” then, the coat moved. When her eyes adjusted to the object in the dark, she realized it had arms and legs. It began walking towards her.

Sadie fell to the ground screaming. She started shuffling backwards trying to get away from the beast. It had long straggly hair, sharp fangs, and a tail. As she moved backwards, it came towards her giving off a low growl.

John and Bethany turned to see a wolf like creature standing over Sadie. Fear froze them in their tracks. The beast seemed irritated by something. Its nose kept twitching and its eyes were watering. then, leaped in front of Sadie holding a steaming stick. the meat that was roasting over the fire. He started waving it in front of the beast trying to get its attention.

The beast swiped it from his hands and held it to its nose. It took a deep breath in and then turned toward the window toward a howling sound. Then there was another, and another. The beast knocked Zach down with the meat. He fell away from the window and the flowers fell out of his pocket. The beast looked at them, to the window, and then back at Zach. He was on the ground, eyes wide open, with one arm across his face ready to protect himself from any kind of attack.

The beast put the meat back up against its nose and dove towards Zach. Sadie screamed as Zach curled into a ball. The beast grabbed the flowers and jumped on the window ledge. It gave off a loud howl and then leaped toward the other howls into the night.

The four stayed frozen staring out the window wondering if it would return.

broke the silence. “Is everyone OK?”

John still couldn’t move. Bethany grabbed around his waist from behind and buried her face in his back. Sadie crawled over to Zach and did the same burying her face in his chest.

“We need to go!” said, and they all jumped out of the window. They followed the path back the way they have come. All running as fast as they could without looking back. They arrived back to where they were separated from the tour to find the tour guide walking towards them. “You are not permitted to wander around by yourselves!” She screamed now speaking English. Sadie spoke up. “We’re sorry. We got separated from the group and got lost.”

The tour guide sighed. “Well that’s alright. Come with me, the rest of your class is inside.”

They followed her back into the castle where everyone was eating in a banquet hall. The table was about 50 feet long and covered with food that none of them had seen before.

John froze. “That smell! What is that?”

The tour guide turned to John “That’s roasted boar. King Ludwig’s favorite, so we cook it here in his memory.”

The four looked at each other stunned. Bethany looked toward the tour guide. “When did King Ludwig die?”

“In 1886, though we don’t know how.”

The tour guide reached down to Bethany’s hair. “Did you pick this flower from outside? They are lovely aren’t they?”

Sadie raised her hand. “I picked them. What are they?”

“They are called Wolfs bane. Legend states that they keep werewolves away because the smell of this flower bothers the wolves heightened sense of smell.”

turned to Sadie and mouthed the words “Thank You.” The tour guide excused herself and went to tend to the rest of the rest of the guests. The rest of them stood there until a howling broke the silence. German music started playing to drown out the howling. “I hope you all enjoyed yourself today!” the tour guide said, and she looked out the window towards the mountains.

and Sadie looked out as well to see the beast staring back, while leaning on a tree. It howled one last time and the guide nodded. The beast turned and ran further into the mountains.

“What was that?” said.

The guide turned to Zach. “Never mind that. Let enjoy the rest of the tour.”

fiction

About the author

Nicholas McKenna

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