By David Eveleigh
Copyright 2016 David Eveleigh
“Efeu” is an open source character created by David Eveleigh. She may be used by anyone, for any purpose, totally free of copyright, under the sole condition that the work featuring her is accompanied by this paragraph. Feel free to use her as you see fit. Just make sure she doesn’t start using you.
“There is no true rebellion. Any movement, no matter how revolutionary it may seem, is nothing more than just another demographic.”
-Translated from Efeu’s private journals
Otto awoke to the sound of someone pounding violently on his front door. He rubbed his eyes wearily and made his way down the creaking steps to the entrance of his hofbrau.
It’s probably just some drunk, he told himself. Although a much darker thought occurred to him as his eyes fell upon the portrait of Hitler that hung behind the bar, he shook it from his head in an instant. He had nothing to fear. He had always been faithful to the Reich.
He unlocked the door and opened it. As soon as he did, a girl of sixteen collapsed into his arms. She was fair-haired and quite pretty despite the dirt which soiled her olive dress.
In her side was a knife wound.
Otto glanced outside, but saw not a soul. So, he shut the door and dragged the unconscious young maiden into the kitchen where she would be out of sight. Once there, he propped her up in the nearest chair and believed that the situation called for a glass of whisky. He brought a cup full of the good stuff to her lips, hoping that the smell and aftertaste would snap her out of whatever dream state she was in. Although he was more than willing to sell it by the pint, Otto himself never cared much for alcohol. Slowly, he tipped the glass and watched the liquid disappear down the girl’s gullet. Her eyes fluttered open, as if from a dream, and she coughed from her first taste of the spirits. She tried to rise, but collapsed back into the chair clutching her side in pain.
“Easy, fraulein,” Otto said. He patted her shoulder.
“No,” she replied, “you don’t understand. I have to keep moving. I can’t let him find me.”
She tried to stand again, but fell straight onto the hard wood floor. She gritted her teeth from the wound in her ribs.
“How did you get that?” Otto asked, “who is chasing you?”
The girl studied him for a moment. Her eyes fell on her hand as she removed it from her side. It was covered in blood.
“If I give something to you, can you make sure it reaches the underground?” She asked. Otto was taken aback. Never before had he actually met anyone in the resistance. The fact that this girl could be one of them shocked him.
“Please,” she said, “he’ll find me soon. When he does, he’ll kill me. There were six of us before. Me, Thea, Gottfried, Gustav, Erik and Anne. But he slaughtered all the rest.”
“You say ‘he’,” Otto said, “a Gestapo officer?”
“Yes and no,” the girl replied, “he said he was Gestapo. But he doesn’t take his orders from Himmler. No, he let it slip that he works for someone called Efeu. I’ve heard of her in the underground. They say she’s a sorceress.”
“Now you’re talking folklore,” Otto said. But the girl shook her head.
“You have to believe me,” she said, “this man, this… thing, he’s inhuman. I watched him rip Anne’s skull apart with his bare hands. Gustav, he gutted Gustav with an SS dagger. He then used that same dagger to slit Gottfried’s throat.”
“That is no proof that he’s supernatural,” Otto replied, “any man could do that if he were strong enough.”
“No,” the girl continued, “I emptied a Luger into him. I shot him in the heart. I shot him in the head. But he just kept coming. Then,… Erik and Thea,… he impaled them together on a flagpole. I’m the only one left now. Please, I have something important to give you.”
She fished into her brassier and retrieved a small roll of film.
“Make sure this reaches the underground.”
Before Otto could take the precious cargo from her hand, another knock came from the front door.
“Open up,” said an unholy voice, “Gestapo.”
Otto studied the girl. She seemed so pitiful. So alone.
But his duties came first.
“The door is open,” he called. Otto heard the entrance creak open, then slam shut. A pair of lead-booted footsteps approached. At the sound of each one, the terror in the girl’s face grew.
Finally, a shrivelled figure in a Gestapo uniform stepped into the room. His face was bluish and shrunken, his eyes hidden behind reflective aviator glasses. Otto noted a number of bullet holes in his tunic. The figure grinned at the girl and drew a dagger from his belt.
“Thank you, sir,” the creature wheezed, “you have done your Fuhrer a great service.”
Otto turned away as the girl screamed. Her voice soon turned to gurgling as steel found skin.
Otto had nothing to fear. He had always been faithful to the Reich.