“Ich kundige,” I heard the maid scream as she grabbed her belongings and stormed out of the kitchen door. Loosely translated meaning,”I quit,” I listened quietly as she explained to Mrs. Gruber her reasons for quitting. She told her that because of Andreas’
immoralities, spirits have invaded their home to steal, kill and destroy. She was certain that ghosts inhabited the house and wanted nothing to do with the place or the occupants. It was late September and the Lord has blessed our Bavarian homesteads to be prosperous. The crops were finally beginning to come in and it was looking like we were going to have a blessed winter. She threw Andreas a piercing stare as she darted out. For months she had complained to the Grubers about hearing footsteps in the attic, objects not in their proper place around the house as well as missing food. She constantly insisted that the farm was haunted. Andreas told her that it was all in her imagination, however, that was just him attempting to keep her from snooping unnecessarily. Unbeknownst to the Grubers, the hand of God was upon them and they were to be cleansed for their sins.
The Gruber’s maid had been a member of our congregation, even longer than she had been in their employ. Having been a part of the Gruber family for years, Mrs. Gruber relied on her more and more as she gotten older. Cazilia Gruber, almost 10 years older than Andreas, was deeply saddened by her sudden departure. Their daughter, Viktoria and her daughter little Cazilia had come to live with them during the war. Her husband Karl Gabriel had been presumed dead in battle, though his body was never recovered. The years had been exceptionally kind to her, she had grown to become so beautiful. One day, while doing her daily chores the maid walked into Viktoria’s bedroom unannounced and immediately caught Andreas and his daughter engaging in carnal sin. Shocked and ashamed, the maid immediately ran from the room. I don’t recall if the maid ever actually turned Andreas into authorities, but she told others of his debaucheries. When I heard, I was instantly sickened and knew that I would soon be called to fulfill my duties as God’s loyal and righteous hand. I could not allow the anger of the Father to jeopardize what could possibly be our most bountiful crops in years. You see, through faith the Lord has commissioned me to act as the hand of God; to act as judge, jury, and executioner against the unrighteous in our flock.
At some point, Viktoria began a relationship with their half-wit neighbor, Lorenz Schlittenbauer. The daughter eventually gave birth to Josef. Unsure of the actual father of the boy, she held Schlittenbauer financially responsible for the child; and he paid handsomely. I was the spirit on the Hinterkaifeck farm the maid came to fear. Through God, I was able to move throughout the property undetected. However, many times due to my clumsiness, I thought that they were aware of my presence. I would unintentionally leave things out of their normal place, moving items and forgetting to put them back where I found them. Once I left a newspaper that Andreas didn’t read out in the common area. Once Andreas tracked my footprints in the snow on to the property, however, he would see no footprints leaving. Andreas went from house to house, asking if anyone was experiencing anything strange. Other farmers, knowing full well of the transgressions of the Grubers, simply looked and said no. The maid attributed any suspicions to the presence of spirits. permitting me to remain hidden and able view their incestuous relations first hand. Committing an abomination against the Lord of such a magnitude required great penance. It was my job to act on behalf of the Lord, lest their perverse way of life would bring down the wrath of God upon Ingolstadt as well as Schrobenhausen; quite possibly all of Bavaria.
Six months had come and gone. The spring frost was melting, preparing for the new harvest. It was time to reap what had been sown. I looked down at my mattock, as I am an extension of the hand of God, so is my mattock to me, both readily prepared to do the work of the Lord. The Grubers hired a new maid yesterday, Maria Baumgartner. Though I am not familiar with her, she too would need to be changed over to atone for her sins. I riled up the horses to get the attention of the family; anticipating that Andreas would come out first to investigate the commotion. Just as I’d hoped, Andreas Gruber walked in first. “What’s the matter fellas?” he said as he calmed the horses. Powered by the hatred of his incestuous lifestyle and strengthened by the vengeance of the Lord I eased behind him and swung my mattock, striking him upon the crown of his head. Blood spewed everywhere as he fell. For good measure, I brought the weapon down upon his head as he laid prone. Gurgling and choking on his blood he attempted to say something but could not. He laid shaking and trembling until he passed away. I pulled him by the leg to a clump of hay in the corner. I knew that at any moment, someone would be out to check on him.
Approximately 30 minutes had passed, I waited patiently receiving instructions from on high. I heard a faint voice in the distance. “Andreas,” a soft voice said. “Andreas are you in here?” The voice said from the barn entry. I recognized the voice as that of Cazilia Gruber. I readied myself for an attack. Oddly enough Mrs. Gruber came through another door and spotted me crouched, waiting for her to appear. Spotting Andreas’ body on the hay heap she screamed,”You killed my husband!” She actually lunged at me; shocked, I swung my to halt her charge. The mattock lodged deeply into her head, nearly decapitating the woman from the eyes up. Her body spun a full 360 as she fell, The pickaxe was so wholly fastened to her head that I had to use my foot to remove it from her cranium. I placed my left foot on her forehead and pulled the weapon from her lifeless body. After getting the axe out of her head blood immediately sprayed everywhere. Not trying to pull the separated portion of her head from the rest, I grabbed her by her blouse and placed her corpse on top of that of her husband. I was certain that someone had heard her and would be rushing out to check on the noise.
Quietly, I laid in wait. Surprisingly it was over an hour that I waited; then suddenly I heard the screen door of the house slam shut. Viktoria and her daughter had come out on the porch. “Papa, Mama, are you out there,” she yelled from the porch. Hesitating at first then completely stopping not making any other steps forward. Worried that this would thwart my task, my mouth suddenly opened and yelled, “Komm, ich brauche deine Hilfe.” In a voice identical to that of Andreas Gruber, the Almighty had spoken through me and told Viktoria to come, I needed her help. Hand in hand she and her daughter Cazilia skipped out to the barn. “Papa,” she said, expecting to see her father and lover. As I eased behind her she turned her head and yelled, “Mr,” and before she could spew my name from her wicked lips my mighty weapon came down upon her head with such force it disfigured her face and killed her instantly. With a swing to the side, I’d hope to catch the child with the same level of power, intending to kill her suddenly so that she might go without much suffering; such was not the case though.
The pickaxe caught the side of little girls head, about the ear area. She dropped to the ground. Writhing in pain she rolled around crying and pulling out her own hair. I stopped her moving by placing my foot on her chest and brought the mattock down on the top of her head. Finally, in peace, her facial expression changed and she quietly gave up the ghost. As I drug the mother and daughter to the pile to join the other corpses I could hear the clang of pots and pans as well as the wailing of a child in the distance. Still slick with the blood of the Grubers, I dragged my mattock as I made my way to the house.
The front door was open through the screen door shut. I made my way up the stairs and found the new maid in her room. She had no idea that I was behind her as she feverishly looked through her dresser drawers for something. Totally fixated on her search, I was able to hoist my mighty weapon and bring it down squarely upon the back of her head. She died immediately. I found the baby sleeping on a cot next to his mother’s bed. I looked at the child, not as a helpless infant but as the evil spawn of relations that should never have been. I brought my mattock down squarely upon the infant’s head. The boy opened his eyes, spit up a stream of blood then closed his eyes and passed away.
I had completed my charge and once again the wicked has fallen to the will of God. I was about to leave then I glanced into the kitchen. The maid had prepared dinner for the family and honestly, being God’s hand had left his disciple quite hungry. I ate the dinner that was prepared and fell asleep. A bitter cold had come in and the fire in the home was burning quite nicely so I spent the night, a couple nights in fact. As a gentleman, I thought it improper to leave without taking care of the basic farming chores. I fed the animals, milked the cows and tidied up the common areas before I made my way to my next destination.
Thr Gruber funeral was a sight to behold. Forgotten was their sins now called discrepancies. There was much sad singing and flower bringing as everyone recalled their most pleasant moments with the family. I was even called upon to say a word or two about Andreas and Cazilia. I spoke my peace, withholding any thoughts I held about their personal lives. The procession continued and we buried the family. Neighbors brought their best meals and a gathering was held on their farmstead afterward, (lucky I cleaned up a bit eh?)
For years people have attempted to find out what really happened here. “Experts,” have tried to find out who committed these murders and why. Over 100 suspects have been interviewed by authorities. The police tried to explain that it may have been the work of transients, vagrants, craftsmen or robbers. Laughably; some people even thought that Viktoria’s husband Karl Gabriel, though he had been killed in the war; had come from the dead and killed the Gruber’s in a jealous rage. All were mistaken and I tell you that no man will uncover the killer of these sinners. The coppers even questioned me; I simply told them that the Lord saw fit to take them. Covered in the cloak of righteousness and possessed by the spirit of the Lord I was commissioned to bring the godless infidels to justice. Hinterkaifeck was not my first cleansing and wasn’t my last.
This is not an official account of anything. I am merely implementing my skill and writing style of creative nofiction in this post.