Krähendorf Felsen (shortened as Krähendorf) was an old German village not known by many, as it was surrounded by forests and constantly shrouded in fog. However, not many people remember it. Some people even miraculously forgot it ever existed. However the very few who do remember its existence, have been quite perplexed as to what happened to it. There was always something off about the town according to some. Although scholars deny it, some people think that something paranormal was behind the town’s eclipse from the physical realm.

Charlotte Neumann, Gertrud Müller, and Amelie Zimmermann. These were the names of three adolescent girls who were tried and executed for witchcraft on June 1st, 1823. While the other two pleaded they were innocent, Charlotte told them they would regret it, and insisted the trio was doing the village a favor. They were hanged for their “crimes," and that night, their bodies were burned.

On June 15th, two weeks after the trial of the three witches, a goat's head was left at the doorstep of a priest. Only a day later, a professor wandered into the woods and later returned with a strange artifact. He studied it, and called it the Heart of Buer (or alternatively, a Buer Heart). He gave it this name as blood colored a deep shade of purple coursed through its veins, and a timpani drum-like heartbeat emanated from the item. Bony fingers protruded from two opposite ends, beady eyes were littered across its surface, and hair was starting to grow around them. Nearly everything about it was hellish, and and it was named after an ancient demon from German folklore, Buer, which is depicted as a lion’s head attached to a set of five goat legs. He wrote to an out-of-town colleague about the object.

The next day, something truly bizarre occurred... The Buer Hearts were growing on the trees surrounding the town, all emitting the same beat of a drum in unison. Thankfully, it wasn’t very loud. So, the noise didn’t really annoy anybody. Of course, some called it witchcraft, though the town thought they had rid their village of sin. If only they knew what was coming for them, they would have ran.

On the 13th, people mysteriously started to go missing. Men, women, children, livestock, nobody was immune to the mass recession. Children began to tell their parents about a tall, thin man with a hunched back and many limbs who would survey the forest, stalking them. Some called it Holzfäller, der Baummann, or der Große Mann. They would state that he had little to no facial features (in a way that a child from the 1800’s would speak of course, many didn’t have the luxury of a fine education in that time period). But, one young boy claimed he got closer to the mysterious figure than some of the children. He described the  creature as having a completely blank face, save for his mouth, with was littered with sharp and jagged teeth that were randomly placed at different angles, as well as having two long goat horns, and an extravagant Victorian suit. The townspeople had a new name for this… Thing… Der Ziegenmann.

On June 30th, the old village had a visitor; it was the colleague of the professor. The stranger was in the same profession as he was. Professor Diedrich Welldone was his name. Not much else happened, Welldone took one of the Buer Hearts for studying, and left. As simple as that. Rumor had he was studying monsters. Not like the Bogeyman, Nachtkrapp, or Krampus, but real monsters. Eldritch horrors that plagued the mortal realm. Of course, it’s never a good idea to believe in rumors. However, most rumors form from some kind of truth, don’t they?

Only one day later, July 1st. The dissipation of Krähendorf would truly kick into action. First, it was the fog… Or, whatever you would call it. It was a mass of black clouds with limbs and tendrils reaching out. This taint surrounded the whole village, forming an arcane barrier. One person tried to escape, but one of the arms poking out formed its hand into a mouth, and ate the man whole. Of course, people were terrified, some even thought it was the work of Satan himself. If only they knew what was really at play. But, perhaps they brought it on themselves.

The next day, there was a loud heartbeat, one that everyone heard. All over the ground were strange little items. Black, beating hearts with mouths. They weren’t the source of the heartbeat, though, but rather the barrier was. The day after that, the mouthed hearts would periodically scream, and when they did, it sounded outlandish to say the least. It sounded like an young girl and a fully grown man screaming in unison with some beastly howl, singing their agonizing tunes.

After that, starting at 5:00 in the morning, the bells of a clock tower chimed every second. Children cried, adults screamed, and all the livestock were found dead. The strangest thing about the sounds however, was that church bells shouldn’t have been heard, as Krähendorf had no clock tower to speak of. Not at the center of town, nor at the church. This drove some people to throw themselves at the barrier, wanting to die so they wouldn’t have to deal with this hell. However, they were the lucky ones.

The next day, all the noises stopped. The people thought it was over, but in reality, it wasn’t. The barrier had now formed eyes, mouths, and tongues. All was quiet, however, some people knew it wasn’t over. They just had a feeling it wasn’t, and so, they sacrifice themselves, taking their own lives to escape from this foul series of events. The sun didn’t rise for an entire day. It was July 6th, when the sun rose again. However, it wasn’t the sun the folk were used to. The sky was filed with a bright purple, and what would’ve been the sun, was instead a deep crimson red sphere. When the “sun” positioned directly above the town, the barrier vanished. Soon, the Ziegenmann rushed into the town, mauling anyone it could find. It was a massacre. The creature sloppily devoured many. When it was finished, only the professor remained. He had made it so far, but he didn’t want to die. The Professor's name was Arnfried Schmidt. The creature stood before Arnfried. He feared for his life. It stood motionless, hunching it’s back, allowing several spider-like legs to freely move around. Without making a single sound, it handed him a handkerchief. A black, lace patterned handkerchief. After, that, the creature walked off into the fog.

The piece of fine cloth was folded, as if to cover something. He unfolded it, and saw a pocket watch attached to an amulet, with a note. Written on it were only three words; “For Diedrich Welldone”.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Alright, it's been a few months since I published this story, and I don't really think I did that good. Not necessarily horrible, but I feel as if when I was writing this, I wasn't truly in tune with my creative style. And so, I believe a rewrite is in order, and so, I'll work on that soon. Plus, I have new ideas on how to make the story better. So, cheers!

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