Posted on October 8, 2008 by Flames
Beware the Beast of Bedburg, it has a hunger that is never satisfied…
The Werewolf of Bedburg
Created by Jason L Blair
Under a pregnant summer moon, a boy named Peter Stübbe, followed a trail that led down to the creek that marked the boundary of his family’s farm. Lying in the muddy water was the body of a brown wolf cub. As its life escaped further with every breath, its lupine features faded and slowly Peter realized that it was no cub at all—but the body of a boy no older than he was. Against his better sense, he picked up a long thin stick and prodded the wolfboy with it. With its last raspy breath, it lunged at Peter, biting him on his arm. Peter’s parents found their son the next day, laying unconscious beside the body of a dead boy. Swearing never to speak of the incident again, the father went about burying the deceased child immediately while his wife tended to their son.
Peter suffered a high fever and delirium that lasted for seven days. His mother fretted, afraid to bring in a healer or apothecary, and could only sit idly by, cooling her son with water from the creek and praying dutifully. On the eighth day, Peter awoke, his fever broken, suffering from a terrible hunger. It was insatiable and the boy gorged himself until he was bloated. Still, the hunger gnawed at him. And it continue to do so until, one night, Peter drove a kitchen knife through the head of his father’s goat. Voraciously, the boy consumed the animal—first its brain, then its meat. This quieted the hunger temporarily but it would continue to call at him.
A few weeks later, upon the next full moon, Peter awoke with a scream. His parents rushed to his bedside and discovered their child in the midst of a most gruesome transformation. His back was arched as if it were broken. His jaw was set wrong, jutting out at an unnatural angle. Coarse brown hair ran the length of his spine, up and down his arms, and framing his face. His mother dropped to her knees in prayer while his father grabbed a short sword from the main room.
His father returned, prepared to lower the blade across the child’s neck, but Peter—or the creature that was once Peter—was gone. His wife consumed with guilt, unintelligible through her blubbering tears, convulsed on the floor, crying out the name of God well into the night.
The next morning, Peter returned, his body covered in blood. His father discovered two of his sheep were dead—torn apart and eviscerated. This would continue every month for the next ten years.
As his family was well-off and influential in the rural community, they were able to quell rumors of their son’s proclivities but soon his hunger would overpower their ability to do so. People started to go missing—men, women, children—and hushed whispers spread like wildfire through the small town.
Peter grew weary of the limitations of what he called his “true form.” One night, he found where his father had buried the wolfboy. He exhumed the childthing and skinned it. He fastened a belt from its hide and tanned it with the beast’s blood. This belt allowed him to transform under any light—not just the full moon to whose cycle he was previously confined. He called this his “gift from the devil.”
News of Peter Stübbe’s “habits” infected the town. Warnings from the council only incited interest in the citizens and more than a few hapless men, women, and children stepped onto the Stübbe property, suffering for their curiosity.
For twenty-five years, Peter was a slave to his hunger. Dozens of bodies littered the farmstead when they became too many for Peter to bury.
Peter married, his parents having found a bride who refused to believe that he was capable of such things as flesh-eating—and who, later, would be so filled with shame she could never dare admit the now-known truth to herself. Though they never told Peter this, his parents arranged the marriage in the hopes of “humanizing” their son. She bore him two children: a boy, Heinrich, and a girl, Beele—the latter of which he was often accused of molesting. Katharina Trump, a distant relative, would make semi-annual trips to the Stübbe home. During these visits, he later confessed, he and his cousin would engage in perverse sexual rituals involving blood and animal remains.
One day, after the mutilated body of a pregnant woman was found on a church’s steps, the Lord of Bedburg sent his men onto the Stübbe farmland to arrest the man. Amongst the many human and animal corpses later found on the property was the decapitated body of Peter’s son. Peter claimed he had eaten the child’s brain.
For his crimes, Peter was tried and convicted. He was bound to a wheel where his executioners peeled his skin off in strips then removed his arms and legs. Those limbs were summarily broken with axeheads as a final humiliation and to prevent the devil from ever bringing Peter back. The pieces were then burned in a large pyre along with the body of his daughter and Katharina Trump though it is unknown what their precise crimes were.
Since Peter’s body was destroyed in a most-glorious fashion, there is no hope of ever resurrecting the monster. But rumor is that his spirit roams free, unable to find rest in Heaven or Hell, and his mysterious belt, thought destroyed by his wife, has yet to be found.
Oddly, Peter confessed to all the murders of which he was accused—with the sole exception of the pregnant woman whose murder would be his ultimate undoing.
About Jason Blair
Jason L Blair is a father, husband, video game designer, and aspiring novelist and screenwriter who lives in Madison, Wisconsin, just a few miles from the Flames Rising HQ. He is best known for the award-winning Little Fears RPG. You can check out his list of credits at www.hekeba.com/jason.