A body fell after a loud crack at a barnhouse. The victim was a Werhmacht NCO caught by suprised, his neck snapped at a deathly angle. Above him stood the young American soldier sporting a sadistic grin. "Ich bin I just killed you, ya damn kraut!" he said with a child-like glee.
While the soldier had an American flag (crudely) patched unto his shoulders, his uniform was a jumbled mess of various grey, black and camo patches salvaged from dead German soldiers and officers of various different units and battalions, giving him a grizzled and wild-like appearance. The man's SS helmet - his little memento from a large German - was comically too large for him, covering over his eyes.
He searched the dead NCO and grabbed the man's Mp40 and Luger. The American had heard that the Luger was truly a worthy prize to obtain for Allied units, though anyone found with such a weapon when the Germans captured them, they would be shot on sight. As if those blasted Nazis would ever make this man into a POW.
Laughter and the metal chirping of utensils hitting on plates resounded from the barnhouse: the rest of the patrol is inside, he realized. The soldier wondered what his next move would be, guns blazing or something more subtle?
Then a query from inside caught the American's attention. "Feldwebel! Wollen sie eine Kleinigkeit?" Some more laughter. From his basic understanding one of the men inside was calling out for the dead sergeant. The American responded in his best German, "Nein. Danka ankommt."
The laughing and tinkering noises inside stopped suddenly and the air suddenly grew deadpan. Shit, the soldier cursed at himself; his American twang had revealed him to the German soldiers inside and they knew that it hadn't been their sergeant responding.
He decided that discretion was the better value of honour and bolted for some bushes a few yards by the side of the barn. He turned towards the barn door, his sub-machine gun poised and ready. Soon there were three soldiers who exited the barn with their own K98 bolt-action rifles out. They quickly spotted the dead NCO and while one kneeled down by the body to see what had happened, the other two kept a watchful eye for the intruder. Now or never, the American told himself, and pulled the trigger.
The German sub-machine gun's distinct sound ripped through the night's air along with a rifle shot as the two men guarding were struck. The third rolled over and ran for cover, bullets spraying all over him. Over the gunfire the American could hear a distinctly surprised curse from the panicking German: "Scheiße!"
Just before the American's clip ran out, he hit the German's leg and with another loud curse he fell. Quick on his feet, he went over to the struggling soldier and pulled out his Luger. The German's face revealed pain, shock and horror. "Nein..." he pleaded, tears rolling over his face. The American gritted his teeth in revulsion. "Disgusting. And people say that the German soldier is the best warrior in the world. Hah!" he spat as he cocked his pistol. The German closed his eyes, awaiting the worst and the American took aim.
Then the soldier noticed distant sounds rapidly approaching. Dogs. "Goddamit! Another patrol!" he exclaimed, pistol whipping the downed German to keep him quiet. He would not dare give himself away any more with another shot, opting for the less deadly, if effective alternative. Wishing that he had the time to grab a rifle from one of the dead Germans along with some ammunition, he ran for the woods as quickly as he could.
The American scrambled to get as far away from the dogs whose barks he swore were growing louder and closer. He kept running, panting for precious air to fuel his speed, genuinely afraid as to what would happened were he to stop. The dogs were now even closer; the slobbering sounds and growls quickly becoming apparent. He risked a peek behind his shoulders and spotted them:
German Shepherds, of the larger and more agressive variety. Two of them. Their teeth were bared and they appeared as sleek forms swimming through the forest at incredible speeds, soon able to catch up to the young man.
He had very few options left. Could he stop and shoot them with his pistol - an feat which he was not certain to pull off with the dogs' agility - risking a tackle by one were he to miss? He decided to climb instead. He quickly grabbed on a tree branch and pulled himself off from the ground. Just as he thought he was able to escape, the branch gave way and he came crashing down. Grunting in pain, the soldier pulled out his Luger and aimed for the fast-approaching German Shepherds. Squeezing off a few rounds, he somehow managed to hit one. A painful yelp escaped the dog as it tumbled and fell over dead. The soldier then pointed his pistol to the second and shot again.
This time he missed.
An incredible force clamped down on the man's right arm, tearing into his mangled uniform and skin, blood seeping out. He yelled in pain, dropping his Luger, and attempted to pull his arm away, only making the pain and his wounds worse. The Shepherd had no intention to let go and continued to bite down on the man's arm with its iron-like jaws. Screaming, he began to beat on the dog's head with his free hand, bashing on it with all of his force in the hopes to get the damned beast off. The canine responded by biting at the American's face at neck, kept barely at bay.
The soldier was desperate: his left hand and arm kept the dog from tearing up his face and the searing pain from his right arm did little to help. Just when the Shepherd was about to overpower him, he kicked the dog back and reached for the dropped Luger with his left. The dog was once again back on all fours and about to jump at the American when he pulled the trigger.
This time he didn't miss.
He sat at the base of the tree panting, somewhat incredulous as to what had just transpired. He looked into the dog's eyes and saw something familiar: horror, like he did with the German soldier before. The soldier whimpered softly and got himself up on his feet. He assessed the bite on his arm and realized that it was bleeding profusely. Never before did the young American see his blood with his very eyes, and he was terrified by the sight of it. He went through the war convinced that he was invulnerable, that nothing and none could touch him. That dog had done more damage than any German soldier had combined, shattering the man's belief.
He ripped a piece off from his clothes to make an impromptu bandage on his mangled arm. The blood flow had stemmed, but it hurt like hell.
Soon enough he could hear Germans shouting and yelling. They were still looking for him he realized.
Exhausted, in pain, and shaken, the American forced himself to keep moving, away from the woods, away from the Germans, away from the dogs.
Those horrid, horrid dogs!