From the Trenches: Night of Terror at Reynard Mansion

The Parisian Report (name of French Paper)
From the Trenches (name of Jean Pierre’s Column)
Night of Terror at Reynard Mansion (article title)
Jean Pierre Valois

Fate had intervened in my attempts to discover more about the Reynard family estate. The allies were planning on using the old mansion as a field hospital. The unit that I had previously been assigned to was going to return to the mansion shortly. This was a rare chance to see inside the home of the eccentric family.

Lt. Kemps had been given an ambulance to escort to the mansion. The ambulance had been heavily loaded with medical supplies. A woman, Ms. Smith, was driving the vehicle. Nurse Alders was also going along. At least we would not be taking the women past enemy lines – the German lines had been recently pushed back several miles past the Reynard property.

After riding in the ambulance to the Reynard mansion, I was eager to begin my investigation. It seemed that for safety reasons the soldiers did not want me going into the house yet. This is understandable as there could be lurking German soldiers inside. I was content to take photographs of the large house, the ambulance and the woods.

After assisting Nurse Alders with the heavy crates of medical supplies and attempting to converse with the driver, Ms. Smith, I was eager to get started exploring the house. It was about this time that Lt. Kemps exited the house, conversing with everyone outside. It appeared that the house was safe and that we would be taking the medical supplies inside. I did my best to help out by carrying crates inside.

I noticed that Doctor Reed and several soldiers were piling corpses from the house outside. The bodies were gruesome and the stench was horrid. The photographs that I took of the bodies are enclosed with this article. This is the real result of war – death. I hope to never see so many dead at once again.

The Reynard family had strange tastes. Their house was filled with odd architectural elements and unusual art. They were truly eccentric. Hopefully I would be able to find out more about them soon. I cannot help but wonder how much of the mysterious rumors were true.

It had been an exhausting day. The soldiers were doing a good job of securing the mansion. I was of no use to the medical staff when it came to setting up their delicate tools and had no knowledge of how to organize their pharmaceuticals; I decided to turn in early. The cots in the men’s billet were more comfortable than anywhere I had slept as of late, and sleep came mercifully soon.

When I awoke later that night to strange sounds coming from under the floorboards, I was quickly panicked. The noises were similar to that of a wild boar. It sounded as though it was directly under the men’s billet room! Even worse, I heard the wild bird noise again. The “meep” sound terrified me beyond reason.

I quickly fled the room, seeking help – and confirmation that I was not dreaming. I hollered as I ran down the hall, the ambulance driver was the first to respond to me. She was armed with a rifle but I did not consider her competent with the weapon enough to deal with the threat of the wild boar or the exotic bird outside. I needed a soldier’s assistance.

Doctor Reed and a Private arrived. Private Lewis went into the billet on his own. I tried to convey to the Doctor what was going on. This was a difficult task as the doctor spoke only a few words of French. I led the doctor and the driver into the billet and mimed the information to them as best I could. I pointed to the window and made the “meep” noise. I hoped that a few of the others would recognize the sound. I made pig-ish noises and pointed towards the floor, under my bed.

Everyone conversed in English for a moment. Doctor Reed gestured towards the floor. I believe he understood me and I nodded in agreement.

There was gunfire outside and a loud commotion towards the front of the house. Doctor Reed, Ms. Smith and I fled to the foyer to find out what was happening. Sergeant Smith was there, he sounded agitated and frantic as he spoke in English. “Let’s go!”, the Doctor said to me in French. We ran to find out the source of the commotion.

As we passed a hall door, Dr. Reed stopped to open it. There were thousands of rats inside that room! Fortunately, I had seen many rats in the trenches as was able to move on without much thought. The Doctor closed the door and we continued on towards the courtyard.

A panicked soldier ran up the doctor, apparently in need of medical attention. Private Allen was bleeding and incoherent. Something horrible was going on. The ambulance driver handed me a revolver. Once again, I am armed and was having conflicted feelings about it until I heard the “meep” noise from over by the stables. Suddenly, the gun in my hand couldn’t have felt more necessary.

There was a ruckus nearby and both the doctor and ambulance driver became panicked. They were slamming doors and talking rapidly. The doctor shot into the foyer and screamed. He shut the door, trying to protect us from something in foyer. The doctor and the driver seemed to be arguing, but I could not understand a word of it. I went farther back into the courtyard to make sense of it all.

Once again the “meep” noise was carried by the night air to my ears. I found myself shaken slightly and terrified. I had to warn the others somehow. I came to find the Lieutenant and several others had now converged in the hallway. I imitated the “meep” noise to let them know what was outside.

Everyone else began to panic and flee the building through the window. I followed them to the ambulance outside. I sat in the back of the ambulance as we fled the Reynard Mansion.

As my mind drifted briefly over the events of the evening, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. The stars were blotted out, as though some dark form passed between the stars and me. I saw a horrid creature. It flew in the night sky, making the “meep” noise that had been unnerving me all night. It was not a bird, not a bird of any kind. The creature had no face. It was unnatural and malicious. I fired my gun at it. I drove it off by firing at it again. Suddenly the air was filled with gunfire as everyone else shot at more of the creatures. We were under attack by a whole flock of the damn things!

There was a lot of arguing amoung the soldiers and volunteers. Apparently the incident had unnerved everyone. Suddenly another creature came up the truck towards Ms. Smith to grab her. Private Olver shot the creature, causing it to drop the driver. Olver and Reed ran to rescue Ms. Smith, grabbing the dazed woman and dragging her back to the ambulance.

After more gunfire, we managed to escape, driving down the road back to base. We had lost several good soldiers and failed to set up the hospital. Whatever is going on at the Reynard Mansion is unnatural and wrong. I do not want to go back.