When it comes to gore, torture, and gruesome, brutal ways of taking or ruining someone else's life, I can say that Balkan people too, have some sick, twisted imaginations. From folk wisdom, to terrors brought by war, all linked by a gory element, here they are, the stories worst than any person's wildest fantasies.
1. Nothing wrong with March
The third month of the year, time when weather around the Balkans can go from a warm and sunny morning, to a freezing, white winter afternoon. Naturally, locals came up with many stories about this crazy weather. One in particular stands out, where March is embodied in an old, moody woman.
She was standing around the village well, just as her time of the year had begun. In the darkness of the first night after February, she heard a vague, humming noise coming from the steep road. It was a girl, carrying two clay pitchers almost half her own height. Interestingly enough, even though it was pitch black, and way after midnight, the girl didn't seem to be scared. She leaned, grabbed the rope hanging from the old well, and begun lowering one of her pitchers.
The old woman was intrigued. She knew humans knew better than to be out late at night, and around water. So, wanting to know more, she struck a friendly conversation with the girl. Seeing the puny old woman, with a cane to support her crippled body come out of the dark, the maiden, a bit startled but with a smile on her face, happily answered all of the seemingly shallow questions.
Basic stuff, the four seasons, crazy weather, crazy month up ahead. To this, the girl answered with what was in her heart. She felt the month March to be a beautiful symphony of all four seasons together. The old lady liked her answer, so she blessed her with a gift, everytime she spoke a word, a golden coin would turn up into her pockets.
When she explained the strange encounter to the stepmother, (sitting along the warm fireplace with her two daughters, hoping some beast would feast upon the single child of the idiot she married) the broad ordered her offspring to go, and bring water too.
Knowing what to say, her pretentious spawn reached the village well, obnoxiously making noise in the hopes that the old woman would appear. And she did, just as the sisters thought the trip was in vain. But this time, it wasn't an old lady, but a youthful, gallant mademoiselle with lips curled in a smile. Envious, the sisters started picking on her, mocking what she was wearing, saying the time of the year was crazy, now cold, later hot, then snowy, just plain mad.
The wise March thanked the foolish sisters for their "advice" and tossed a gruesome curse as she watched their silhouettes fade into the darkness. Unaware of what happened, the siblings got home, only to discover the true extent of their misery. Just as they started explaining to their mother what had happened, venomous snakes emerged from every single hole in their bodies. Their mouths, eyes, ears, relentless serpents crawling out even from under their skirts.
2. A bully's lesson
This one is a tale of a rich, spoiled, little boy who looked down on the world as a dreadful place, where puny, unimportant other kinds lived and bothered him. He had no friends, and one single hoby: walking around, making fun of poor people and taking the life out of lesser species (plants, insects, even smaller animals)
One day, his wickedness reached the wrinkled ears of an old man, who lived in the woods the boy frequented. Just as he exited his humble mill, he could hear the desperate screams of a cat, whose tail was crumbling under the foot of the very amused little brat.
The old man just stood there, watching at the twisted smile and sparkling eyes of the young torturer, and decided to teach him a lesson. One that would leave a permanent scar, and change his wicked ways.
Lured by his new target, once the young brute laid eyes on the old man, he let go of the cat, and asked as he neared the mill "Was that old thing yours?" The last words he mustered up, before passing out from the blow to the head the old man gave him with his cane.
He woke up in pain and darkness, prostrated in 2x2 meter ditch. His limbs were tied to four wooden pools, each in the corner of his open grave. A sharp pain over the full length of his back, and just below his nose hinted something horrifying. With a good reason, since the skin from his back was flipped forward and sown to his chin.
Half skinned, bleeding and screaming in agony, he could hear a buzzing of some kind, followed by sharp stinging in his bare back muscles. At this point, the old man stood before the hole, watching at his handiwork.
Finally, the little hooligan was paying the price, for the cat, the flour infested with roaches, the garden stomped into nothingness and the beehives he set to flames the weeks before. Poetic justice, that was what the old man thought he had done, as he watched the boy's half skinned, honey coated, wasp infested body convulse in agony.
3. Out of sight (shameless)
Nothing is as strong as a mother's love for her unborn child, or at least one may think so. After hearing the following story, I wasn't quite convinced. Picture a small community, where the only source of wisdom is an all ruling, all commanding, religious institution.
In a place like this, where fear is used to manipulate human behavior, people can't help but hide away their "sins" behind closed doors. Such sin was a love story between two siblings, that crossed many lines after the sun had set. Being kids themselves, not older than 18, the thought of a possible pregnancy hit hard like a truck.
Not wanting to bring shame to their family, the couple turned to a village nurse for help. Her silence was well paid for, each and every time she yanked a five, six, even seven months old fetus out of the womb of the sixteen year old girl. Three times they held a bloody, distorted, malformed fetus in their arms, and laid it to rest.
They buried their unborn children on a mild hill, with the others. A place where many women came before them, and hushed their shame away. They could tell, by the number of decomposing fetuses they knocked over, in their attempts to bury their own.
4. War stories
The difference between what you will read from this point on, is that the following three stories circle around with a reputation of being true. I hope to God they're not, but considering that war can suck every bit of humanity from a person, and what I've heard, keeps me from believing that fairytale.
Folk songs and screams
Imagine having dinner with your family, a drop of peace in the midst of all that chaos. Nothing fancy, just something that keeps hunger at bay. And all of a sudden, a knock on the door brings a chill to your bones. Upon opening the door, you see soldiers, carrying guns on their backs, and heavy drugs in their systems.
You try to do everything right, so they would let you and your family live, but in the back of your mind, you know, as soon as they saw your house, they had their minds set on having some fun.
Animals, following their lowest instincts, unleash their insanity upon a civilian family that only wanted to dine in peace. Rape, brutal beatings, blood spilling, torturing till dawn, each of them taking turns. Once daylight peaked from beyond the hill, the beasts left the family tied up, inside the house, drowning in gasoline. With their favourite folk songs playing from the radio of their car, they celebrated the screams of their vanquished enemy.
In a pool of their own blood, choking in a hellish flame inside their own house. That's how one family lost their lives, to the insanity of war.
On the mere border of a war zone, one man was taking his family away from their home. Away from everything they knew, loved, owned. It was a big family of twelve, eight kids, two parents and two grand parents, all riding on a tractor trailer.
A few meters to salvation, the hounds of war stopped them in their tracks. Seeing their faces petrify in terror, the leading general saluted them with a smug smile. They circled the trailer like sharks, until the final word of their superior, that left even the cruelest among them speechless.
The general offered their freedom, but with only one condition. He wanted the farmer to run over his first born son with his tractor. It was kill or be killed, for if he refused, they would shoot every last one of them.
The man stared desperately into the eyes of the thirteen year old, standing mere centimeters a head of his tractor. He could hear the cracking of his son's every bone, as the wheels swooped his body under.
The unfortunate mother, sitting in the back with the rest of her children, was faced with her first born, twisted and squashed on the pavement. His blood, mixing with the piss from the psychotic soldiers, obeying their general. The man behind the wheel never looked back, he only wiped away his tears to his wife's screams of deep, utter misery.
A widow's nightmare
She had just put her baby of six months to sleep, when she heard her front door bust open. Three soldiers intruded her home, and found her hiding in the children's room. She knew what they wanted, and tried fighting them off with a wooden plank, but it was of no use.
Without a husband to defend her, this widow fell into the merciless hands of the three animals that killed him just a week ago. As if that wasn't enough, now they wanted her, her body, her life.
But all that beating and raping made them hungry, so once they were done, they asked the poor woman trying to cover her naked, bruised body with scraps, to cook them dinner. All she had was beans she had cooked from the day before, but with the war outside, she failed to put meat.
One of the monsters instantly thought of an opportunity, hearing the cries coming from the children's room. He came back lulling the little girl in his grisly arms. He stared at the watery eyes of the widow, as she jumped in a last attempt to save her baby. Two fingers, that was all he used to break the neck of the tiny infant in his arms.
The other two soldiers held back the raging widow, as she watched the way her daughter was dismembered and stuffed into the pot full of boiled beans.
That's all for now, I hope I managed to disturb you with these stories and I'm sorry it took me this much time to publish them.