November 29, 1852

     The residents of Cross know there is nothing pleasant or delightful about the presence of vampires in the world.

     Men and women have always taken up arms against the undead, and the first resident of Cross to do so was Shelby Thorne.

     In 1841, at the age of 10, Shelby apprenticed to a carpenter, where he learned not only to carve the delicate feathers of an American eagle but to bring a mallet down with force and accuracy.

     In the fall of 1852, a trio of vampires settled into an abandoned house on the Cross and Pepperell border. The undead were quite content with feasting upon farm animals, but they did occasionally supplement their innocuous diet with human blood when the opportunity presented itself.

     On November 22, 1852, Shelby entered his master’s workshop to find the man bled dry, his head and heart missing. While his master’s death was declared a murder, and the town went on a rampage searching for the killer, Shelby was disturbed by the lack of blood.

     He sought out the wisdom of Duncan Blood, who – after hearing details of the crime – stated his belief that the murder was committed by at least one vampire.

     Shelby was not a man given to flights of imagination, but he was one who trusted his elders. With Duncan as his instructor, Shelby hunted down the undead. With ash stakes carved by his own hands, and with the mallet shown in his photograph, Shelby Thorne destroyed the three vampires when he came upon them on November 29, 1852.

     It is said that the descendants of Thorne hunt vampires still, and that you will know them by the tattoo over the heart: Celeritate et Diligentia.

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Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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