January 3, 1948


Within the depths of the Cross Historical Society, there is a long, narrow room, filled with glass fronted cabinets. The room lacks a window, and only the members of the society know where the room itself is within the confines of the building.

Each member holds a copy of the key to lock the door from within the room, but only three hold keys to allow entry. One of them is Duncan Blood, for he was the first to request the room’s construction, and the specific cabinets it holds.

Within each cabinet, on glass shelves and illuminated by powerful lights, are creatures not quite living, not quite dead.

They are in a deep sleep, and they are old and ancient. Small, feral beasts with a taste for human flesh, and not quite of this world.

The animals have a taste for human flesh, and the Society members discovered that the creatures were unkillable, but they could be set to sleep, by the right person.

This right person, Duncan Blood discovered, was Antony Ciccolo.

Antony was the son of Angela Ciccolo, who had helped Duncan rid Cross of a violent and murderous fairy 40 years earlier.

So, on January 3, 1948, Antony made a small, glass-faced cabinet. He crafted the piece from hearts of ash, hand beaten iron hinges and leaded glass. When Antony helped Duncan place the screaming, writhing beast within the confines of the cabinet and closed the door, the creature sank to the bottom in an immediate and thorough sleep.

For the next 19 years, Antony continued to work on the cabinets, until the room was filled with them. When asked, only months before his death at the age of 93, what his finest piece of work was, Antony, smiled and said, “Nothing you will ever see.”

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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