The world is a strange and wonderful place, a singular entity of curiosity and beauty, where the darkness beneath the light is far worse than anything we can imagine.
On January 9, 1903, Daniel Freedman – age 13 – left his home to visit the Hathaways several miles away.
When Daniel hadn’t returned home by supper, his father, Ezekiel, set out on a horse to see what was keeping his son. To his horror, Ezekiel discovered his son had never made it to the Hathaways. Search was started immediately, but the worsening weather forced the searchers back into their homes.
The weather broke two days later, and for a week, the town continued its search for Daniel, but no sign of him could be found.
Then, on January 10, 1904, an old man was seen walking along Gods’ Hollow. He was curiously equipped with a pistol, an old flintlock rifle, a knife, and a hatchet. His steps were sure-footed, and he moved with a disturbingly lupine grace.
When he reached the Freedmans’ home, he walked unerringly up to the door and rapped sharply upon it. Ezekiel answered it, opened his mouth to ask what the stranger wanted, then stumbled back in horror.
The stranger’s eyes were a green-flecked gray, the same color as Daniel’s.
The man, who was indeed Daniel, told his father that he had spent 42 years in another, odder version of Cross.
Daniel would not say how he had gotten there, or how he had returned, only that he couldn’t stay. He had come back, he said, to let them know he was alive.
When his mother asked why he had to leave, Daniel smiled and said softly, “Why, Mother, I’ve children and grandchildren of my own now.”
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