From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.
April 13, 1930.
Gods’ Hollow is a peculiar place. It has stolen from the past, the present, and the future. Within its malleable boundaries are people and creatures from this world and others, as well as some I know not where to place.
I came upon such a one this morning when I caught a peculiar scent. It was reminiscent of pork cooked over hickory, and of spices both sweet and bitter. I followed the odor to a small rise, where I found the source.
A man, who spoke a dialect I had not heard in well over two hundred years, crouched in a small shack. Near him, the remains of a hickory fire smoldered, the coals hot and cooling slowly. On a rack above the coals was a body tied tightly in a fetal position. The body, the man explained to me, was that of his father, and he was curing it.
I did not ask the reason why, for that was of no concern to me. It was the man’s business, how he wanted to dispose of his father’s corpse, but the stranger was a chatty fellow, and he gladly told me why.
The smoke served two purposes. The first was to make certain his father could find his way to the next world. For a year, the man would cure his father. On the anniversary of his father’s passing, the man would bring the body home and celebrate by dining upon the hickory flavored flesh.
I bade the stranger farewell, and I hope he enjoys his repast.
I myself have never had a taste for hickory.
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