April 16, 1930


From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.


April 16, 1930.

The ringing of a bell welcomed me into Gods’ Hollow this morning. I left a nervous group of militiamen behind me as I traveled into the woods of the Hollow. A narrow trail branched off to the left, and I followed it towards the sound of the bell. Each harsh clang was louder than the last, each coming quicker on the heels of the one before it.

Someone knew I was there.

The Colts are always with me now, the weapons ready at a moment’s notice. I am cautious, far more than I have ever been. There is a sense of an intelligence watching me as if Gods’ Hollow was far more than a crossing point. I feel as though it has a malignant design for Cross.

The narrow trail ended suddenly in a small glade, in which a two-door school house stood. While the sun was warm, a chill emanated from the structure. To the left of the building was a small bell-tower, and the bell rang incessantly, the rope jerked down with a frenzied, maniacal rhythm.

There was no one at the rope.

I eased my pistols from their holsters, cocked each hammer back, and waited to see what would happen.

The bell went silent as if an unseen hand wrapped around the clacker and stilled it. The doors to the schoolhouse flew open, and the cries and laughter of children could be heard, but none of the students could be seen.

I stood at the edge of the glade, listening but not entering. Soon, the unseen children returned to the school. The smell of smoke stung my nose as the screams of the students wounded my ears. In a few minutes, everything was silent.

When the bell rang again, I holstered the pistols and left. There was nothing but sadness and memory in the glade, and I have my share of both.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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