April 19, 1930


From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.


April 19, 1930.

Close to where Gods’ Hollow meets my lands, I discovered an abandoned stretch of road which had not existed the day before. The houses were small, well made, and empty. Near a large totem, I saw a weathered man wrapped in animal skins, and he sat on his haunches, face bathed in the morning light.

Through half-open eyes, he watched me approach. When I stopped a short distance away, getting the measure of him as I loosened my Colts in their holsters, he smiled and greeted me by name. When I asked him his, he responded, “Tukutkaa.”

The word was old and familiar, one which caused me to drop my hands to my pistols.

“No, Duncan,” he said, shaking his head. “You are not for me to claim. But go, you might scare away my prey, and I have waited here a long time for them to arrive.”

He gestured with a dark hand, and I looked behind me. In the distance, I caught sight of a woman and a trio of children as they stepped onto the road.

Letting go of the pistols, I nodded and passed the old man by.

Who am I to argue with Death?

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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