From, Blood’s History: Cousins


She was dangerous and half mad. The product of a father poisoned by lead, and a mother to whom the fey spoke.

Her name was Patience Blood, and she was a woman I loved dearly. She was my cousin, the elder by ten years, and the universe revolved around her as far as I was concerned. Patience taught me how to move through the woods, how to speak with the fey, and how to listen to the damned as they marched from one place in Hell to another.

I last saw her in 1930, when she walked out of the depths of Gods’ Hollow. There was a strangeness to her then. The way she spoke was frightening, almost devoid of emotion as she related her tales. Her smile was true, though, and when she asked me to walk with her to the family burial ground, I felt an old and almost forgotten thrill.

At the graves of our ancestors, I helped open a small crypt half-buried in a hill. Once there, she gave me a kiss goodbye and a lock of her hair. She disappeared into the crypt’s darkness without a word. I sealed the door closed behind her the same way.

Late at night, as I lay in my bed, I can hear her walking with the damned.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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