It lasted for three days and kept all Cross indoors. Rain was driven against the windows and the doors, and the wind blew hard enough to collapse roofs and blow away lean-tos.
When the storm ended at the stroke of two on Thursday afternoon, a rider was sent for me. After listening to the boy, I saddled my horse and rode hard into town. There, at the Historical Society, I met with several of the members who confirmed the truth of the boy’s statement, and then directed me to a small field off Olive Street.
With the Cross Militia forming a perimeter around the field, I alone entered it to examine the storm’s unwanted harvest.
Stretched out in the grass, lay a cluster of dead men. Who they were, where they had come from, and why the storm had cast them into Cross were all questions that would never have any answers.
Over the next few days, more bodies would be discovered, but singly or in pairs. All were unknown.
As we gathered them up, we noticed the men had been killed by bullets and by shrapnel. There were powder burns and even saber cuts. By the time the bodies were buried on one of the islands in Blood Lake, I was certain that the storm had originated from somewhere in Gods’ Hollow, and that for an unknown – and unknowable – reason, the dead had been torn from a battlefield in one world only to be deposited in ours.
We’ve not had another storm like it, and I have a terrible feeling that we’re due for another soon.
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