Murder in Cross: December 15, 1912


The roaring of engines interrupted my morning walk, the noise cutting through the chatter of the ravens as they sat upon the branches of the Gallows Tree. The ravens took flight, and in a matter of minutes, they returned, relaying to me what it was they had seen.

There were strangers from Gods’ Hollow on Blood Lake, and they were hunting.

I ran back to the house and snatched up my Colts and my Winchester, and thus armed, I raced to the lake. I arrived too late to save 11-year-old Jonathan Bleu, whom I had given permission to ice fish.

What I saw infuriated me, and I raised my Winchester to my shoulder as five automobiles came to a stop around the crumpled figure of the boy, his blood steaming as it cooled upon the ice.

I was not careful with my shots as I advanced across the ice towards the strangers. Some of them I killed. Others I wounded. All tried to escape, and none succeeded.

A few attempted to return fire, and those efforts were unsuccessful. One sought to start up one of the machines, and I sent a round through his neck, nearly decapitating him.

When I reached the strangers, I found two women, and three men were still capable of answering questions.

They spoke a form of bastardized Swedish that was difficult for me to understand, but the gist of the conversation was plain enough. They were furious that I had interrupted their hunt and the dinner that they had been planning to throw that evening.

My response to that information was less than measured.

I forced the five of them to strip naked and told them to return home without their machines.

I watched them huddle together and move as one large, awkward mass toward the distant shore. Once they were a hundred or so feet away, I opened fire with the Winchester, and I took my time.

When the last of them lay sprawled on the ice, I walked among them all, shooting each in the head, the ravens following and feasting on the fallen.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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