Gods’ Hollow Journal, January 5, 1890: Bodies


The bodies were sprawled across the ground and stacked upon one another, the closer we drew to the entrance of the dugout.

A faint smell of gunpowder mingled in with the heavy stench of blood hung in the air, and as we approached, I asked my companions to be wary. The bodies in front of us were fresh, and not only might there be wounded among them, but the killers might be nearby as well.

I need not have feared on either account.

There were no wounded, only dead. And whatever had done the killing was gone, and for that, I was thankful.

Most of the dead were armed with rifles, a few with pistols, and all with the unmistakable katana of the Japanese warrior class. These were fighting men, undeniably skilled in the arts of war, and whatever had slain them had done so with ease.

We picked our way through the dead, gathering ammunition and weapons, food, and clothing. None of us knew how long our trek would be to return not only to my own lands but to my own reality.

Gods’ Hollow has a habit of casting the unwary traveler wherever it wishes to.

As we finished our battlefield scavenging, Isaiah motioned to me, and I joined him and Bram at the entrance to the dugout. From somewhere within came the faint sound of singing. It was a soft voice singing in perfect English, and it took me a heartbeat to recognize the voice.

I motioned for silence, and we hastily retreated to where the rest of the Akatuyians waited. Within moments we were once again on the move, everyone quiet, the fear palpable among us.

And why shouldn’t it be?

It was the killer who had been singing in the dugout, and I knew the voice of my mother anywhere.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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