Gods’ Hollow Journal, January 12, 1890: A Mother’s Love


My wounds from the previous day had healed, and I was angrier with my mother than usual. Yes, I had killed her in my youth, but which of her did I kill?

Gods’ Hollow had already revealed that it was the nexus of an apparently infinite number of realities, realities in which I did not necessarily survive.

As we walked, I reflected upon the eccentricities of my mother when I was a boy. There were times when she would come home with different clothes on than when she left. When she spoke with an accent when she had none before. They did not strike me as odd when I was a child. Why should they? I knew few other mothers, and so I assumed that all were the same behind closed doors.

Was the mother I killed my own birth mother? Had my own birth mother ever returned from a trip to the Hollow? Why did she go there in the first place? From my earliest years, my father warned me to stay away from it, and I did my best to heed his warnings.

All these thoughts troubled me until we prepared to find a camp. Whilst looking for one, we discovered a watchtower, long abandoned.

I climbed the ladder up into it and saw a small icon, the face in it causing me to hesitate before advancing any further.

I found myself looking upon the stylized image of my mother, the arched case around the painting faded and notched a thousand times.

Below the image, there was a legend written in several languages I could read, and others I could not.

What I read was simple and direct.

Mark Here, Mistress Blood, and Kill Your Son.

For a moment, I sat and considered the statement. Then, smiling, I took out my own penknife and carved an inscription of my own.

I’ll kill you all, Mother.

I pricked the tip of my thumb, spread the blood around the pad of it, and then sealed my words with an oath.

“Yes, Mother,” I whispered. “I will kill you all.”

And humming, I climbed down from the tower.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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