The day passed painfully for me.
While we did not encounter any storm, I did spend the time immersed in conversation with my son.
Marcus’ mother was Elizaveta Krova, a Russian who had been my intellectual superior in every way. She was as long-lived as me and our meeting had been by chance in early of 1852 when she was visiting relatives in Boston.
Our time was unfortunately brief and, it seemed, productive.
Marcus had been born in Siberia on November 19, 1852, and his aging reflected his parentage. He showed me a photograph he had of her, one taken in 1901.
When I looked at him, the surprise must have been evident upon my face because he nodded and offered up a stark and bitter explanation to me.
In 1917, in the midst of a horrific war that swept over the world, there had been a revolution in Russia. Groups of soldiers and citizens had risen up against the monarchy and waged a civil war that slaughtered thousands. He and his mother had managed to escape via the port of Archangel, and they had made their way to Cross.
When they arrived in town, they traveled by way of the North Road, heading towards my farm. She knew they would be safe there despite the fact that I was not in Cross at the time.
The North Road took them by Gods’ Hollow, and a storm drove them to take refuge within it. They had no sooner done so than they were attacked by a creature with the body of a man and the head of a wolf. While they managed to fend him off, Elizaveta’s throat was torn out at the end, far more than she could heal from. His mother had died in his arms.
He had been searching for a way out of the Hollow for 37 years.
We walked in silence for a short time, and finally, I asked the question which gnawed at my heart.
“Why didn’t she tell me?”
“She didn’t want you to think I was a burden,” my son replied.
“Family is never a burden.” I handed the photograph of his mother back to him. I did not wish to stain it with my tears.
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