The Hollow offers far more questions than it does answers.
We discovered the ditch shortly after we began our travels for the day.
Steam still rose from the bodies as we drew up on either side of them, and in a vain effort to see if any were still alive, several of us descended into the ditch. We searched for signs of life, but there were none. The steam was produced by the rapid cooling of their flesh.
Whatever had killed them had occurred within moments of our arrival, and we could not fathom what had done the deed. There were no marks on the dead. Not a single one. They were armed and well-equipped, a military unit similar to those put forth by both sides during the war between the states.
Yet there were no gunshot wounds, no bayonet marks. Nothing except limp bodies and faces frozen in terror.
Had they died of fright? I knew it was possible. Anything is possible, as the Hollow so easily proved, but what could have done it?
I was the last to climb out of the ditch, pausing to examine one last corpse. It was a young man, perhaps no older than twenty, and as I leaned close, I saw an image burned into his eyes.
It was of a great beast, its skin a deep red, and its seven eyes a curious silver. From its mouth extended a trio of long appendages, similar in shape and design as an octopus’. As I stared at the image, I felt a rumbling beneath my feet and the bodies writhed around me, as though preparing to rise up and whisper their deaths to me.
I hastened out of the ditch, and all of us scrambled away to a nearby hillock, where we could look down at what was occurring.
The bottom of the ditch deepened, the dirt of its walls first trickled, then cascaded down upon the bodies. Within moments, the corpses vanished as did the ditch. Nothing was left except freshly turned earth.
I don’t know which concerns me more: the fact that some beast slew the men, or that the Hollow decided to swallow the corpses whole.
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