For the briefest of moments, I thought we had stumbled into Cross.
I was surprised and stunned, a bitter joy welled up within me, and I prepared to call out to the survivors that we had arrived, and then I stopped.
As my comrades gathered around me, forming a tight circle, looks of concern appeared on every face. I confess it did on mine as well.
There was something fundamentally wrong about the place in front of us. It wasn’t that we were in a cemetery. I am too familiar with death to find it ever disturbing in that sense. It wasn’t the snow or the cold wind rustling the trees around us.
All these were common to us.
It was only when the wind died down that I realized what it was.
I heard the dead, and I was not the only one.
Beneath our feet, the dead screamed and begged. The frozen ground shuddered, and some of the grave markers moved. Among the begging and the screaming, I heard something else. Something far worse.
There were other voices. Dark and deep, they were occasionally hidden by the sound of digging and we all of us knew that creatures beneath the snow were coming for us. There was a hunger to their words, a hatred. They would not kill us quickly. Pain, I could tell, was as joyous to them as the act of killing was and we were their next targets.
We fell back the way we came, but we did so in good order, moving in groups in order to provide cover should we need it.
I can only say that I am thankful the creatures did not appear.
The Hollow has more horrors to offer us, I am sure.
But my Colts are ready, and the rage and sorrow for the loss of my son drives me forward, and in the end, I’ll kill anything that steps in my way.
And I’ll enjoy it.
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