The alarm was sounded at one in the morning of May 3rd, 1910.
By the time the ravens and I arrived at the home of Gunther Hunt, the battle was in full swing, as was Gunther himself.
Gunther had been a fighting man for as long as I had known him, and when I saw him on his porch, he was a fighting man still. Two of the creatures from the Hollow lay dead at his feet, their heads nearly severed from their necks by the massive ax he wielded. His rifle was broken and off to one side while the roof of his house blazed with a fire that would eventually consume the entire structure.
His raven, Gudrid, attacked another of the creatures, landing on its head and snapping at its eyes. There were more than a dozen of the creatures in front of the house, and I could hear more in the burning building, fighting their way through the flames towards him. Gunther had set his own home on fire to give himself a chance.
As I raced into his front yard, I had my Colts drawn and I was firing, the heavy slugs slamming into the pale flesh of the beasts. I heard Gunther laugh and call my name, and from the corner of my eye, I saw him slay another creature, the ax burying itself deep between the beast’s shoulder blades.
My ravens attacked others, and soon I was focused on a single creature in front of me. I emptied the last three rounds from my pistols, and still, the beast would not fall. Drawing my bowie knife, I threw myself at it, and in the pitched fight, I slew it.
A strange, undulating cry rang out through the woods, and the creatures broke off their attack. It was reckless and haphazard, a headlong flight into darkness, their escape marked by myself and the ravens, and no one else.
When I turned toward the house, Gunther Hunt was dead on the porch, as was his raven. In his hands, he clutched the broken haft of his ax, its head still buried in the last beast he had killed.
The ravens settled around me, and in silence we watched the flames consume house and man and raven.
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