Recollections, 1960: Through the Tunnels

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We spent the night beneath the blockhouse, not wishing to go above ground to continue the hunt. We had discovered additional tracks and an offshoot tunnel on our return from the cave-in, and we had decided it would be best to spend the night below ground.

I did not question how the one-eyed raven knew when it was dawn. I had, in fact, come to trust everything he said.

There was something otherworldly about him, and the fact that the Hollow acquiesced to him was not lost upon me.

I am certain that the offshoot tunnel would have remained hidden to me had it not been for the one-eyed raven, and I am certain I would have had a far more difficult time exacting my vengeance upon the creatures.

As it was, I took all the assistance I could get, and I readily followed his lead.

We moved through the darkness at a cautious pace, fully aware of the dangers that travel in tight quarters presented.

After several hours of travel, a soft breeze washed over us, carrying with it the smell of fresh air and charred flesh. The one-eyed raven leaned close to me and whispered, “Have care, Duncan Blood, this is one of the few spots where your life hangs by a thread.”

I have often considered death, and at times I have doubted it would ever find me.

Listening to the raven, I did not doubt it.

We came upon sunlight, and as we advanced towards the end of the tunnel, I saw the blue of Blood Lake in the distance. With every step closer to it, more came into definition, and soon we were standing at the edge of the tunnel, which was strewn with rubble, and the source of the stench of charred flesh.

A body lay in front of us, and whether it had been a man or a woman, I do not know, nor did I tarry to find the answer.

The tracks of the creatures continued down toward the water, and back toward my lands. The sun hung low in the sky, and I knew we had no time to dally.

Stepping over the corpse, I made my way to the lake as the raven took wing.

It felt good to hunt in the open again.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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