The War of the Rebellion: North Carolina, 1864

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The striga was hunting the pickets.

When I arrived at the unit, I learned from Captain Henry Dobson that he had lost seven pickets in as many nights. He had tried doubling up the men, but it was always the same. Whoever was the younger would be taken and found drained of blood in the morning.

There was no chance the dead men could come back. Captain Dobson was a great many things, as the saying goes, but a fool was not one of them. He had the bodies destroyed and sent a letter of regret to the soldiers’ families, informing them that their loved ones had died in battle.

He wanted it to stop.

Captain Dobson had heard of my exploits, and so he had sent for me. Unlike other men, he did not balk at my youthful appearance, nor doubt that I could carry out the task. When he asked me what I would need, I replied, “Nothing.”

I left immediately and inspected the places where the men had been slain. The striga was either careless or simply didn’t care. Regardless as to the reason, there was a slim trail, easily visible in the daylight to any who might have looked in the trees.

A half-mile later, the trail dropped from the pines to the ground, and I tracked the striga back to a small graveyard in an abandoned town. It took me almost an hour to find the grave, a great construct of marble and granite. Within it, according to the engravings, was Enoch Hatch, who had died only a few years earlier.

While I wondered how he had subsisted prior to the start of the war of the rebellion, I removed my haversack and went about the business of constructing an explosive. I had taken the precaution of bringing gunpowder and fuses, as well as a few other sundries for this particular hunt.

The sun was still high when I set the charge against the sarcophagus and then took refuge behind a nearby headstone.

A few moments later, the entire cemetery shook, and pieces of marble hurtled past.

The striga screamed as sunlight burned him, and a moment later, he exploded.

With my ears ringing and my head pounding, I sat on the edge of his sarcophagus and enjoyed the sun.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

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