Duncan Blood’s Journal: August 1949


The tide carried the Emmett brothers to their place of execution.

I boarded the Gorgon’s Kiss shortly before dawn on the first of August, and soon we were underway.

The crew laughed and joked in the rough manner of sailors, and soon we had made our way down the sharp twists and turns of the Cross River, reaching the Atlantic as the sun finished its ascent.

It is a good thing, the smell of the sea. It reminds you of your place in the world, and how truly insignificant we are.

I was aboard as a guest of Captain Milo Stands, and his ship was going out for mackerel, as it always did, but there was an added chore, one all of his crew – save the Emmett brothers – knew of.

Near the end of July, I found a graveyard on one of my islands in Blood Lake. Since I hadn’t buried anyone there, I was naturally curious as to who might have done so.

It took me the better part of two days to find one of the fey who was willing to speak of it, and she told me, in unflinching detail, what had occurred. When she finished, I dug up the newest grave and ascertained the truth of the fey’s statement.

There was a young man in the grave, and he had been tortured to death. His dark skin and the crucifix around his neck marked him as a recent immigrant. He smelled of the ocean, and his hands – what were left of them – revealed the heavy, thick callouses of a sailor.

I reburied the young man and set off for home.

The fey had given me a description of the men who had tortured and killed the young sailor, and I knew who they were.

This knowledge had brought me to the Gorgon’s Kiss, and I had shared what I knew with the captain.

When we had reached the fishing grounds, Captain Stands tasked the Emmett brothers, John and Luke, with acting as spotters. The men did so, and soon their dory was over the side and trailing along.

I, on the other hand, took my knife and cut the line.

In silence, the crew lined the sides, and we listened as the Emmett brothers begged for mercy.

I’m sure their victims did the same.

And I, like the Emmett brothers, gave them none.


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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

3 thoughts on “Duncan Blood’s Journal: August 1949”

  1. Serves them right. Board a ship called “Gorgon’s Kiss” anywhere and you’re asking for it, let alone in f(bleep!)king Cross. Yikes.

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