In Gods’ Hollow: May 6, 1912

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The sound of weeping drew me down into darkness.

I was nearly blind as I descended the stairs, the sound of the machines fading behind me. By the time I reached the unseen landing and stumbled to a stop, the machines were inaudible, and the weeping horrific.

I groped my way through the darkness, one hand on the wall and the other out in front of me. The raven on my shoulder whispered encouragement and guidance, though how even his one eye could pierce the depths, I do not know.

Soon, my hand encountered a wooden door, and I came to a stop. My heartbeat quickened, and I knew I had to enter the room beyond. I had faced a great many horrors from the Hollow before, yet still, I was worried at what I might find awaiting me.

Strengthening my resolve, I found the handle and opened the door.

Soft light washed over me, and the sounds of lament nearly overwhelmed me as I stepped in. The door clicked shut behind me, and I knew that the only way out was forward.

As my eyes finally adjusted to the light, I found myself in a large, beautiful library. Well-kept shelves were stocked with books, and the room offered a sense of peace. Yet as I stood there, taking in the majesty of the library, my ears became keenly aware of the weeping.

I could find no source for it.

The noise seemed to come from every corner and surface of the room.

“This place,” the raven whispered in my ear, “is bad.”

With a nod, I approached a lectern with a pair of books upon it. Both volumes were bound in leather, and one was titled, Gilbert Darrow, Aged 7 yrs. The other bore the name, Anthony Darrow, Aged 9 yrs.

I reached out and laid my hand on the first book, and then, I snatched back my hand.

The leather had been warm to the touch, and it had let out a plaintive wail.

All around me, the noise increased, and I knew what the books were.

They were the souls of children, and they needed to be freed.

Stiff-legged, I walked to the door across the room, turned around, and took out my matches. As I did so, the room went silent. For a moment, I hesitated, then I heard a voice whisper, “Please.”

I burned the library down and set the children free.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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