In Gods’ Hollow: May 8, 1912

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I walked until I could no longer hear the voices of my dead.

When the only sound I heard was that of my own boots, the passage took on form. What had walls carved from rock gave way to paneled wood. Electric lights flickered into life and cast their strange, pale yellow onto a carpeted floor. Ahead of me, I saw a heavy, wooden door. Each step drew me closer. Grimnir remained perched on my shoulder, the raven silent, his one good eye fixed upon our destination.

I did not bother to knock on the door. Instead, with a Colt in my hand, I forced the door open and stepped into a bright office. A man sat behind a desk, interrupted in the midst of some work.

He frowned when he looked at me, and in a tone of bored disdain, he stated, “You’re too old for this place. Go back.”

“I’m here for John Coffin,” I replied.

The man glanced down at his paperwork and shook his head. My finger tightened on the trigger.

“He’s not on this level anymore,” the man remarked. “He has been moved lower. I suspect he will be in processing soon enough.”

The man looked at me. “You don’t have clearance to be here. Leave.”

“Tell me how to get to John.”

The man snorted derisively. “You’d best be leaving,” he remarked, and he drew a pistol from a desk drawer.

The slug from my Colt tore through his hand and shattered the grip of the weapon. Wood and steel, flesh and bone, sprayed out, and the man lifted his destroyed hand up. He stared at it, as though he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

I put another round through his thigh, and his shriek of pain was a joy to hear.

With his good hand, he struggled for the intercom on his desk, and I took that hand off at the wrist.

“How do I get to John?”

The man shook his head.

With the butt of my Colt, I smashed his teeth in.

When he still refused, I put a bullet through his groin.

While I searched through the dying man’s paperwork for any hint as to where Johnny might be, Grimnir ate the man’s tongue.

Both the raven and I were disappointed. I found nothing of use, and the tongue, according to the one-eyed bird, was too bitter to enjoy.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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