In Gods’ Hollow: May 12, 1912

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The fight began as I walked through the door.

Knives were hurled at me, whistling past and thudding into the door and the frame. The raven sprang to the air and I had both Colts drawn before I finished crouching down. More knives were thrown even as the pistols thundered in the confines of the room.

One of the men staggered back, twin holes in his chest. The second man stepped forward and threw a cleaver with enough speed and accuracy to lodge it in my left shoulder. A smirk of satisfaction spread across his mustachioed face.

But it was an expression that transformed into one of shock as I tore the blade free and cast it aside. He reached for another blade, but my arm was already healing, and the raven descended upon him. The sharp beak of the Gallows god tore out the man’s eyes and left him screaming at the counter. His colleague sat propped up behind it, his eyes glazed as he struggled for breath. Blood foamed and bubbled in his chest, and the all too familiar death rattle made itself known.

Grimnir left his meal and perched upon the counter as I approached. The blinded man continued his howling, blood, and flecks of eye covering his face. When I reached him, I plucked a boning knife from a collection of them, grabbed the blinded man by the nape of his neck and dragged him to the marbled top of a nearby counter. I swept aside meat I knew to be human and put the butcher atop it.

He struggled for a moment, but I’ve done my share of knifework in my life.

His screams increased, and while I sorely wished to remove his tongue, I needed answers. I settled for his fingers instead and told him I was going to work on his toes next.

The promise of pain loosened his tongue.

He told me that he and his brother were butchers, preparing the meat of those boys who were sent back up by the lower levels.

When I asked if he knew their names, he let out a croak and told me they were nothing more than meat.

I confess, his response angered me.

He did not die well.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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