In Gods’ Hollow: May 13, 1912

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The sound of hammers upon stone echoed down the tunnel.

I paused when I heard them, listening for any other noises which might accompany them.

There was nothing, nothing save the strike of metal upon rock.

I approached cautiously, the Colts in my hands. My wounds from the night before had healed, yet the anger I felt toward this place remained. I had still not found any sign of Johnny Coffin, and there was a deepening sense of hopelessness within me. I wanted nothing more than to find the boy, to find him whole and healthy. The more I traveled in this abysmal place, the less I believed that I would find him alive.

The dim light of the tunnel brightened, and soon I was standing near a large scaffolding, a pair of men upon it and gazing down at me.

“Duncan Blood,” they called to me Danish, “and the Gallows god. What brings you here to us?”

Grimnir let out his croak of a laugh, and I answered the question. “I seek Jack Coffin’s boy.”

“He passed this way some time ago,” one of the two replied. “He was with a group of others. Perhaps five in all.”

“No more than ten, at the most,” his compatriot added.

“How do you know me?” I asked them.

“You were here not too long ago,” the first stated.

“Perhaps a decade,” the second chimed in. Then, looking at his partner, he asked, “Was it a decade?”

The first shrugged. “It could well have been a century. Time is fluid here.”

“What are you building?” Grimnir asked them.

The two men laughed. “A crypt! War is coming, Grimnir, war. We will fill this with the souls of millions, and then all here will eat well.”

My hands tightened on the Colts, but the raven’s talons dug into my shoulder, and I held my tongue.

“Who bids you do this?” the bird asked.

“Hela,” the men responded in unison. “Who else?”

“Who else indeed,” I murmured.

Grimnir nodded. “Straight on?” he asked.

“Straight on,” they answered.

We left the men to their work, and I wondered what war was coming.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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