In Gods’ Hollow: May 29, 1912

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I found the man sitting on the edge of Gods’ Hollow, a look of perplexity on his face.

For the past few weeks, there had been rumors in town of a strange man asking questions that no one was able to make any sense of. Those who had spoken with him could not seem to remember what he looked like, nor could they truly recall what he had asked about. All they knew was that they had been left with feelings of uncertainty and discomfort.

I had searched on an off for the better part of a week, all the while making sure my new charges were safe on their islands or in my home.

The stranger’s expression, combined with the fact that he was well-armed, caught my attention.

When I stopped a short distance from him, I called out and asked what the problem was.

“I’m looking for some boys,” he replied. “They are vandals.”

“Vandals?” I asked.

He nodded.

“What happened?” I let my hands rest on the Colts. He was distracted and didn’t notice.

“They worked for my mistress,” he informed me. “They killed her and set fire to our home.”

“Ah, vandals is an appropriate name then,” I nodded. “Are you alone in your searching?”

He shook his head. “No, there are a few of us. We are searching…towns such as yours.”

“What’s your name, friend?” I asked.

“Jeremiah,” he smiled. “And yours?”

“My name?” I asked, tilting my head towards him as though I hadn’t quite heard him.

He chuckled and leaned forward. “Yes, friend, what’s your name?”

“Duncan,” I grinned. “Duncan Blood.”

The man’s eyes widened, and he jerked back as he tried to get to his feet and aim his pistol with his left hand.

By the time he brought the pistol up, both my Colts had cleared leather, and the hammers were falling on the first of twelve rounds, all of which ended up in his chest.

I was surprised to find he was still breathing when I reached him, but I took his knife from his hand and kicked the pistol out of the other.

Lifting his ax up from the ground, I tested the weight and found it to my liking.

“Now,” I told him, “let’s see if your heart is as black as my mother’s.”

It wasn’t.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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