War: 8.5.1930

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The fetid stink of a charnel house hung in the air.

A heavy mist had settled over the Hollow shortly before dawn, and when I broke camp, I was forced to travel at a slow and miserable pace. I could hear troops around me, though the sounds of combat were distant. Wherever the Hollow had placed me, it was not on the front lines.

As I moved through the mist, the forest fell away, and I soon came to a set of railroad tracks. I left the road behind and stayed with the tracks, hopeful that I might be able to trace them back to some sort of command unit.

Instead, I found a train.

The locomotive was armored, and the cloying stench of death came from its smokestack, and I saw why.

Men were carrying the butchered remnants of the dead into the engine and feeding the train the corpses. Other soldiers stood about, chatting and laughing, their colleagues occasionally throwing a foot or a hand at someone not paying attention. The laughter that followed was full and hearty and sickened me.

I had resolved to pass by this infernal stop when I noticed that the body parts weren’t only those of men. They consisted of the remains of women and children as well.

There was no choice.

Stepping out of the tree-line, I opened fire with the BAR.

What a .30-06 can do to a man is not for the faint of heart, though I will admit it did bring a smile to my face.

The soldiers were taken aback, but even as they struggled to bring their weapons to bear, I was cutting them down. Several attempted to throw grenades, but they were unsuccessful.

The sight of the explosives pleased me, and when I was done killing all who had stood and fought, I hastily gathered up the grenades and brought them to the locomotive’s engine. An iron door was open, and rows of triangular teeth gnashed and snapped, seeking the flesh it had so recently been feasting on.

I tossed the grenades into the monster’s mouth, and I ran.

The earth shook beneath my feet and threw me across a stack of corpses.

As bits of bloody iron clattered to the earth around me, I made my way back into the gloom of the forest.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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