War: 8.9.1930

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The town lamented its dead.

Weeping greeted my ears as I broke camp and made my way eastward. It was a rolling, heartbreaking sound, and one with which I was well familiar.

The forest fell away to rent fields, crops churned beneath the plows of war. There would be famine, come the fall and winter, and far worse things if history was any judge of the future.

I found a road of hardpacked earth, and I followed it. The wind pushed at me from behind, and then, as the road curved, the wind shifted and carried with it the carrion stench of the battlefield and murder.

Crows watched me from broken trees, and the occasional raven sat higher up, a sergeant amongst the avian troops. Occasionally, a raven would call out a greeting to me. Though I did not know their names, it was clear that they knew mine. I waved in return, my BAR slung, and my Colts loosened in their holsters.

Dust rose with each footfall, and soon, I caught sight of a town. Yet the closer I drew to it, the louder the weeping became. Soon, my bones vibrated with the lamentations, and I knew it to be the town itself that mourned the dead.

The buildings were shattered. Walls tumbled, and roofs destroyed. Wells were fouled. All that had been good and right in the town was gone.

I saw broken bodies and clouds of black flies hovering above scattered pieces of meat, which had once been part of the townspeople.

Then, ahead of me, I saw a solitary figure.

As I drew nearer to it, I was able to recognize the figure as a child, perhaps no more than twelve or thirteen.

He was clearly dead, though standing upright. His eyes were missing, and his mouth was open. From the open mouth, past the blackened tongue and sunken cheeks, the cries of the town issued forth.

I was silent as I passed the dead mouthpiece.

There was nothing I could do. No words of comfort could I speak to this creature whose Joie de Vivre had been torn from its heart.

All I could do was kill those responsible.

Killing is something I can do.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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