They were better armed than most, but they died all the same.
I never learned who they were or where they came from. I’m not even sure they were from our now and when. They might well have come out of the Hollow for a bit of hunting. Stranger things have happened.
As it is, they decided to take a stroll along Honor’s Path. They had their dogs and their guns, and the birds they had taken off my land as well. That alone would have sealed their fate had I gotten a hold of them.
Instead, they wandered from my land to the Coffins’, and from there, well, onto the path.
It was the yowling of the dogs that first caught my attention and the thunder of the shotguns that sent me toward the path.
What the women had were fowling-pieces, and they didn’t do a damned bit of damage to the creatures that called Honor’s Path home.
It was the first time I caught a good, hard look at one of the things, and it left me with a sour taste in my mouth.
The damned creature couldn’t have been taller than a foot or two, and its arms were long and spindly. I’m assuming the legs were as well, but from the waist down, they were clad in long skirts made from human faces. The creatures’ eyes were lidless, their mouths barren of lips, and they screamed and shrieked as they attacked.
They ignored the birds and went after the women and the dogs.
Neither of the dogs died, not with my Colts thundering and blasting the screaming creatures back. The hounds took off for the Hollow, and I wished them all speed as they passed by.
The women, well, I watched them get dragged down into the soil. In a moment, silence filled the void left by the violence, and I remained alone with the birds and the fowling-pieces.
I needed neither the weapons nor the birds, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to stroll along the path to gather them up.
From beneath my feet, there came the rumbling of a drum, and it sounded for all the world like war drums.
Let it be so. I’m of a mind to do some killing.