Lost in Cross: The House

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The house called out to me, and I listened.

It appeared sometime after sunrise on Saturday morning, and by nine, the ravens told me that something in the Hollow was calling for me by name.

I know a great many creatures in Gods’ Hollow, and few of them are pleasant.

With my Colts strapped on, I left the farm and made my way to North Road and the slim stonewall that served as the sole barrier between Cross and the Hollow.

I saw the house right off, and I heard it too. It was a plaintive tone with a depth of sadness and remorse I had not heard before.

Over the past few years, Cross has seen an unnaturally high number of children vanish. I suspect most, if not all, went into the Hollow, and those few that did not more than likely went to Honor’s Path to see if the stories about the damned place were true.

I stepped up to the stonewall and then climbed over it. I needed to speak to the house, and hiding on the road and yelling out to the building would serve me no good.

Drawing the Colts from their holsters, I crossed the long grass and kept an eye out for anything that might want to take a bite out of me. The grass would move occasionally, but nothing dared approach. My name is well-known in the Hollow, and I like to keep it that way.

When I reached the house, I stopped beside an open window and peered in. The smell of death wafted out and coiled around me, but it was not done with any sort of malice. It was merely the home’s exhalation.

“You called for me,” I stated.

“I did.” The house was feminine, her sorrow heartbreaking.

“What is it?”

“You need to stop her,” the house whispered.

“Who?”

“The princess,” the house answered. “She’s out now. She’s hunting. She’ll be back tomorrow, perhaps sooner.”

“What is she hunting?” I asked though I was certain I knew.

“Look.”

The house shifted on its foundation, and an old closet door sprang open. Dozens of small skulls tumbled out and across the warped and rotted floor.

I cocked both pistols and muttered, “I’ll wait.”

I sank down into the grass, rested the Colts on my knees, and I waited.

#horror #fear #art #writing

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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