Stories from the Sentinel: 1866

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Writing can kill you.

Danforth Holmes learned this painful lesson on his third day at the Sentinel.

I had recently returned from the War of Rebellion, and I was more than ready to settle down in my own front parlor for a goodly amount of time.

This was not to be, unfortunately.

There’d been a spike in incidents from the Hollow, and the Cross Militia had even been forced to guard the boundaries of my property. More than a few idiots from other towns had felt the need to wander on Blood Farm.

Few of them had returned.

I was walking toward home when I encountered Elbridge Coffin, who told me about the incidents around my home, and who informed me that the Sentinel had dispatched a writer to gather what notes he could.

This was an unusual step. The Sentinel’s staff knew to leave my property alone and, I confess, I was in a sore state of mind when I made my way to the paper’s office. Once there, I learned they had not dispatched Danforth. In fact, they had forbade him from investigating.

When I reached the farm, the guards there were quite relieved to see me. There had been some disturbing noises issuing from the property, and they were more than happy to put their backs to the farm.

I thanked them and asked if they had seen anyone. They shook their heads and made their way back to town.

A high shriek tore through the stillness of the day a moment later, and I ran down my drive. Once I reached the main yard, I found Danforth Holmes.

I’d been gone for almost four years, and the few willow trees on my property had become hungry.

He had slipped through a bit of marsh to gain access to my land, and in doing so, he had passed the willows. They had uprooted themselves and crept along after him, finally catching him as he made his way to the porch.

By the time I arrived, they had stripped him naked and were flaying the flesh from his bones and eating their fill.

Soon, Holmes’ remnants lay between us, and the willows apologized for not sharing the fresh meat.

I assured them it was alright, and that I’d make stock from his bones.

Surprisingly, he made for a decent soup.

#horror #fear #art

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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