Stories from the Sentinel: 1869

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He was left alone with madness.

Abraham Zephyr had worked on the Cross Sentinel since its founding. He had the distinct ability to discern the truth of a situation and to create the finest, subtlest lies to hide it behind. Not a single story of his was ever called into question. No doubts were ever raised.

If Abraham Zephyr wrote the story, then the Sentinel’s readers felt comforted.

To this day, the cause of his illness is shrouded. His subsequent madness after the incident left him bereft of the ability to tell us.

I know that he had gone out for a walk, and nothing more.

He was not investigating a story, following up a lead, or convincing a witness that they hadn’t really seen a giant feasting on their sheep.

No, Abraham had risen, dressed, eaten his breakfast, drank his customary two cups of coffee, and informed his housekeeper he was taking his morning constitutional. So, with cane in hand, he had set out for North Road.

Abraham was no fool.

He would not have walked close to Hollow, nor would he have investigated anything peculiar. At least he wouldn’t have done so alone.

Several people saw him along the road, and there was word that he might have been headed toward either the Black Farm or Coffin’s. He was well-known at both.

Neither of those families saw him, and he would not have trod along Honor’s Path and risked an attack.

So, what happened to my old friend?

There is only one small clue, and that was discovered at the old Cross Cemetery.

He was found wandering the road not far from it, and when I went to search for someone to punish, I went into the cemetery where some of my less than noble kin lie buried.

I found Abraham’s cane plunged nearly a foot into the earth in front of an unmarked stone, and it set a chill in my stomach.

The stone marked my Uncle Abel’s plot, and not a blade of grass grew upon that cursed man’s grave. He had been a bastard, and I’d used a hammer to shatter his skull when I was thirteen.

I’ll come back after dinner with a shovel, just to see how much of him’s grown back, and learn how much work I’ll have to do.

#horror #fear #art

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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