Stories from the Sentinel: 1870

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Thomas Moore didn’t believe a word the Sentinel printed.

He should have left the stories alone.

Thomas’ daughter, May, had married into the Coffin family in ’45. By 1868, Thomas was living with them and causing Allan Coffin no small amount of grief. His father-in-law was, by nature, it seemed, a cantankerous son of a bitch who couldn’t leave well-enough alone.

In 1869, Thomas learned about a fairy ring where more than a few wayward strangers had vanished, and he wanted to investigate it himself. When he sought information from the library, he was told that no such stories existed. Adamant that they did, he stomped off to the Sentinel and demanded the knowledge he sought.

They granted him access willingly – he wasn’t the first person to throw such a fit – and he was furious when there was nothing to confirm what he had heard.

From that point on, Thomas Moore was hell-bent to learn the truth.

For a full year, the staff at the newspaper was one step ahead of the old man. In January of 1870, they slipped, and he got the jump on them.

Thomas learned of a dog wandering along North Road. A dog that called out to people by name and traded insults with them.

Ecstatic that he was about to learn the truth, he rushed out of the house and made his way to North Road. Allan Coffin was out working on clearing some deadfall away from the barn when May told him what had happened.

Rather than chasing after him, Allan came to me, and I sent him home to his family.

I had a better chance alone than with company. Especially when I wasn’t sure what might be waiting.

I needn’t of worried.

Thomas Moore’s body was stretched out on North Road, his eyes wide and his mouth agape. I don’t know how he was killed, but I know whoever did it lifted his scalp and removed the crown of his skull. His brain had been scraped out, and the January wind whistled around the cavity.

I stood there for a few moments, then I hooked a tether around the man’s ankles, tightened it, and began to drag him back towards Coffin Farm. To my left, on the stonewall, was a small terrier. Its tail thumped happily, and its tongue lapped at Thomas’ brains splattered around its muzzle.

#fear #horror #art

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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