War in the Hollow: Dec. 2, ‘36

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I could smell war.

It is a scent to which I am finely attuned.

Armed and equipped to fight, I sat on the stonewall that runs along the border shared by Gods’ Hollow and North Road. I could see that my cousin Patience was right. The Hollow was different, as though a section of it was anchored.

In the distance, I heard the rumbling of machines and then, faintly, I caught the whinny of a horse.

It was time to go.

In a matter of moments, I was making my way across the field to the tree-line. My Colts were in their holsters, and my Spencer was in my hands. On my back was as much ammunition I could carry, and hate spurred me forward.

Over my long life, I have sacrificed a great deal for Cross, and I shoulder burdens few can even fathom. It is a choice I made, and I regret nothing.

I will not see my sacrifices be made useless, nor will I allow anyone to defile my town.

Especially not some thrice-damned bastard from the Hollow.

Within a quarter of an hour, I was deep in the woods, and I could hear the sporadic rattle of gunfire. As I drew closer to it, I heard men speaking in French. One man, older than the others, it seemed, chastising his audience about failure to keep a weapon clean and in proper working order.

Ahead, I caught sight of an opening in the trees, and as I stepped close, the rank odor of fresh blood assailed me. Soon, I was crouched down, rifle at the ready, and taking in the situation in front of me.

There were three men, sliding a fourth onto the back of a wagon. The fourth man was wounded, perhaps mortally so, and it was a soldier with a red cross on his arm who was reprimanding his compatriots.

Adjusting my position, I took aim at the medic, and I killed him first.

Before he had struck the ground, I’d killed the other two. The wounded man cried out as he landed on the bodies of his comrades.

Remembering my promise to my cousin, I stepped out of the woods and walked over to the wounded man.

Kneeling down beside him, I didn’t waste a bullet.

I smothered him instead.

#horror #fear #art

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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