War in the Hollow: Dec. 8, ‘36

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Today I was reminded of how much I hate the Hollow.

In my wanderings, searching for more of this foul little town’s occupants, I came upon a path not marked on the maps I had seen. The trail was well worn, and it seemed as good as any to follow. In my own version of Cross, there are quite a few roads and pathways that weave in and out of our boundaries.

Thorn and I traveled at a good clip, and I had my Spenser in hand, and I was glad I did so.

We soon came upon a town that had once been, I suspect, yet another version of Cross.

There was damage done to the buildings and no sign of any people. From where we stood on the street, I could see that the stores had been stripped clean. The raiders, it would seem, left little behind.

They were efficient in that sense.

And in another as well.

While they might not have left any resources behind that they might use, they did leave a gift for the likes of me.

As I decided what to do, Thorn began a long, low growl in his throat, his hackles rising as he turned his attention to the closest building on our left. When I sank down beside him to see what was bothering him so, I caught sight of a monstrous spider in a second-floor window.

Spiderlings the size of cats sprang down, trailing anchor strands from the upper story.

I had the Spenser up to my shoulder in a heartbeat, and I put three slugs into the spider on the second-floor. Its shriek of agony told me the wounds were mortal, and then I let out a shout of anger and pain as the spiderlings flung barbed hairs at me.

With my face peppered with the damned things, I emptied the Spenser into them, then dropped it and drew my Colts.

The battle was short and fierce, and while I was the victor, it was not won without a cost.

It took me the better part of an hour to pull all the hairs out. By the time I’d finished, I realized Thorn was smarter than I’d thought.

The dog had hidden behind me during the whole fight and come through unscathed.

Bastard.

#horror #fear #art

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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