War in the Hollow: Dec. 10, ‘36


The hound distracted them.

Thorn went hell-bent for leather after a hare, and I knew better than to call for him. The dog, I’d discovered, was smarter than most of his kind, and I knew he’d be back when he had a mind to be.

A few moments after he was out of sight, I heard them.

Men were calling out to the dog and laughing. There were a few rifle shots followed by the sound of men moving en masse.

For a split second, I was afraid they’d shot the hound, but the sound of good-natured jesting about someone’s poor aim reassured me that the dog lived.

Still, I didn’t want them shooting at my traveling companion.

I followed the same path Thorn had, with a Colt in hand, when I came upon their campsite. From where I stood, I saw perhaps twenty of them, all with their backs to me, and to the old Hotchkiss machinegun they’d left set up.

I was more than comfortable with the weapon, having fired it myself on more than one occasion, and as they stood there like fools, searching for the hound and the hare, I sat down, checked the feed, and opened fire.

Within a minute, they were on the ground, and less than thirty seconds after that, I was walking among them. I put a bullet into each man’s head, just to be sure he wasn’t feigning death.

When I finished, I booby-trapped the weapon as well as several of the bodies and found a decent pipe and bag of tobacco.

After wiping off the stem, I packed the bowl, lit it, and set out after Thorn.

I found him a moment later, the hare between his paws and his muzzle red with blood.

Both of us, it seemed, had enjoyed our killing.

#horror #fear #art

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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