War in the Hollow: Dec. 20, ‘36


I’m sending them all to Hell.

It was bad enough when they came into Cross and when my cousin set me on this task, but they killed my friend, and they’ll all pay for it.

I spent the day killing.

I’ve only a few dozen rounds left for the Colts, so I’ve taken to using whatever’s at hand or my Bowie knife when I’m so inclined.

It was past nightfall, and I was looking for a place to bed down for the evening when I heard the laughter of women and caught the scent of paraffin. As I moved along the path, I caught sight of a large building marked clearly with a red cross.

During the Great War, paraffin was used to help seal the fronts of bandages, keep them clean for when the time came that they were needed, and they were always needed.

Those inside, I supposed, were preparing bandages for their fighters.

And I couldn’t have that. Not with the task I’d been given. Not with Thorn lying in a shallow grave.

Leaving my Colts in their holsters, I drew my Bowie knife and crept up to the door. I’d learned my silence from Mohawks and Abenakis, and those within didn’t know I was there until I stepped into the room.

There were three women, all in the act of preparing bandages and preparing them by the hundreds.

They went silent when they saw me, and by the fear that sprang up in their eyes, I could see they knew who I was.

The one nearest the door reached for a blade, and I buried the Bowie knife in her belly, twisting and dragging it to the right before pulling it out. The one beside her panicked, slipped, and crashed to the floor, knocking herself out in the process.

The third one, she mastered her fear, picked up a hammer, and stood to meet me.

But I was already there.

Her blow was ill-timed and clumsy, allowing me the opportunity to slip beneath it and to drive my knife up into her ribs. The bones broke as they gave way, and she sagged to her knees, sliding off the steel.

Turning around, I stepped over to the one who knocked herself out, and I made sure she wouldn’t awaken.

I stacked the bodies in a corner, ate my dinner, and mourned my dog.

#horror #fear #art

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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