War in the Hollow: Dec. 21, ‘36

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They found me.

Or, rather, I found them.

I was moving through a gully, the faint hint of tobacco on the breeze telling me that my prey was near. I could hear whispering in French, the click and hum of a field-telephone. When I came in around the corner, I saw them.

One man asleep at the far end, one close to me on the field-telephone, and another five gathered around a periscope.

I heard my name whispered on their lips, and they bent to their task once more.

There are monsters in the Hollow, and I am one of them.

When they saw me, they went for their weapons.

I dragged the man on the telephone to his feet, the bullets of his comrades striking him instead of myself. Fury drove me forward, and I hurled the freshly made corpse at the gathered men. The sleeper struggled to his feet as I clawed my way through his comrades.

The bones in my hands broke as I crushed skulls within their helmets, collapsed orbital sockets and gouged out eyes. Men drowned in their own blood as I tore throats out with my teeth.

I was awash in the blood of my enemies, and I rejoiced in the cold brutality of it.

The sleeper raised his rifle, took aim, saw the last of his comrades collapse, and tried to flee.

I sprang upon, grasped his thick hair with a hand newly mended and still slick with blood, and drove his head into the earth. I pressed his face deep into the loom until I felt his forehead give way, his brains spill out onto the ground.

Behind me, the others gasped out their last, and I was alone with the dead.

A small fire sprang up among the leaves, ignited by a dropped cigarette. As the flames grew, I took my leave of the dead.

In my mouth, I tasted the coppery tang of their blood, and it was good.

#horror #fear #art #christmas

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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