War in the Hollow: Dec. 24, ‘36


Christmas Eve and I am surrounded by death.

These men, or what remains of them, did not die by my hand.

Their flesh has been torn and rent asunder by teeth, not blade or bullet. Little is left of them, other than faces slack with the banality of death. Who they were, I neither know nor do I care. If I had found them first, then their fate would have been the same.

I don’t bother pushing them out of the shattered tank. I have slept among corpses more than once, and it is company I do not mind.

A cold rain hammers against the steel, runs down in rivulets, the water mixed with petrol and blood. I have wrapped myself in a pair of blankets, salvaged from the dead crew, and a slicker from the same.

The sun is setting and I’ll not risk the comfort of a pipe. I want to sleep, and the smell of tobacco might draw unwanted attention from whatever creatures are emboldened by the destruction I have wrought upon the land.

Instead, I will sit here, gaze out darkness, and remember Christmases long past when those I loved were still alive, and I could find comfort in their arms.

#horror #fear #art #christmaseve #christmas

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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