War in the Hollow: Dec. 28, ‘36

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The earth shook, and the chatter of machineguns filled the afternoon air.

As the guns continued their brutal symphony as an angry, pained roar joined them.

The guns went silent, their voices replaced by the screams and cries of the dying.

The earth trembled beneath my feet, and I took my time advancing upon the origin of the sound.

Beneath my boots, the ground was charred and churned. Ahead of me, I caught sight of what appeared to be a small hill, and it took me only a moment to understand that I was looking upon a hill giant. The creature, easily as tall as a New England cape, had a fair growth of grass upon its back and what appeared to be one or two appletrees on its right shoulder.

I came to a stop beside an overturned tank, and I hunkered down. I took my Spenser off my shoulder, loaded my last two rounds for the rifle, and I waited.

If the giant came in my direction, I would only get one, perhaps two shots at it. That I could strike a killing blow, I was certain, but it did not mean that I might not be caught all the same.

Giants have a difficult time understanding when they’re dead.

For almost an hour, I remained beside the tank, Spenser in my hands as I watched and waited.

Finally, the giant left, its broad back to me. Not until it was a fair distance away did I come out from my hiding spot.

When I reached the place so recently vacated by the giant, I discovered the remains of far too many horses. There were several machineguns scattered about, and a fair bit of clothing as well.

But of men, there was nothing of which to speak. Nothing more than scraps of flesh and the occasional finger.

It was an easy scene to read, despite the lack of human remains.

Someone, in their infinite wisdom, had decided it would be a good idea to open fire on a hill giant.

Never a wise decision.

They’re extremely difficult to kill, bad-natured as a whole, and notoriously insatiable regarding human flesh.

Whoever had attacked the giant had ended up as a midday meal, but, in the end, it was their horses that had suffered for it.

#horror #fear #fiction #writing

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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