My Father’s History: Southern


His anger grows.

I am close to halfway through my father’s final journal, and his anger is evident with every word. The violence in his letters is palpable.

‘I have grown to despise the Hollow. The years are wrong. The damned trees are wrong, and I have yet to find my way back to my own Cross.

‘This morning, when I broke my fast and set out for town from Gods’ Hollow once more, I discovered a stonewall running along the edge of the Hollow’s border. I approached it with caution. I have run out of powder and shot, and my rifle is little more than a club.

‘When I reached the wall, I climbed over it and began to follow a wide road, which I suspect is some iteration of North Road. The way was lined with severed heads. Some from white men, others Indians, far too many were black. It disturbed me to see them.

‘I had reached a curve in the road, and as I rounded it, I came upon a gentleman dressed in a gray uniform. He was humming a song with which I was unfamiliar, and he was mounting a pair of heads on poles. They had once belonged to children, and if they had not been twins, then they had undeniably been siblings. The heads, like so many of those I had passed, belonged to Africans.

‘The man turned upon hearing me approach, and when he spoke, his accent was thick, as though he had been raised in the Southern colonies. He narrowed his eyes, dropped his hand to the butt of a curious-looking weapon at his side, and asked me what business I had in Cross. I told him my business was my own, and I asked him the year.

‘The man’s eyes widened a tad, and he began to draw the weapon.

‘I did not let him finish. I slapped the weapon aside and struck him in the center of his forehead with a closed fist. The bones in my hand broke, but so too did his skull. It collapsed beneath the weight of my blow, and his eyes rolled up into what was left of his brains.

‘I have relieved him of his weapon and the ammunition belt he wore. I have taken a memento for my journal as well.

‘I enjoyed the kill.’

#horror #fear #art #writing

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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