My Father’s History: Restless

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Not all of the dead sleep well.

This harsh fact was driven home to my father when he entered yet another fractured version of Cross.

‘I have seen my share of graveyards,’ my father wrote, ‘and I have laid entire towns in their graves. When I wandered out into this place, I could smell the wrongness in the air.

‘The church and the outbuildings were well-cared for, as were the headstones. I could read neither the dates nor the names carved into the granite, but that fact did not disturb me. I have not my son’s gift with languages.

‘Still, the air was pleasant, and the day was bright. I sat down on the grass, with clear fields of fire all around me, and prepared to enjoy a quick bite to eat before moving on.

‘I was not afforded that opportunity.

‘I had no sooner settled in than the smell of fresh-turned earth and rotten flesh assailed my nose.

‘The dead were climbing out of their graves.

‘There were clothes were in tatters, as was their flesh, and a keening wail pierced the bright sky as they opened their mouths. The teeth within were not those of men or women, but rather of some beast I cannot name.

‘I clambered to my feet, drew the pistol, and fired off a quick shot. While it struck the closest beast in the chest, it did not slow the monster down. Nor did the second shot.

‘Or the other four in the damned weapon.

‘Swearing and cursing, I put the pistol away and took to my heels.

‘I had no desire to be made a meal of.’

#horror #fear #art #writing

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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