April 18, 1875

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The sweet smell of blooming flowers filled the air and made me reach for my guns.

Nothing should have been flowering. Not yet.

There’d been too many hard frosts and not enough time for the trees and bushes to awaken. Which meant the smell was either coming from Gods’ Hollow or from another creature from the beached ship.

Both were a possibility, and that meant the Colts were needed, as they had been for the first half of the damned month.

With the Colts loaded and holstered, I went out the door and gagged as the odor of the flowers slammed into me. The scent made my eyes water, and it took me a full minute before I was able to see clearly.

Doing my best to ignore the assault on my nose, I stood and looked about me. A moment later, I could see the pollen in the air. It moved as a low, pale green fog across the ground, following my drive straight to my front door.

I took a handkerchief out of my back pocket, tied it around my nose and mouth, and set off to follow the pollen to its source. I had a mind to fetch kerosene as well, but I resisted the urge.

The weather had been too dry of late, and I’d not risk burning down half of Cross just because some wretched piece of greenery was playing havoc with my nose.

When I reached the road, the pollen was thicker and issuing forth from a copse of trees that hadn’t been there earlier in the morning. Frowning, I drew both pistols, cocked the hammers back, and approached the new trees cautiously. Stepping through the thin line, I saw a young woman standing in the center, a parasol of sorts over her shoulder. She neither moved nor spoke, but the vegetation at her feet writhed and twisted.

I caught a glimpse of bones and tattered clothes, and I backed out slowly.

I’m not sure who had been eaten or what the hell was in there, but I did know one thing.

It didn’t matter if the weather had been too dry.

It was time to fetch the kerosene.

#horror #fear

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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