April 26, 1875

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I couldn’t read what was written, but I didn’t have to.

Not to know what was in front of me.

I’d put enough people in the ground in the past two hundred years to recognize a graveyard when I saw one. What puzzled me was why.

Yes, I knew it had to be from the damned box that was opened aboard the Japanese boat, but why a graveyard?

And, more to the point, what in the hell was going to come out of it?

I’d only recently finished putting the cleaned skull in a place of honor in my library when word came to me of the discovery of the graveyard. I’d managed to settle into my chair, pour a fresh bourbon, and as I was lifting the glass to my lips, the goblin appeared.

I can’t say as I’m a fan of goblins. More often than not, their sole purpose is to cause mischief and mayhem. I don’t mind so long as I’m not the object of their attention. And, seeing as how the Colts were upstairs, I wasn’t looking forward to wringing the bastard’s neck if it was needed.

Thankfully, it wasn’t.

In its own, harsh approximation of English, the goblin told me of the cemetery, more because the arrival had interrupted the goblin tribe’s hunting than anything else. And since I was the owner of the land, the tribe came to me to solve the problem.

I nodded and sighed, and by the time I had finished the bourbon, the goblin was gone.

The cemetery was not.

Neither was it unoccupied.

As I crossed the threshold, the temperature plummeted around me, sending an aching chill through my bones.

“Who are you?” a voice asked in Japanese.

“Duncan Blood.”

There was a pause, and the voice inquired, “This is your land, Blood?”

“It is.”

“Must we leave?”

“You going to cause trouble?”

“No,” it answered.

I considered the statement, nodded and said, “Don’t scare any animals. You’ve got neighbors that hunt them.”

“Agreed.”

I thought for a moment before saying, “You can’t eat any of your neighbors either.”

There was a groan of dismay, and a different voice muttered, “Agreed.”

“Oh,” I added as I turned to leave, “eat all the trespassers you want.”

Laughter filled the early morning air, and I stifled a yawn as I left.

It was high time I got some sleep.

#horror #fear

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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