April 29, 1875

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Stupid questions – and those who ask them – get the answers they deserve.

I was in none too good a mood when the sun came up. I’d spent the better part of the night sitting by Louis’ bedside and helping him whenever he woke up screaming, which was about every hour on the hour. Now, I’ve gone without sleep before, but it’s easier to deal with when you’re not worried about a child.

Fortunately, Danforth Black’s farmhand was French Canadian, as was the farmhand’s wife, and they had taken the boy in. I was coming back from the bank, having set some funds aside for the boy in an account, when I was hailed from the roadside. I wasn’t especially surprised to see a curious house set back a few feet, though the sight of the nearly naked Japanese giant was a bit of an eye-opener.

He was easily twelve feet tall, and he leered at me as I came to a stop.

“Blood!” he called.

I let my hands rest on the butts of the Colts. “Aye.”

“Will you come and fight me, Duncan Blood?” The trees around us shook with the reverberations of the giant’s voice, and I could smell his fetid breath from where I stood some twenty feet away.

“No.”

“Are you afraid, little Blood?” he asked, chuckling.

“No.”

“Then fight me!” he demanded.

“Can’t see a reason to,” I told him.

The giant scowled. “Prove yourself.”

I snorted out a laugh. “To whom?”

“Me, little Blood!” the giant laughed, throwing his arms wide. “Prove yourself to me!”

“You’re nothing,” I replied.

The giant’s smirk was replaced by a scowl. “I have crushed better men than you,” he told me. “Crushed them and eaten their flesh raw.”

I waited, and the giant continued. “Prove you are a better man.”

“By wrestling you?”

The giant nodded.

I drew both Colts and blew his brains out, the ground shaking as he struck it.

I holstered the revolvers and made my way home.

I may not be a better man than those he killed, but I’m a damned sight smarter.

#horror #fear #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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