Overgrowth, 1871


Grant Miller always thought he knew better.

I’d known the man ever since the war of the rebellion had ended. He had been a traitor to the Union, though there was no way to prove it. There was a slight twang to his words, and while that certainly isn’t enough to condemn a man, some of his comments were.

Occasionally, when he’d had a little too much to drink, he’d mention Bleeding Kansas and the good fight that had been put up try and keep the place free from ‘interference’ as he liked to call it. There were other comments, too. One day, I heard him mention how he missed the easy money of running down black folks – free or slave – and hauling them back in irons for the bounties.

Yes, plenty of times, I thought about gutting the bastard and leaving him rotting in my woods.

Still, I’d not done it, and it turns out I didn’t have to.

Back in ’67, I’d told him to leave the Hollow well enough alone, and he had laughed and told me to run along and play with my toys.

It seems that Grant had a penchant for gathering interesting plants from the Hollow and bringing them home to his small place off Lake Street.

From what I can see, it was a poor decision on his part.

I was on my way back from a bit of business in Pepperell and taking Lake Street toward North Road when I glanced over at Grant’s to see if the man was outside and whether or not I really wanted to be polite.

Well, Grant was there, but his home wasn’t. And there wasn’t that much of Grant to speak of either.

In fact, from what I could see, Grant’s skull, a leg bone, and a hip were all that remained. Oh, his shoes were there, and a tin pan, but that was all. The house had been destroyed, stripped apart and dispersed to places unknown. The overgrowth, a collection of natural and unnatural plants and saplings, were spread out as far as I could see, and they murmured and grumbled, sounding like an animal with an upset stomach.

Perhaps it was.

Grant Miller had been a right son of a bitch, and I can’t imagine there was anything good about him.

Not even to eat.

#horror #fear #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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