Rebirth, 1924


My mother thinks I am a fool.

This thought came freely to my mind as I stood on the shore of Blood Lake and watched the seed land and nestle into the crevice of the boulder.

There was no wind, not as such, that would guide a seed across the waters and set it down in front of me.

Sitting on a log across from the boulder, I took out a Colt and waited to see what my mother had sent to me.

I have no doubt as to the origin of the seed.

She is, I know, the force behind the foul creatures sent to plague this town. Her hatred of myself and my family knows no bounds, and while I would enjoy the rationale behind this animosity, I am not overly concerned.

It is enough to know she is responsible.

The seed had no sooner settled into its place than sprouts pushed up around it. Within minutes, half a dozen stems protruded from large leaves, and white flowers bloomed. The petals opened, closed, and then opened again, and when they did so, their stamen took on the shapes of tongues and my mother’s voice issued from them.

“I hate you.”

“Good,” I answered.

The flowers shook on the ends of their stems, turning to face me. I could well imagine my mother seeing my face, and so I smiled at the blossoms.

She swore at me.

“What do you want?” I asked her.

“I want you dead.”

For the first time in my life, I asked her why.

“I want your line ended,” she snarled. “I want the Bloods obliterated. You’ve outlived your siblings and your cousins. It’s time for you to die. Come to the Hollow, Duncan, and we can finish what I started.”

I spat on the ground and shook my head. “No. I’m fond of Cross. Of this world, if I’m not to put too fine of a point on it. I’ll stay a bit longer. There’s work to do. People to kill. Mothers to disappoint.”

Before she could respond, I lifted the Colt and fired all six cylinders.

The bullets tore the blossoms from the stems, and blood sprayed out over the boulder.

As the stems collapsed, they wilted and smoked against the stone.

A foul stench lingered in the air as I reloaded the Colt and waited to see if she might return.

She didn’t.

#horror #fear #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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