July 12, 1938


The silence was sickening.

No sooner had I stepped through the door than the dead air had wrapped around me, threatening to smother me as I stood in the pale light.

A single stride carried me to the window, and I shattered the glass, allowing a cool, fresh breeze to sweep into the room even as the door closed and locked behind me.

I glanced first at the door, then the room around me.

The lock, I saw, was large and ornate and – I had no doubt – was meant to stymie me. And it would have, had I not been wearing my Colts.

Several times the residents of this hellish structure had reminded me that I was the only version of myself to have entered the building armed.

I would put my Colts to good use again, and soon, too.

But first, I was more interested in the books lining two of the walls.

The volumes were large and laid on their sides. Above them, kept in neat, pull-down cases, were additional works. All of them, I discovered, were about me.

Oh, not just my own version of myself, but all the others the residents were tracking or had been tracking.

There were hundreds, if not thousands of entries.

A great many of the versions were dead and gone. Some had died at the hands of the residents. Most, however, had not.

Dozens died in wars. More than a few were suicides.

Some of them had been far better men than myself.

The greater part had been far worse.

With the breeze filling the air with a pleasant autumn scent, I sat down and leafed through the books, eating an apple as I did so.

Soon, I grew tired of reading of my own death and misdeeds, and as I finished my food, I noticed that one book was missing. There was a notation on the wood, a faint bit of pencil that was difficult to read. What I could make out was ‘DB.CrossA76.1938AD.Errata.’

I wasn’t quite sure what the A76 stood for, but the 1938 was my own year, and I felt certain that the ‘Errata’ was my coming into the Hollow with my Colts.

I drew a Colt, cocked back the hammer, and blew the lock out of the door.

It was time to remind them what a mistake it was for me to have my guns.

#horror #fear #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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