July 25, 1938

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I followed the sound of barking into a hall of death.

Neither Turk nor any other dog was in the long hall that I stepped into.

I found myself alone with a long line of display cases, each of them holding the charred remains of a man. Attached to each case was a bronze plaque that noted the day, year and time of the resident’s death. Along either wall were rows of jars, and closer inspection showed that these too were marked. Some of them stretched as far back as 1711, and they all had one thing in common.

They were all of them me.

It had been strange enough when I entered the house and discovered the remains of the alternate versions of myself hanging, gutted and waiting to be eaten. It was stranger still to see how long these people had been hunting me.

How long my mother had been guiding them.

I’d not heard from her in some time, and while I didn’t mind the absence of her grating voice, it did add an extra layer of discomfort. I’d killed a few versions of my mother, and I hope to kill a few more before I eventually go the way of all flesh, but the sight of all of the dead was a stark reminder of the focus and determination of this little group of apostles my mother had gathered to her.

Part of me wanted to destroy the gathered remains, but I chose not to.

My sister, Patience, had been adamant regarding her desire to destroy the house, and so I would refrain from doing any more damage than absolutely necessary.

I poked around the hall for a short time, hoping that there might be some storage or display of the weapons the other Duncans had used.

There wasn’t.

I still had plenty of ammunition for the Colts, my knife was sharp, and I’d killed more than a few with my bare hands.

I crossed the length of the hall to the exit, paused, and raised a hand in farewell to the dead gathered before me.

I wouldn’t avenge them all, but I’d keep stacking bodies all the same.

#horror #fear #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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