July 31, 1938


Bob and Gerta were surprised to see me.

They were seated behind a large desk, and between the two of them was Turk. The dog looked no worse for the wear.

The duo opened their mouths, and as one, they spoke.

My mother’s voice came from their throats.

“You have made it this far.” Spittle gathered at the corners of their mouths as they spoke. “What will you do now?”

“Take my dog.” I beckoned Turk to me. The dog whined deep in his throat, and Bob tightened his grip on a leash they had put upon Turk.

“You’d best let go of him.”

Bob sneered, and my mother laughed.

“They do as I say, Duncan,” she informed me. “They’ll tear the dog’s throat out with their teeth or let him do the same to them. It doesn’t matter to me. You won’t get out of this house.”

“Of course, I will.” I drew my Colts. To Turk, I said, “Sit.”

The dog dropped down to his haunches, his weight pulling Bob closer to Gerta, and I shot them both through their eyes. Turk howled as bone fragments bounced off the curtain behind the desk, and my mother’s voice boomed in the room.

“I’ll burn this house down to kill you!” she screamed.

“No.” I walked over to the corpses, kicked them out of the way and took hold of Turk’s leash. I wrapped it around my left wrist and looked at him. “You don’t run off. Not now.”

The dog’s tail thumped Gerta’s limp form gleefully.

Turning back to the desk, I leaned closer to the microphone and spoke into it.

“I have my dog.”

“Who are you speaking to?!” my mother demanded.


“You can’t tell me to be patient!” she shouted. I could hear her inhale to yell again, but instead, she gasped.

“No,” she hissed. “No!”

I ignored her and spoke to my dog instead. “Home, Turk.”

He pushed the curtain aside, revealing a spiral staircase. We followed it down to the bottom and the small, unadorned door at the landing. Turk scratched at it, and when I opened the door, we stepped out into the Hollow.

Ahead of us, less than a hundred feet away, was the stonewall separating the Hollow from North Road.

As we walked towards it, I heard my mother scream and my sister laugh.

A heartbeat later, the thunder of Colt .44s filled the air as Patience set about her chores.

#horror #fear #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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