Ned Jones, 1936


The Sattlers put up a fight.

When I went into the barn where Ben Sattler said his family was buried beneath the hay, the sun was shining, and the day seemed fine.

Where the hell the storm came from, I just don’t know, though I suspect my mother may have sent it racing out of the Hollow.

Either way, it proved to be a considerable nuisance.

I’d no sooner grabbed Kenny Sattler’s ankles and started to drag him out towards a patch of sunlight than the clouds slammed in and plunged the barn into semi-darkness.

Kenny didn’t take kindly to being woken.

Neither did his wife nor their two older boys.

As the rain hammered the barn’s roof, I drew the Colts and took a cautious step back, only to be tripped up by a barn cat who was racing hellbent for election.

I landed hard, rolled, and fired off a single shot that only winged Ma Sattler and succeeded in upsetting all of them. The family attacked, and I was in for a hell of a fight.

Mr. and Mrs. Sattler had grown their boys tall and strong, and all four members of the family had the terrible strength and determination that comes with those on their way to being turned.

It took three shots to put Kenny down, and I was lucky when one of them passed through the throat of his oldest boy. As the son’s dark blood sprayed across his mother’s face, I emptied both Colts into the other boy, the slugs tearing into his chest and blowing it apart. Ma Sattler sprang at me, arms outstretched and teeth bared as the hammers of both Colts fell on spent shells.

There was a roar, and the woman’s head vanished, her body crashing into me with the force of her momentum.

When I shoved her vile flesh off me, I twisted around to find the Sattlers’ neighbor, Ned Jones, standing in the open doorway. He had an old buffalo rifle in the crook of his arm and his pipe in his mouth. The man tilted his hat back, took the pipe out of his mouth and asked, “Vampires?”

“’Bout the size of it,” I answered, getting to my feet.

“Someone knocked on my door last night. Didn’t answer it. Kind of had a drunk on.”

I looked at the bodies, reloaded the Colts, and smiled.

“Glad you did, Ned.”

He nodded. “Same here.”

#fear #horror #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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