October 7, 1937

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They’ve gone and made me angry.

They’re still not quite listening to my mother. Or perhaps they are. Perhaps all of this is just to get me good and angry before I find whatever iteration of her is reaching out from the Hollow to ruin my October.

Regardless of why it happened, it happened.

I was feeling under the weather this morning. It happens upon occasion when I reflect on how old I am, on how alone I am.

I age, of course, just not the same as others. In fact, I hardly seem to age at all.

But I feel it.

Every day weighs upon me and pushes my shoulders down, threatens to arch my back in defeat.

And then, then something like this happens.

I took Rocinante out of the stables and decided I’d go for a short ride. Just enough to let the old stallion stretch his legs and for me to forget, at least for an hour or so, what and who I was hunting.

I’d no sooner come out of my drive and turned left than the machine-gun opened up.

Rocinante went down in the first burst, and I managed to spring out of the saddle and roll, drawing both Colts as I took shelter behind my dying horse.

The fight was quick and deadly, and when I stood up and crossed the road, I found a two-man team tucked into a well-camouflaged position. The men were in their late thirties, and they were both dead. The slugs from the Colts had torn through their heads and their throats, and several rounds were buried in the jacket of the machine gun.

There was no shortage of ammunition.

The men had been prepared but unlucky.

As I stepped back onto the road, I found the Coffin boys riding hard toward me, and when they dismounted, I told them the situation. The older boy rode back to their farm, and soon he returned with his father and uncle and all the equipment necessary to get Rocinante out of the road.  

“Miskatonic?” Jack Coffin asked.

“Ayuh.”

Jack looked toward the Hollow. “Mother?”

I nodded.

He spat tobacco juice on the ground. “Gonna kill ‘em all?”

“’Bout the size of it.”

“We’ll stay out of town for a spell, I imagine,” he added.

“Wise decision.”

He nodded, and in silence, we followed his kin and the blood trail left by Rocinante.

#fear #horrorstories #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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