October 22, 1937


They rode out of the Hollow looking for me.

The land rumbled with the pounding of the hooves, and as the riders appeared they slowed to a trot. They guided their horses over the low stonewall and gathered together on North Road. I was less than a quarter of a mile away and I could hear them just fine. Their voices were raised above the whinnying and neighing of their horses, and the wind carried with it the scent of saddle leather and gun oil. 

The few words I could make out were unintelligible, and I wondered if they knew what hell they were getting themselves into.

Grimnir had warned of a force gathering on the other side, one that would be able to push past the god’s barrier which, it turned out, was designed only to keep my mother and her kind in. 

That was fine by me.

The god was hungry and she needed to be fed.

My Colts were slung low and tied down on the off chance that I might need to move quicker than usual. 

I needn’t have worried about it.

I took the M1 off my shoulder, put a five-round clip in and chambered a round. From my place on the side of the road, I sighted down on a rider who looked as though he were giving orders.

My father always said to kill the smart ones first.

No sooner had I pulled the trigger than the man’s helmet exploded and he sagged lifeless to the ground. 

Shouts rang out as the hunters swung their weapons up, searching for me.

But I had the sun behind my back, a good place to fire, and all the patience in the world. By the time I finished the first clip, panic was setting in. Some of the riders tried to flee, but I’d reloaded by then and herded them back into the killzone with a few well-placed shots.

After a few minutes, they figured out where I was, and one of them got the bright idea to lead a charge. 

His companions’ horses rode hard over his corpse a heartbeat later.

As the riderless horses broke for the Hollow, those few hunters left alive decided to follow suit.

I didn’t let them. 

It took me well over an hour to harvest their hearts, but it was worth it.

The M1 was a hell of a rifle to work with.

#fear #horrorstories #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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