October 24, 1937

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They didn’t know the forest was watching.

Of all the fey who live on my lands, it’s the dryads I get along with best. The tree-folk understand age and patience, and they enjoy the way I treat my orchards, so the dryads help me on occasion.

Today was one such day.

I was still taken aback by the appearance of the unknown god the night before. His words still reverberated through my thoughts.

I was grateful when one of the dryads appeared at the porch, the morning mist still clinging to the moss in which she was dressed.

“Half a mile in along the northern path,” she told me in a voice reminiscent of rustling leaves, “there is a pair of men. They mean you harm.”

“Most do,” I nodded, walking down into the yard. “My thanks.”

She bowed and faded into the woods.

I loosened the Colts in their holsters and set off toward the path the dryad had spoken of. I moved along at a steady clip, certain that the fey would keep the strangers in place should either of the men attempt to leave.

I didn’t think I’d be running into anyone from the university, and I wasn’t wrong.

I found the two men by a small pine and some deadfall. They muttered and swore at one another, complaining about the other’s lack of skill in setting a trap.

Why these two fools thought a beartrap would do anything to me, I don’t know, but I let them struggle with it for close to ten minutes before they finally got the damned thing set and ready to go.

When they sat back and took their hats off to wipe the sweat from their brows, I drew a Colt and cocked the hammer back.

The heavy click caused both men to turn toward me, their eyes wide with surprise.

“Where you fellas from?” I inquired, keeping the Colt on them.

One man cleared his throat. “Arkham.”

I could see the pistols in their waistbands.

“Mind lowering your rod?” one of the men asked.

“I mind.”

Both men drew their pistols, and the Colt roared twice.

One corpse fell into the trap and set it off while the other fell backward into the embrace of the tree.

I holstered the Colt and drew my knife.

The trees needed to be watered, and the blood was still warm.

#fear #horrorstories #paranormal

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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