II, September 3, 1880

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They rode hard down North Road with death in their hearts.

I saw them as they rounded the corner, eight men on horseback and kitted out different than those I’d already killed. That they were part of the same unit, I had no doubt. They’d answered the call of the musician’s horn, and I was waiting for them.

Without a word, the cavalrymen lowered their lances and put spurs to their horses. The animals snarled, lips curling back and revealing steel teeth ground sharp.

These weren’t any sort of horses I’d seen before, and I doubted that they harbored any kind thoughts toward me.

This was confirmed a moment later when one of the horses screamed in Russian, ordering my death.

I put a bullet through its skull and watched it dump the rider.

The others spread out around me, each man stabbing toward me with the grace of a matador. None of them reached for their rifles. They were too intent on skewering me.

In my hands, the Colts thundered and roared.

Men and horses died and were wounded, and I was wounded too.

One man drove his lance into my belly, pushing the pennant all the way through and out of my back.

I pulled him off his horse and brained him with the butt of a Colt.

I snapped the lance in half, left it in my stomach, and reloaded as the survivors came for me.

There were four men and three horses, the horses by far the more dangerous.

They called out the orders, and the men listened.

The rest of the horses died first.

One of the men grabbed the remnants of the lance in my belly and twisted. Furious, I leaned forward, bit down on his throat and tore it out.

As his blood sprayed out over me, another man to free a rifle, and it cost him his life.

I looked at the two survivors and saw the fear growing in them.

One man dropped his lance, and I shot his companion.

The last man whispered, “I surrender.”

I blew his brains out.

As the bodies cooled, I pulled the lance out of me, dropped it to the road and sat down upon the nearest corpse.

It would take some time for my stomach to heal, and I needed to clean the Colts.

#horrorstories #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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