September 21, 1880


I wasn’t the one they were looking for.

But I’m the one they got.

I came across a set of railroad tracks and followed them for a spell, leaving behind the charred remains of my opposite. My boots were still dirty with ash and bits of skull. I’d kicked it to pieces and scattered them. Of all the painful possibilities, the slow resurrection from such a death was difficult to imagine.

When I arrived at the buildings set off on the siding of the tracks, I was still in a foul mood.

The men there suffered for it.

There were three of them standing outside, and as I crossed the tracks, one of them hailed me and died for it.

I had the Colts out in my hands, and I gunned all three down. The doors to the buildings opened, and men rushed out. Some were carrying pistols, a few had Berdans.

None of them had hate.

I heard my name, and they opened fire.

But they were afraid, and when you’re afraid, you make mistakes.

And when you fight me, mistakes will cost you your life.

The slugs from the Colts tore into them, and some of the rounds slammed through men to wound their comrades behind them.

I didn’t bother reloading the revolvers. Instead, they went into their holsters, and I unslung my rifle. Reversing it, I hoisted it up and let out a war cry I’d learned from the Mohicans.

Today, I’d be taking scalps.

The men fumbled with their weapons. Hammers fell on spent casings, and rifles were fouled.

I waded in with the rifle like I was threshing.

On the third head, my Berdan’s stock snapped, so I stabbed a fourth man to death with the splintered end. From there on out, it was knife work.

Hard work.

When I finished, my clothes hung heavy on me, the fabric weighted down with blood.

Most of the men were dead.

A few were wounded, and it was to those I attended first.

I scalped them alive and left them screaming on the ground as I collected the rest of my payment.

With the scalps hanging from my belt, I rummaged through the buildings. I found a bit of food and a hatchet whose weight was perfect.

I carried it back to the wounded and tested out the edge.

The edge worked fine.

#horrorstories #fear

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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