November 3, 1891

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The bastard called me out.

Late afternoon found me on Tod Island, making sure no doorways had cropped up since I’d last been there. None had, but there was an interloper there, nonetheless.

He looked like a dandy, but the wear on his weapons spoke volumes.

“Duncan Blood! You were warned!”

“I’ve been warned about a lot of things. Mind telling me what this one’s about?”

He smiled, “My good lord told you to stay out of the Hollow.”

“This island’s mine,” I stated. “No one’s going to tell me where I can and can’t go on my own land.”

“Ah, but is it your land?” The man dropped his rifle into his hand and cocked it all with practiced ease.

“’Course it is,” I answered. “I’ve bled for this land.”

“So, you’ll bleed again.”

He wasn’t wrong.

He just wasn’t right about when.

I moved as he pulled the trigger, the bullet cutting through the side of my coat, bypassing my skin but ruining another bit of clothing.

It didn’t improve my mood.

I drew a Colt as he tried to draw a bead again, but a snapshot from the .44 smashing into the stock of the rifle and sent it spinning away. He drew the long, narrow pistol tucked into the belt of ammunition wrapped around his waist, but it was too late.

I was there.

Smashing the butt of the Colt across his face, I heard teeth shatter, and his jaw break. I slapped the pistol out of his hand as he fell onto the ground. His hands flailed about, and I stomped on both, crushing his fingers and rendering them useless. As blood gushed from his wounded mouth, he glared at me.

I squatted down beside him, wiped his blood from the butt of the Colt, and shook my head. “I’d like to send you back to tell your lord to mind his business, but he’d either kill you and send more people back or just send more people back. If he didn’t gut you, you’d get to thinking you were ill-used, and you’d come looking for me.”

The hatred in his eyes told me I spoke the truth.

I spat on the ground and glanced at the lake. “I’ll not waste another bullet on you.”

Grabbing the man by his hair, I dragged him down to the water’s edge and drowned him in the light of the setting sun.

#fear #horrorstories #supernatural

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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