November 7, 1891

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She sat and stared.

I was taken aback when I entered the barn this morning to feed the horses. At the far end of the building was a door that hadn’t been there when I’d left the barn the night before.

The weathered door had age writ large across its surface, and there was a pull of rough leather rather than a doorknob.

With a sigh, I loosened the Colts in their holsters and walked down the center of the barn to the door. The horses, I saw, had been fed already. They kept their noses down, ears twitching as they occasionally pawed at the fresh hay someone had put down for them.

The sight of the feed and the bedding didn’t put my mind at ease. Far from it. I’d known plenty of men and women who were kinder to animals than to any person they’d ever met. Myself included.

When I reached the door, I took hold of the leather – which was colder ‘n hell – and gave it a solid tug.

The door swung out easily, and the smell of whale blubber and the ocean flowed out into the barn. Some of the horses complained, but someone hissed in the new room and silenced them.

I entered the room and saw a trio of totems standing in a room whose roof was impossibly tall. A pair of wax paper windows, the paper tacked up and to the side, let in the smell of the ocean and the sound of crashing waves. A glance out the windows showed an ocean I’d never seen before and a multitude of small fishing craft. Men and women moved about them, calling and singing out in a lilting language.

On the smallest of the three totems sat a girl, no more than five, and she peered at me with ageless eyes.

She did not bid me sit, nor would I have been inclined to. I doubt I could have run from her, but I at least wanted the chance if it was needed.

“Blood.” Her voice was little more than a whisper.

“Aye.”

“There are more coming,” she stated.

“From the Hollow?”

“From everywhere. From everywhen.”

“Why the warning?”

“You look like my father. He was a Duncan too.”

“I’m sorry.”

 “Promise me you’ll kill them all?”

“Aye, that I will.”

The girl smiled, and I was alone outside my barn.

I headed to the house. It was time to clean the guns and get ready for killing.

#fear #horrorstories #supernatural

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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