The god called to us.
We’d fought our way through the dead, survived the day, found a place to hole up and waited to see if the Hollow would change with the coming of dawn.
Dawn, however, was short-lived.
In the rising and setting of the sun, we were able to discern the shape of a building close to where we’d taken shelter. Without a word, the five of us set off for it. It looked far sturdier and far more secure than our present location.
With weapons ready, we moved out, a group of men long familiar with war and its needs.
By the time we reached the building, I was on point, Amir’s hand on my left shoulder and the others following suit. We had no desire to be lost within this place. There was something wrong, even for the Hollow.
Darkness enveloped us as I readied a Colt and took the handle of the door in my free hand. For a moment, I hesitated, and then I heard it.
An undeniable calling.
My mind screamed for me to let go of the handle and to lead us into darkness, but my body refused to obey.
I led us inside.
We stepped into a narrow hall dimly lit by gaslights set within niches, the blue light of the flames reflected in the high polish of the wood floor. As we moved further in, the door closed behind us.
Without the ability to refuse the barely audible call, we made our way to a tall, narrow door at the far end.
When I opened the door, the voice was clear and strong.
“Bloods in my house.” The words echoed.
She sat wrapped in furs, four eyes fixed upon us. “I thought I sensed you here.”
None of us could speak.
“Tell me, Duncan,” she continued, “why have you led them here?”
I could not have lied if I had wanted to, and I didn’t.
“I was called,” I told her.
She nodded. “Yes. They have come to their just reward.”
“Your chores are not yet finished,” she said, her voice gentle. “Amir, give him your rifle.”
I turned and accepted the weapon and ammunition from my brother.
“Go then, Duncan,” she said, “your chores are waiting.”
I said my goodbyes, received their well-wishes, and I left my brothers to their reward.
Mine would wait.
There was still killing to be done.