April 24, 1948 


We hunted him for hours. 

The dogs and I gave chase, but the god moved at a teasing pace. He kept just ahead of us, always making certain we could see him.  

I know he could have slipped away at any time, and he thought, I’m sure, that he was driving me mad. 

Quite the opposite. The longer he drew out the chase, and calmer I became. 

With a word from me, the dogs left, and I chased after the god on my own. Der Verschlinger laughed and called to me, told me I was a fool for hounding him. He made promises of a long and painful death, but only after I was run down into the ground.  

He didn’t know what was coming. 

His horse was skittish.  

A tree branch snapped ahead of him, and the horse jumped. Not the stalwart steed one expected a god to use as a mount. It gave me an idea, and I put it into effect a short time later. 

As we descended a small rise, I spotted a rough shelter and a trio of dogs.  

I knew it for what it was. 

Stopping, I drew both Colts and put two well placed shots on either side of the horse’s forelegs.  

The horse reared up, threw Der Vershclinger, and took off down the path.  

It was then Champ arrived. 

He and a score of other dogs descended upon the god and chased him into the shelter. They surrounded it and waited for me.  

I took off the rifle, made sure the knife was loose in its sheath, and drew both my Colts. With the heavy revolvers in my hands, I went into the shelter and found the god standing there, back against the wall. He glared at me, but his anger was nearly smothered by the fear in his eyes. 

“I’ll butcher you,” he swore.  

I shook my head. “Maybe some else, you might have, but not me. It’ll take a hell of a lot more than what you have to kill the likes of me.” 

“Let me go. You’ve no reason to hold me here.” 

I raised an eyebrow. “You left a pit full of children and puppies. I’d say that’s more than enough reason.” 

He started to argue, and I shot him in both knees. As he went down, I put two more slugs in his belly, another pair in his shoulders, and then two in each thigh. He collapsed to the ground, writing, and I put the guns away. 

It was time for knife work, and to add a god’s scalp to my bag. 

#nature #horrorstories 

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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