April 30, 1948


The dogs are leading me home.

No one is left alive.

We arrived at a village today, and the headhunters came out to greet us. Men and women and children. Old and young. They had rifles and pistols, shotguns and axes.

We had teeth and lead, steel and hate.

It was a storm of violence.

I am at home in the chaos of battle. The world slows for me, and everything is laid bare. I walk through the center of the storm, and I see everything. At times, I can see a slug leave a barrel and know where it will hit.

This fight was one of those times.

I moved through the violence and the carnage.

I watched as dogs tore apart humans and buildings, watched humans butcher dogs.

And through it all, I killed.

My Colts ran dry, and there was no more ammunition to feed them. The rifle became nothing more than a glorified club, which I shattered on a man who tried to beg for his life. I wrenched an ax from a woman and used it until the head of it became lodged in another woman’s chest.

When all was said and done, I stood alone in the middle of the town.

The world returned to its normal speed, and only Champ remained.

I turned and faced him, the dog’s fur matted with blood and one of his eyes missing. He let out a pained chuckle.

“I’ve never seen your like before, Blood,” he told me. “I hope to never see it again.”

I nodded. “Where’s the rest of the pack?”

“Tending to the wounded,” the dog answered.

“And the headhunters’ dead?” I asked.

“Feeding our pups.”

“Fair enough.”

Silence fell over us for a minute. I looked down at myself. My clothes were shredded, and I was soaked in blood. “I must look a sight.”

“That you do,” Champ admitted. “You’re a frightening man, Duncan Blood.”

“Aye,” I sighed. “So I’ve been told.”

“Home is just beyond the last house,” Champ said. “Think you’ll be back this way?”

I shrugged. “Devil knows, my friend.”

Champ nodded. “So he does. I am glad to call you my friend, Blood. I suppose we’ll see each other in Hell.”

“That we will.”

The dog stood up, tail wagging, and went on his way.

With the stench of blood in my nose, I headed toward home and a pot of fresh coffee.

#horrorstories #dogs

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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