Embittered Gods


The bastard lied.

I have to admit, there’s a bit of grudging admiration for him.

He’s the first one in a long time, though, who sent me to a place he thought I was going to die.

When I came upon the shrine, I knew he’d sent me on a wild goose chase. With a sigh of reluctance, I took the Colts out. The rifle I’d taken from the dead soldiers was fine, but when it came to dealing with a god, well, the Colts were the only things for it.

The ground shook, and the trees trembled as I approached the shrine and passed beneath its entrance. Ahead of me, the shrine stood waiting, and as I drew closer, the doors slid open.

I could barely see them. They were hints upon the ground, slight shadows of creatures best left unseen. Had the sun not been shining, I might not have caught even a glimpse of them.

As it was, the sun stood high.

I planted my feet, and I called out to them.

“I need directions to the next town.”

Whispers raced around me, but none answered my question. Instead, I heard promises of pain and torture, descriptions of vile acts performed on still-living flesh.

I’d get no answers from these.

I let my eyes flicker over the grounds, marking where I saw the shadows. I realized a moment later I could see them better from the corners of my eyes, though I did not enjoy the sight.

They were large, twisted creatures. Distorted mouths and too many limbs. Loose flesh and oozing holes from which dark eyes peered.

No, they’d not answer my questions.

I thumbed the hammers back on the Colts and then gave the gods a choice.

“Let me leave, or I’ll cut you down.”

Their laughter was louder, and they surged forward.

The Colts roared.

The slugs tore through the flesh and severed limbs from bodies, heads from necks. Stunned and horrified, the gods paused their assault.

I didn’t.

I fired all twelve rounds, and as I reloaded, the remained gods fled to their shrine.

I stalked over the corpses of the dead, and as I approached their haven, the doors slammed shut. I put another pair of rounds through them, and a shriek of agony pierced the air.

“East!” one of them screamed, the word barreling through the world. “Go east!”

So, I went east.

#China #horrorstories

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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