I found an entrance.
For a year since the death of the unknown girl, my mother’s been silent.
Yesterday, as I readied myself for bed, a raven arrived with word from Willow. There was, from what he was told, a bit of a ruckus on one of the islands.
This morning, the dogs and I set out for Blood Lake, and with my shotgun at the ready, we set off toward the island Willow had indicated. The ravens scouted ahead and soon returned with information regarding a doorway set into a hill.
When we reached the island, I began the trudge up to the top while the dogs took off ahead. It didn’t take long before Martha had returned.
“There’s a doorway for sure, Duncan,” the dog told me. “And it stinks to hell like your mother.”
I nodded my thanks, and as I crested the hill, I saw the doorway.
It was old, older than it should have been, and it sure as hell hadn’t been on the island a year earlier when I’d checked it.”
Moving closer, I saw Latin phrases carved into the stone. What I read turned my stomach, as did the deep stains in the grooves of the carvings.
Old magic had been worked on the stones and bound them to this place.
I returned to my boat, fetched a shovel, and went back to the doorway. For the better part of the day, I worked. I dug deep in front of the threshold, and then I gathered dead fall and built a rough trap. Much like a fish trap, I carved points onto wood and set the branches at a downward angle. Anyone who fell in would tear open their flesh trying to climb out.
As daylight weakened and edged on towards evening, I worked at the doorway. I loosened the keystone and, with a pair of cartridges for my shotgun, rigged up a tripwire of old thread.
Whoever passed through my mother’s door would bring the lintel down upon them, and should they survive to stagger forward, well, the pit would be waiting.
The dogs and I were hungry and tired as we made our way to the boat, the ravens taking flight to return to the rookery. As I pushed the boat off and began to row towards home, a dull thump greeted our ears. A scream followed, and the dogs and I had a good chuckle.
It’s always nice when your work is appreciated.