Eldritch Flames


Old magic and young fools.

They’re a terrible combination.

I know a few spells of my own, and one of them concerns the tracking of magic. Especially old magic.

There are some who deem it unwise to trace magic, and usually, I agree with them. But I needed to find who had knocked down The Tree.

Someone needed killing.

Standing at Jack’s corpse, I cut my palm and let the blood fall to the earth. When the first drop struck a blade of grass, I whispered the spell. My tongue was stung by the sharpness of the words, the bitterness of each letter as I spat it from my mouth.

When the foul language had been uttered, the path lay clear before me.

Footsteps, dozens of them, were illuminated upon the ground, black flames snapping up and outlining them. The tracks led through the grass, to the road, and off toward the Hollow.

I knew they wouldn’t end there.

I followed the flaming steps, each going out as I passed them. Within a short time, I was on North Road and following the tracks toward town. Keeping one eye on the Hollow and the other on my prey, I moved swiftly.

When I reached the Cross branch of Miskatonic, no one stood in my way. The guards knew better. I passed them by with a nod of greeting, and they looked away.

The wisest choice they could make.

The tracks led to a newer building, one that had been built as a private residence. Reaching the door, I didn’t bother knocking.

I kicked it in and drew both weapons.

A single line of footprints followed the stairs and into a small library.

The place stank of death and outrages committed upon flesh.

Of the people I was looking for, there was no sign.

Sitting down in a chair by the hearth, I drew my Colts and set them on my lap. The barrels were pointed toward the door, and my hands were on the weapons.

I had no intention of calling out a warning to whoever stepped into the room.

I’d know the culprit as soon as I caught sight of him.

And when I did, the Colts would express my displeasure.

They were far more eloquent than I ever could be.

#Trees #horrorstories

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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