Day 1

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I woke up in Denmark.

I’d gone to sleep in my bed. I remember having a glass of brandy and cleaning my Colts. Once the .44s were away and the night was done, I’d gone to bed. It had been 11:43 at night, October third, 1900.

When I opened my eyes, I was most certainly not in my bed.

I was upright, dressed, and the Colts were on my hips. My rucksack was at my feet and the sun shining on my face; when I finally managed to look around, I saw the ravens in the tree.

There was a score of them, if not more.

And the tree was the biggest ash I’d ever seen. The branches spread out for at least thirty feet and stretched twice that high into the pale morning sun.

A tall man, clad in gray robes and leaning on a long, dark staff, stood beneath the boughs and gazed upon me with his one eye. His gray beard was well-combed, and a broad hood sat upon his head.

“Welcome to Denmark.”

“I don’t remember asking to come here,” I replied.

A small smile appeared on his face. “Nor would you. You did not ask for assistance.”

“Who did?”

“Soon. For now, listen, and I will tell you how this is.”

I waited.

“We are not in your when, Blood. Nor even in your world. Here, beneath the branches of Yggdrasil, all worlds reach out to me. Men called and offered up sacrifice. They have asked for a hunter to save them, and I chose you.”

I shifted my stance and noticed the thick fog which formed a wall around the tree. In the distance, I heard the rumble of gunfire.

“Your mettle has been tested in Gods’ Hollow,” he continued. “I considered who best to send. Not a godling, but a hero.”

“What am I hunting?”

“Monsters,” the one-eyed god stated. “You are familiar with them all.”

“I was home.”

He remained silent.

“I had plans for today.”

“Do you plan on dying?”

I let out a laugh. “No.”

“Then don’t.”

“When do I go home?”

A broad, dangerous smile spread across his face. Merriment and violence danced in his eye. “When it is time. No sooner, and no later.”

The fog fell away. It took with it the god, the tree, and the ravens.

I was left upon a battlefield, standing among desolation and ruins.

I shouldered my ruck and went hunting for monsters.

#Denmark #supernatural #monsters #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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