Day 2

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It didn’t take long to find them.

They were searching through wreckage when I came upon them. They were soldiers, well-armed and ready for war.

I came with the smell of the ocean and burnt timber in the air. I kept my hands from the butts of the Colts, conscious of the attention the heavy revolvers drew from the gathered men.

One of them asked in good Danish, “Who are you?”

“The one-eyed god sent me.”

The man took a step back, glancing at his comrades, and a second man addressed me.

“Are you a hunter?” he asked, voice quavering.

“Aye.”

“Of what?”

“Monsters.”

“We did not think to hope,” the second man told me. “We offered up a sacrifice and heard nothing.”

“That’s the way it usually is if they answer at all.”

“Yes. My name is Marius,” the second man said. “What is yours?”

“Duncan.”

“And you’ve killed monsters before?” he asked.

“A few,” I answered. “What happened here?”

“Tell us,” one man grumbled. He stood off to one side; his head was bandaged and his left arm in a sling.

“You want proof?” I asked.

He nodded.

I turned my attention to the nearest building. I saw gouge marks down the wall and a bit of foul ichor as well. Leaning in, I took a sniff and repressed a gag.

“Damned foul,” I grunted. “Troll.”

I looked around. “There are no barrows around. Where the hell did it come from?”

The injured man grunted. “You know your business. We’ve no idea where it came from. Like most of the others, it arrived one night. This one laid waste to the buildings and ate the families inside.”

He gestured to a small grave. “That’s what’s left of thirty-six people.”

“Do any of you know why it started?” I asked.

The men shook their heads.

“Did you drive this one off?”

“No,” Marius told me. “We saw him well enough last night, but he took off running. We’ve not seen him since.”

“This is happening in more than one place?”

“All across the country,” Marius said. “For a month now. Whole towns have disappeared.”

I looked at the wreckage. “Are you the only ones searching for them?”

“No,” Marius replied. “The whole army is.”

“I suppose you’d best bring me to your commander then.”

We left the ruins and the dead behind.

#Denmark #supernatural #monsters #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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