Day 20

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She left another gift.

This time, it wasn’t a corpse, ‘though I wish it had been.

The ground shook, and a great cloud of dust and debris soared into the air not a quarter mile from our encampment.

All eyes turned to me and waited.

I finished my coffee, tossed the grounds into the fire, and got to my feet.

“Company?” Marius asked.

I shook my head. “We’re thin enough as it is. We can’t spread out, not with my mother around.”

Mikkelsen frowned. “I still find it difficult to understand how this young woman can be your mother.”

“She’s a version of her,” I explained again. “Perhaps not as foul, but just as strong and just as determined to put me in the ground.”

“Why?” Marius asked.

I shrugged. “She tried nigh on two centuries ago. I killed her. She’s been trying to repay me ever since. Get sharpshooters in the corners, bring the wounded in closer. If she’s around, she’ll go after the weak and try to draw you out.”

With my hammer in hand, I left the safety of the camp and walked toward where a dark dust cloud hung in the air.

When I reached it, I was glad to be alone.

A young giant sat in front of the remains of a windmill, picking his toes with a bit of wood. When he caught sight of me, he left his feet alone and tossed the wood off to one side.

“Blood?”

“Aye?”

“You have a hammer?”

My chest vibrated as the giant’s voice shook the air.

“Aye.”

“She said you had only your Colts.”

I smiled. “She didn’t know.”

He frowned. “I don’t like hammers.”

“Most of your kind don’t.”

He nodded. “They hurt. Will yours?”

“Without a doubt.”

The giant picked up a rock the size of my head and threw it lazily at me. I moved to one side as it rushed past, striking the ground behind me.

“Can you use it?” he asked, motioning toward the hammer.

“I can.”

“Well?”

“Would you care to find out?”

The young giant laughed and shook his head. “No. Not this day, Blood.”

He got to his feet and looked down at me. “Maybe when I’m bigger.”

“You feel the need, you come and find me. We’ll see how well we do.”

The giant let out another laugh and nodded. He went his way, and I went my own.

I had no doubt we’d meet again.

#Denmark #supernatural #monsters #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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