Day 24

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It was a place of refuge.

The hospital had survived longer than any other building, and it had been defended by the wounded and the dying.

I’d been in the lead, scouting the road and keeping an eye out for the wyrm’s tracks. He’d slipped away during the fight with the creature at the barn, but I had no doubt we’d come across him sooner rather than later.

As it was, one of the guards atop the hospital roof put a bullet between my legs when I rounded the corner of the road and brought me to a stop.

Wulf, directly behind me, laid his rifle on my shoulder. “Give the word, and he dies.”

“Wait.”

One of the men at the hospital called out, “Human?”

“Of a sort,” I answered.

Some of the men behind me chuckled, as did a few along the roofline. A raven landed beside the shooter, who nodded and asked, “What’s your name?”

“Duncan.”

“Family?”

“Blood.”

The raven let out a harsh laugh, and there was a collective sigh of relief from the guards. They set down their weapons and straightened up. It was then I saw the bandages and the slings. The man who had shot at me was missing his left foot.

“How many do you have?” he asked.

“Not enough,” I replied.

He nodded, and the main door opened.

Wulf took his rifle off my shoulder and went back to inform the rest of the column of the situation.

When I reached the door, a man in a wheelchair rolled out to greet me. He was old, perhaps in his 70s, but his grip was firm.

“I am Dr. Cassel. Welcome to our haven.”

“My thanks.” The wounded gathered in the courtyard.

“How is it out there?” Dr. Cassel inquired.

“About as bad as you might think,” I answered.

He nodded. “What brings a Blood to Denmark now?”

“Grimnir.”

“Ah,” he murmured. “I had hoped he would send someone for us. I am thankful it is you.”

“So am I,” I admitted. “Have you room enough to spare?”

“I could fit a battalion within this place,” he sighed. “But the few you see are all there are. You are welcome to join us.”

I nodded. “We’ll all be happy for the safety of walls.”

“We will be happy for the company. Are you thirsty?”

“Do you have coffee?” I asked.

“What man doesn’t?” the doctor asked.

“Fair enough,” I chuckled and followed him into the courtyard.

#Denmark #supernatural #monsters #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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