They were rowdy and quicker’n hell.

I tracked them for two days and finally found them on an island in Blood Lake. I could hear them from the lake itself, and when I landed and climbed the small hill to the island’s top, I found them there.

A house I’d not seen before stood a fair distance away, and a group of 13 children sat or stood around tables. A woman was there with them.

None of it was right.

The children didn’t move properly; their gestures and looks too fast. When they spoke, it was in whispers and in a language I did not know.

As I approached them, I kept my hands near the Colts.

The children put the books down and got to their feet. They smiled, teeth too small and too sharp. Their fingers twitched, and their lips trembled.

The teacher stepped forward, her grin twice the size of theirs and her teeth just as small and just as sharp.

“Have you come to join us, Mr. Blood?” the woman asked. Her words rolled off her tongue as though she was speaking with a forked tongue, and perhaps she was.

“Not if I can help it,” I replied, resting my hands on the Colts.

The children giggled.

“That’s not polite, Mr. Blood,” the woman scolded. “Your mother did warn us of your manners, however.”

My spine stiffened, and my grip tightened on the revolvers. “That a fact?”

The children nodded their heads vigorously, and the woman laughed.

“It is indeed,” she confirmed. “Your mother said you would be most difficult to kill but not to antagonize.”

“Which are you here to do?” I asked.

“Both,” the woman said, the smile never leaving her face. “If we can manage. Kill if we can only have one.”

She snapped her fingers, and the children sprang in every direction.

The Colts cleared leather, and the children were gone, vanished into the grass as the teacher charged at me, her hat blowing off. Her mouth had opened, and rows of teeth could be seen.

The Colts thundered and took her square in the chest, knocking her back. She caught herself and continued forward, spewing blood.

I put six more rounds into her before she went down.

She was gasping when I reached her, but my boots put a stop to that.

A friend of my mother is no friend of mine.

#supernatural #trees #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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