Who doesn’t keep their weapon at hand?

Idiots, that’s who.

Edgar reached me today, the raven carrying news of the withdrawal of not only the troops my mother had sent in but of the Kinderzähne as well.

Such information was both welcome and worrisome. The withdrawal of my mother’s forces and allies meant that soon, the Hollow would contract.

I had no desire to be on the island when it returned from whence it came. I’d had that often enough, and I had no desire to do it again.

At least not involuntarily.

There was one last task to finish before I could go home.

I needed the men who had mortally wounded my kinsman and set his home afire.

With Edgar as a scout, I pressed on. In less than half a day, Edgar found them and shared the news with me.

I approached their camp with my Colts drawn, the hammers cocked, and rage flowing through me. I saw five of them sitting outside a tent, their rifles stacked against trees a short distance away. As they chatted and laughed, they snapped their fingers and caused sparks to fly from them.

These were the men.

“Hello!” I greeted and killed the first man who looked at me.

As the others scrambled to their feet, I put slugs through their thighs and knees.

They crashed down as they tried to throw their fire at me. But each flaming orb was off target, missing me as they ricocheted and left trees afire.

I didn’t bother reloading the Colts.

Instead, I took the war club off my belt and stepped in among them.

I shattered arms and hands, elbows and shoulders.

But I left their heads alone.

It wasn’t yet time for them to die.

Edgar settled in to watch, and when the last man was immobilized, I went to work.

Taking out my Bowie knife, I cut the clothes from the men, ignoring their screams of agony elicited by each jerk of the clothing.

“You tried to murder my kin,” I told them as they lay naked and bleeding. “Now, you’re going to suffer.”

I grabbed the body of the man I’d killed, cut away his clothes and showed them how easily I would remove their skin.

They were screaming long before I’d finished with the corpse, and they screamed just as long as I took their skin.

Inch by inch in the fading light.

#supernatural #paranormal

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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