October 13, 1976


At times, the Hollow makes little sense.

Gods’ Hollow is well-named, and it was given its title by the Abenaki, who, as far as I know, learned of it from whoever was on the land before them.

From Gods’ Hollow come all manner of creatures. Good and bad, mundane and exciting, gods and mortals. The Hollow gives and – more often than not – the Hollow takes away.

The Abenaki steered clear of the place, and my father did his best to do the same, although, in the end, he vanished within its depths.

By the time I was born, my father had already managed to identify most of the Hollow’s borders, though they tended to fluctuate given the place’s temperament on any given day. Still, one of my favorite tasks was to sit with my father and watch as he built the stonewall on North Road. Later, when I was a little older, I would help him with the laying of the stones.

We have always known that the Hollow opens onto other worlds and into other whens. There are times when people from our past have emerged, and on rare occasion, from our future. Those from the future tend to die off fairly quickly.

The Hollow is an unforgiving place.

This morning, as I sought sign of any of the Killed Soldiers, I decided to walk along North Road, and I was sad I did.

By the time I reached the midpoint, I could smell the rotting carcasses.

When I went and stood at the stonewall, I looked out over a field covered in gray fog. As the sun rose a little higher, it burned off the mist and soon revealed the source of the smell.

Dozens of bodies were stretched out in long, curious arcs toward a split-rail fence that hadn’t been there before. From what I could see, the dead men had once been soldiers, and I suspect my mother had geared them for war in a desire to send them after me.

The Hollow had not allowed it.

The death wounds of the men had opened, and the men lay where they had fallen.

In the distance, ever so faintly, I could hear my mother’s furious screams.

It brought a smile to my face, and I tipped my hat to the Hollow.

Some days are better than others.

#paranormal #Halloween

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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