December 10, 1870


My mother believes she has powerful friends.

I slept well amongst the dead. Before night fell, I stacked the bodies in a rough wall around me. From them, I gathered food, ammunition, and the necessities for a fire.  

I’d stripped a few of their heavy coats, and by the light of the fire, I stitched myself a fair bit of covering beneath which I could sleep. My coat, stolen from the corpse of the gatekeeper, served as both bed and blanket.

In the morning, I left my rough fort behind. My patchwork tent, a trio of rifles and all the necessities, was lashed down to the wood-woman’s sled. With a belly full of biscuits and some bitter coffee, I followed a long, wide trail down the other side of the hill. The snow thickened in some spots and disappeared entirely in others. Soon, however, I realized I’d need a pair of snowshoes if I was to make any sort of time on my way to the town.

As I walked, the sweet, familiar scent of the sea reached my nose, and soon I found myself walking along the edge of a beach. I passed between sand dunes and scrub pines, and I was not too surprised to see a group of curious individuals waiting for me as I crested the next rise.

Leaving my sled at the peak, I loosened the Colts in my holsters and walked down toward the party.

They watched me in silence until I was but a dozen or so feet away. A creature with long horns upon its head spoke.

“You are her son,” the creature stated in a deep, masculine voice.

I rested my hands on the butts of the revolvers. “Aye.”

“Would you come home and swear fealty to your mother?” he asked.

I offered him a mirthless smile.

“Answer the question!” The demand came from a pair of men who spoke simultaneously. They flanked the group, horns in their hands.

The Colts cleared leather, and I answered the question.

The heavy .44 caliber slugs took each musician in the chest, slamming the men backward and sending them tumbling to the ground.

A collective gasp escaped from the gathered group, and they attacked.

I don’t know what they thought they’d accomplish, but there are few who can stand against iron and hate.

And they sure as hell couldn’t.

#paranormal #christmas

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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