December 21, 1870


The town was up in arms.

The butchery at the bakery, however, got the town’s attention.

The townsfolk closed up their shops and barricaded themselves in their houses. From what we could determine, there were multiple families who took refuge in each house, much as the colonists did when the Abenaki or some other tribe went on the warpath.

A single house became a fortified position, and that was fine with me.

With my cousin Obadiah as a guide, we left his shop in the evening and made our way to another place of business, closer to the center of town. From here, I hoped we might strike out at the Woman’s husband and my mother as well.

We entered a tobacconist’s shop, and the sweet, heady smell set me at ease.

My cousin nodded, and my father grinned.

And then the guns erupted.

The shots tore through a closed door and cut into us, heavy slugs knocking us back and sending us sprawling for cover.

As the splintered door was kicked open, a pair of young men stepped into the room. In their hands, they held Colts, shorter barreled but heavier calibers. The men wore matching uniforms of dark grey, a blood lust on their pale features as they shot and tried to keep us pinned down.

It didn’t work.

The men ran out of ammunition simultaneously, and when they went to reload, we attacked.

Not a one of us reached for our own guns.

My father had his warclub, I my hatchet, and Obadiah a long, slim blade.

The young men tried to fire the rounds they’d loaded, but we were among them.

One of us would have been more than enough for the two gunmen. Three of us were more than they could handle.

The fight ended as soon as it began, the two men were disarmed and on the floor. Both looked on with bravado, masking fear and horror.

“We only need one,” my father said, and I nodded. Obadiah bound one man’s hands behind him while my father brained the other.

Without a word, I gagged the prisoner and dragged him out of the building, my father and cousin close behind.

We slipped into the darkness as armed men ran toward the shop.

It was time to ask some questions.

And I had no doubt we’d have to ask hard.

#paranormal #christmas

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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