December 29, 1870

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The storm forced me inside.

I’d been making my way towards the north of town when the storm struck, the wind picking up and the snow coming down hard and fast.

Through the rough weather, I spotted a tall home, and I made my way toward it. I doubted I would find any friends beyond the door, but I’d cross that bridge when I came to it. I know I’d not freeze out in the storm, but that didn’t mean I had any desire to suffer through it.

Once I’d climbed the steps of the porch and reached the front door, I hammered on the glass twice. When no one answered immediately, I twisted the knob and forced the bolt. It broke easily, and in moments I was inside, the storm shut out behind me. From a few feet away, I dragged a hallstand and set it against the door to keep it closed.

Shaking off the cold and the snow, I listened for voices, for anything that might give me a clue as to whether the home was occupied.

I heard the creak and groan of the timbers as the wind shook the house and nothing else.

I was, as far as I could tell, alone.

I made my way through each room, checked the basement and the attic, and made certain there was no one hiding from me.

When I had assured myself of my solitude, I went into the kitchen and set about making a pot of coffee. Once the brew had boiled, I returned to a large parlor where I had seen some inviting pieces of furniture and bookshelves which needed browsing.

I set most of my gear by a fireplace, started a fire, and placed my coffee on a table close to the first bookcase. From the top shelf, I removed the first book and flipped it open, only to have my breath catch in my throat as I read the handwritten title.

Duncan Blood, August 1859.

The next journal was Ezekiel Blood, August 1633.

Some were from relatives I had never heard of before. Others were in my own hand or my father’s.

In the end, I made a pile of 25 journals, 13 of which were my father’s and 12 of my own. A quick glance at those a Duncan had written showed they were not copies of anything I had done. These were the memories of someone else, and they would be good to read.

Just as soon as I was home.

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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