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Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Mother

They say a mother’s love is unconditional. While I personally have not had such a relationship with my own mother, I know it to be true for others.

I discovered what I consider to be the finest example of this on July 1. There were reports of a bear attacking some of the livestock near the northern border of town. Like everyone else, I took these reports seriously and went to investigate. Unlike my fellow townsmen, I traveled along the deep paths, searching the darker recesses of my property, as well as the islands in Blood Pond.

I found the bear and his mate. As well as their children.

The bear was a shifter, from a little-known tribe and one, to be perfectly honest, I thought had died out completely. His wife was none other than Charlene Coffin, who had left Cross nearly twenty years before.

The family had built a home on the smallest of my islands, close enough to shore so the husband could hunt, far enough so that they could see anyone coming for them. Their home was rough-hewn but well-made. Within it, Charlene and her husband were raising their twins, a boy, and a girl, neither of whom were weened. One of the children, the girl, shifted as she fed, and Charlene smiled at me.

“It’s why we don’t bother to clothe her when it’s time to eat,” she said. “The girl shifts whenever she’s at the teat.”

 

Post Script: The shifters live on the island still, and, damn them, occasionally take some of my sheep. Still, I’ve had worse neighbors.

 

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood

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Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Nymphs

Nymphs are rarely to be trusted at the best of times, and never when they have learned to adapt.

I couldn’t establish why this particular group of Nymphs appeared in Cross. There are a few who live in the deeper parts of my woods, a group of naiads close to the islands of Blood Pond, and more than a few clans of dryads scattered through the entirety of Cross.

So, I was more than a little concerned when the new group appeared as a traveling dance group attached to a carnival early in June. Several young men vanished over a course of a weekend, and while all eventually returned to their homes, the men were all gelded. None of them remembered anything other than going to the show.

When I arrived at the carnival, I discovered the Nymphs. I told them to either cease their activities or to take their act further along the road. Anywhere other than Cross.

Their response was an attempt to seduce me.

I am an old man, and I have had my head turned by far greater beauty than theirs. I warned them once more, and they redoubled their efforts.

All three died by my hands that night, and I burned their corpses as well.

I dislike being ignored.

 

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood

Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Bodach agus Cailleach

Not all the fairy folk in Cross contain themselves to my lands, or even to Gods’ Hollow. Occasionally, one or two will settle outside what might be considered safe borders.

In August, I found not one, but three of the Irish hidden in a stretch of land off Gordon’s Way. I’m not sure when they had moved there, but when I discovered them, it seemed as though they had been there for at least thirty years, if not longer.

They were a pair of Cailleach and a Bodach, old women and a man of the forest. None of them were pleased to see me, and, I confess, the feeling was mutual. The Irish have a tendency to stake out what they believe to be theirs and to defend it violently. These three were particularly frustrating. One of the women fired at me as soon as I stepped out of the tree-line. The other set their dog upon me.

The dog, I am pleased to say, had far more sense than its mistress. He ran at me, caught my scent, and high-tailed it into the woods.

When the three yelled at me in Irish, I returned the favor, adding a few invectives which were old before my father was born. That took them by surprise, and it was only then that I managed to move close enough to have a decent conversation with them. They were miserable, miserly old codgers, and had I been anyone other than myself, I would have ended up in their pot as meals for the next two days.

As it was, we passed a fair amount of time complaining about the state of affairs in Ireland, and then I went on my way.

They’re dangerous, and eventually, they’ll need killing.

But not yet.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #forest #Irish

Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Forest Mother

All four of the Chambers’ children vanished on October 1st. Their parents were frantic, and it was the paternal grandfather who came to me on the third, asking if I would help.

I did, of course, and I gathered as much information from the parents as I could. The children, I learned, were going to walk along the North Road and make their way into town to purchase candy. Shortly after they left, the father realized the eldest boy had left without his money. The father, being a good man, saddled his horse and rode out to catch up with his children. He did not find them, but he did find signs of a struggle. The children had been dragged off into Gods’ Hollow.

Shortly after my arrival, the father brought me to the site of their disappearance, and I entered the Hollow by myself. It took me nearly half the day to find the children. When I did, it was another three hours before I could negotiate their release.

The children had been taken by a Muma Pădurii, a Romanian Forest Mother. She needed them, she informed me, to serve her. I argued against it and was thankfully successful. I promised to assist her when needed, and she freed the children.

The Chambers’ family was ecstatic to have their children safely returned, and I was as pleased as well. In all honesty, I would not have killed the Forest Mother to save the children.

Her life is worth far too much. Even more than my own.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #forest #mother #Romania

Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Ghosts (2)

When Ellen Reich died at the age of 9 at the turn of the century, her parents were distraught. Her mother soon left, abandoning the world for the safety of a convent. Her father, Franz, remained in Cross to be close to his daughter’s grave. Shortly after her mother’s flight, Ellen returned.

For eleven years, Ellen remained with her father. She was often seen sitting upon his lap, where the man would read the dead child’s favorite story to her.

In 1911, the Catholic priest learned of this situation and attempted to intervene on behalf of not only the child’s mother but for the sake of Franz. Franz, however, wanted neither salvation nor interference. Soon, the mother returned, clad in her nun’s habit, and with the priest, they forced their way into the home.

One of Franz’s neighbors alerted me to the situation. I arrived too late.

The mother was dead, having hung herself from the rafters in the attic. The priest had clawed his own eyes out and was beating his head against a kitchen wall.

Franz and Ellen were in their chair, reading peacefully.

I convinced the police that the mother had blinded the priest and then hung herself out of shame for her act. The priest eventually died of his self-inflicted injuries.

 

Post Script: Franz died in 1933. His chair and her book are in my home, tucked away in a small room. It is not uncommon for me to find the dead father and child reading in the evening.

 

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #books

Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Undead

They came shambling out of Gods’ Hollow. Dozens of them. Vacant-eyed and voracious, they devoured everything they could fit into their mouths. Insects, animals, trees, and grass. The alarm went up quickly and soon I, along with several cousins and some of the Coffins, hurried to the North Road.

The fight was no mere slaughter. It took us some time to realize the only way to kill the beasts was to destroy their brains, and it was not without cost.

My cousin, Octavius, was visiting from Norway, and he was the first of several family members to fall. To him also went the horrific honor of being the first to rise. He joined with the beasts and fell upon Derris Coffin, infecting him before Derris blew out what was left of Octavius’ brains.

By the end of the battle, we learned that we had been fighting the undead and that the bites transferred whatever virus controlled them.

I have been called upon to commit many acts of which I am not proud. One of them was the execution of those infected by the dead. The fact that those bitten begged for release does not, as far as I am concerned, mitigate the deed, or make the act any more acceptable.

It is a terrible thing to shoot your relatives in the back of the head, especially when they are relatives whose company you enjoyed.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #undead #zombie

Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Jiangshi

None of the undead are pleasant. They are parasitic and, like all parasites, need to be removed when discovered.

Early in September, animals were discovered along the far edge of Boston Post Road. These creatures ranged from squirrels to cows, and they all had been slain in the same fashion. Their blood had been drained from them, leaving them desiccated. Not even the ravens would pick at the corpses.

When I exhausted my own books, I traveled into Boston and sought out members of other communities, describing the bodies I witnessed.

It was the Chinese who told me of the Jiangshi, the hopping vampire. They told me where to look for the creature and what I must do to defeat it. What I learned did not please me. I trust in steel and bullets, and I confess some nervousness at the idea of a thing I could not at least knock down with my Colts.

So, on October 1st, I entered the shallow hills along the border of Gods’ Hollow and hunted through the caves for two weeks. On the fifteenth, I found it.

The Jiangshi was dressed in tattered silken clothes, and when it sprang at me, I threw a bag of coins in front of it, forcing the maniacal vampire to stop and count them. While it did so, I took the wood of a peach tree and drove it deep into the Jiangshi’s heart. Then, as it screamed and clawed at me, I dragged the thrice-damned thing into the sunlight and lit the creature on fire.

When the flames were done, and nothing but ashes remained, I doused them with vinegar.

Here’s hoping no more of the damned things find their way to Cross.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #China #vampire