February 16, 1888

No trespassing.

It is a simple statement and one which generally should be followed.

Duncan Blood has been posting signs bearing those two words around his property for decades.

Yet so many people ignore them.

Or, worse still, they believe that they do not have to follow them. This is the case with the surveyors from the Boston and Maine Railroad, who – despite Duncan’s refusal to allow them access to his land – breached his border regardless of his warnings.

On February 16, 1888, ten men of various ages rode up to Duncan’s property where it abuts Gods’ Hollow. With them, they brought their dog, Rex, and they set about the business of planning a new line to pass through Duncan’s land.

Robert Bly, a photographer, accompanied them for a short distance, and when they reached a curious outcropping of rock, he took their picture. Feeling unwell, Robert returned to his horse and rode to his home in nearby Pepperell.

Several days later, members of the police department called upon Robert to ask him if he knew where the men had gone to following their examination of Duncan Blood’s land. He learned, much to his surprise, that none of the men had returned. The dog had shown up at the Cross police department, his paws soaked with blood. Yet the dog was uninjured.

While some witnesses stated they had seen a group of ten or so men riding away from Gods’ Hollow, none of them had returned to their homes in Boston and the surrounding towns. Nor had the horses been seen again.

Duncan, according to the police, hadn’t known the men were on his property.

Years later, Robert Bly bumped into Duncan in Cross. Robert brought up the subject of the still missing men and mentioned how it was curious that it was only the dog that had ever been found.

“Not really,” Duncan had answered. “I’ve never had the desire to kill a dog.”

#CrossMassachusetts #fear #scary #death #secrets #murder #writersofinstagram ##history #bad

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Where are you with your writing goals?

We’re almost done with the first month of 2019, and I’m curious, did you make a resolution about how much you were going to write this year? And, if you did, how did you break it down? Is it by day? Week? Month?

My own personal goal is to write at least 250 – 500 words a day of my own material. This is on top of the 3,000 – 4,000 I produce as a ghostwriter.

I’m happy to say that thus far, I have managed to achieve my daily goal. Some days I exceed it, but, overall, I’m right in the range that I chose.

It hasn’t been easy.

Not for lack of desire, but because of time constraints.

I work a full-time job on top of my ghost-writing. And I work a part-time job as well. This is in addition to being a husband, father, and a homeowner. Tack on a couple of cars that keep threatening to die and life is extremely busy. The last thing I want to do at 11:30 PM is prep a piece of flash-fiction, but, then again, it really is something I want to do.

I love the feedback that I get, and I’m always thrilled when the posts are shared.

Which brings me back to the initial question: where are you with your writing goals?

I hope you don’t think you’re working on something unachievable because you aren’t. You may have to adjust the number you want to reach or the amount of time that you need, but you can reach your goals.

The biggest hurdle to overcome in writing isn’t time or numbers, it’s our own feelings of inadequacy. When we start to lose focus, when we believe that we can’t do something, we lose the drive to complete the task. When that drive is gone, so too is the belief that we can accomplish what we’ve set out to do.

We don’t feel that we’re up to the challenge.

That’s why we create goals, so we can recognize that we are fully capable of doing what we love.

And what we love is writing.

For me, writing isn’t a choice. It’s a compulsion, and I suspect that it’s much the same for most of you as well. Some of you found it early in life, and you’ve been honing your craft for years. Others found it later, by accident.

Regardless as to how you came to your passion, the fact remains that it’s yours.

So, stick with it. Don’t let go.

And don’t be afraid to adapt your goals to what you need.

Remember, they’re your goals, so keep writing!

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January 21, 1938

Disease ravages humanity.

This is a truth, and one that has been with us for as long as there has been an ‘us.’

It is no different in Cross, except the diseases that strike there do not necessarily come from our own world.

On January 21, 1938, a small door was found in the Mathematics Annex of the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University. This door would have fit in nicely in the confines of an elaborate dollhouse. The hinges were made of brass, the wood was polished, and the doorknob was made of cut-crystal.

When Mrs. Grace Wilson, the cleaner for the Mathematics Annex, saw the door, she was fascinated by it. According to witnesses, she crouched down, opened the door, and peered in.

She fell back a moment later, howling with anger and clutching her hands to her eyes. Something had blown into them.

The door closed of its own accord, and within minutes Grace was violently ill. Her vomit was speckled with white flecks and tinged with blood-clots that writhed away on the floor before growing still. Several of the students carried her to her rooms on the school grounds, and her young daughter, Alice, attempted to assist in the care of her.

Within three hours Grace Wilson was dead. One hour after her, the three students who carried her in were dead. By days end, the school was quarantined, and seven additional students and one faculty member had succumbed to the disease. Of those exposed, only young Alice survived.

But those who came into direct contact with her became dangerously ill.

While no one died from exposure to the girl, it was determined that Alice would not be able to live out her days as a free person. She is alive still, in isolation, in a small house nestled upon one of Blood Lake’s many islands.

She has not had any contact with another human for 81 years.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #scary #death #killer #fear #writersofinstagram #murder #secrets #epidemic #Miskatonic

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January 11, 1933

The private study of the head librarian for the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University has been closed since 1934.

Dr. Enoch Millenia was a small, industrious man who excelled at the study of the various Germanic languages and was considered by many to be an expert in the field of Nordic mythologies. His private study was his crowning jewel, a place where he could show close friends the wonderful objects and books, he had collected over 30 years in academia.

On the night of January 11, 1933, Enoch retired to his rooms in a small house on the university’s grounds. Once there, his housekeeper heard him retire to his library. She distinctly remembered him turning the key in the lock, thus ensuring he would not be disturbed.

A short time after 10 pm, the housekeeper heard a horrendous noise from the second floor, and the entire house shook.

According to the housekeeper, Enoch laughed, said something in a language she did not understand, and then his laughter turned into a pain-filled shriek. A voice, “painful to hear,” bellowed, and the glass in the windows on the first floor broke.

When she managed to reach the study and unlock it with the spare key, she found exactly what is seen in the photograph.

The room was stripped bare, and there was no sign of Dr. Enoch Millenia.

After an extensive investigation, the school secured the room, and the university keeps the room locked. Enoch remains listed as missing.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #scary #death #flashfiction #shortshort #writerofinstagram #unsolvedmystery #Miskatonic #norse #German #secrets

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January 9, 1924

During the Spanish Influenza Epidemic of 1919, Cross isolated itself from the rest of New England. This was done to stop the disease from laying waste to the town, and in this Cross was successful.

One resident saw the epidemic as an opportunity to sate masochistic tendencies.

Mrs. Lucille Racine was a quiet, polite woman who enjoyed the being a member of the ladies’ auxiliary and sitting with the sick and dying.

Little did her neighbors know how much she enjoyed sitting with the ill.

After the worst of the epidemic passed in 1920, Lucille was seen to have numerous transients working on the old barn on her property. She was, according to Lucille, offering the men viable employment opportunities, which they gladly accepted.

On January 7, 1924, Lucille died suddenly at the library, and it was left to the town to go to her home and see what could be done about the property and the two cats she owned.

On the morning of January 9, several men traveled to Lucille’s property and inspected the home. The structure was sound, but no sign of a will could be found. The men recalled the repairs to the barn and went to search it for paperwork.

When the men entered the barn, they were surprised to find a small antechamber equipped with a nurse’s uniform and a gasmask. A sliding panel was set in the chamber’s interior door, and before anyone stepped in, the panel was moved to reveal a glass pane, and the men saw what Lucille Racine had hidden from the world.

Ten beds were arranged in the room beyond the glass, and there were two men in each bed, set head to foot, and chained in place. Later examination would show all men were sick with influenza.

None of them survived.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #scary #death #flashfiction #shortshort #writerofinstagram #unsolvedmystery #illness #imprisoned #secrets

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January 8, 1931

The Great Depression began with the crash of the New York Times Stock Exchange in October of 1929, and no place in the western world was left untouched by the occurrence.

This included the town of Cross, Massachusetts.

While the pain of the financial collapse was not felt as keenly in Cross as in other places, it was nonetheless felt.

Mr. Otto Jones, formerly of Idaho, moved to Cross in 1930 to live with his sister on her small farm. Otto was a kind and generous man, and an avid hunter. His ability find game kept not only himself and his sister supplied with meat, but some of their neighbors as well.

Like his sister, Otto was a stranger to the town, its customs, and the places one should not tread.

While he knew that Gods’ Hollow was not a place to trespass in, he did not consider hunting to be trespassing.

In January of 1931, Otto realized great flocks of Canadian geese would spend days in Gods’ Hollow. He knew that he could fire rounds quickly enough to bring down a fair few and that the meat from those birds would go a long way to helping some of the poorer families stretch out their dinners.

On January 7, Otto went to Gods’ Hollow and shot dozens of birds. That evening, he and his sister plucked and dressed them, then on January 8, they delivered them to their Church in Pepperell. The fresh meat was gratefully received, and the birds were distributed to those families in need.

The first person who ate of the flesh was the local pastor in Pepperell when he had a bit of it for his afternoon lunch.

He was dead by four o’clock.

By the time the church realized the meat was poisonous, 19 people had died.

Remorse claimed Otto, and he blew his brains out in Gods’ Hollow that same evening.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #scary #death #flashfiction #shortshort #writerofinstagram #unsolvedmystery #hunting #depression #secrets

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Resolutions

So, did you make any resolutions for 2019?

I have to confess. Usually, I don’t make any sort of resolutions. The main reason is, of course, because I don’t ever stick to my resolutions, and if that’s the case, then what’s the point to begin with? I’m not especially masochistic, so there’s no need to torment myself with daily reminders of what I have failed to do.

I have enough of those without adding to my burden.

This year, however, I did make a resolution, and it’s fairly simple: I resolved to write more of my own material.

And so far, I have done just that.

Whether it’s only 300 words a day, I still write it.

I didn’t set a minimum, and I didn’t set a maximum. It’s straightforward: just write.

I know I’ve said that before to other writers when they ask how to get going with their writing, how to increase their strength and endurance when it comes to getting their thoughts down on paper. Well, I’ve taken my own advice.

It’s been working out well.

I have a new idea for a short novel, and possibly a photo album/history book of my mythical town, Cross. In addition to that, I’m going to revisit a few short stories that were pushed by the wayside when I was working more than sleeping.

But I’m in a good place with my writing. I average 80K to 100K a month, and I work one full-time job and one part-time job, which is pretty decent. Life has slowed down a bit, and I appreciate that.

I’m using this new rhythm to put some structure into my writing schedule and making sure that I’m creating the best material I can.

If you’ve got the writing bug, remember, it is never too late to start your own schedule. For me, it’s a few hundred words a day and editing that much as well.

And for right now, that’s all I need.

 

#writing #writingresolution #resolution #succeed #success #drive #focus #determination #writer

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