Cousins (Part 2)


From, Blood’s History: Cousins (Part 2)


Thayer Blood was the ultimate athlete. Regardless of the sport, Thayer excelled at it. His favorite, however, was American football. Only in football, according to my cousin, was he able to unleash his pent-up frustrations, to exact a sort of revenge against the world.

He likened it to gladiatorial combat, where he and his teammates were performing for the benefit of a Caeser and Rome’s finest citizens.

Soon, though, my cousin took this comparison too far.

The violence of football no longer quenched the bloodlust raging within him.

In 1915, eager to sate his need, Thayer joined the Canadian Army and was shipped to the Western Front in Europe.

But there was not enough of the war for him. Too much time, he wrote me, spent doing nothing. He began to raid at night, on his own, questing not only into the German lines but into the defenses of other units on either side of his.

In May of 1916, he vanished completely into the wasteland between the lines, and a letter was sent to me, asking for help in locating Thayer.

I agreed, and with permission from my own officers, I sought my cousin out.

I found him, ecstatic with bloodlust as he reigned supreme between the lines, killing anyone who stumbled upon him, or upon whom he stumbled.

He attempted to collect my head, so I was forced to mail his home to his mother.

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From, Blood’s History: Cousins


She was dangerous and half mad. The product of a father poisoned by lead, and a mother to whom the fey spoke.

Her name was Patience Blood, and she was a woman I loved dearly. She was my cousin, the elder by ten years, and the universe revolved around her as far as I was concerned. Patience taught me how to move through the woods, how to speak with the fey, and how to listen to the damned as they marched from one place in Hell to another.

I last saw her in 1930, when she walked out of the depths of Gods’ Hollow. There was a strangeness to her then. The way she spoke was frightening, almost devoid of emotion as she related her tales. Her smile was true, though, and when she asked me to walk with her to the family burial ground, I felt an old and almost forgotten thrill.

At the graves of our ancestors, I helped open a small crypt half-buried in a hill. Once there, she gave me a kiss goodbye and a lock of her hair. She disappeared into the crypt’s darkness without a word. I sealed the door closed behind her the same way.

Late at night, as I lay in my bed, I can hear her walking with the damned.

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Francis Coffin


From, Blood’s History: Francis Coffin


Francis Coffin was a hell of a man.

When he realized he would live longer than most, Francis went on a drunken bender that lasted from 1843 until 1901. How many men, women, and children he killed, well, none of us will ever truly know. I have heard tell that he slew entire towns out in the Indian territories and that more than one wagon train vanished because of him. He liked to brag that the Donner Party didn’t get lost, he merely had a fondness for human flesh.

Eventually, in 1901, Francis Coffin had an epiphany. Long life did not translate to immortality. At some point, he might have to pay for his crimes. Thus, began ten years of devout worship at the Cross Congregational Church and good works such as the town had never seen before.

His transformation from hedonistic murderer to self-less advocate for the downtrodden was nothing short of a miracle.

In 1911, Francis was on his way to the Cross Congregational Church to receive an award for his actions. He was traveling along North Road, and it is believed he wandered into Gods’ Hollow, for his body has never been found.

Nor did I want it to be found.

My cousin was a rotten, foul man before he found God.

I gut shot him and dragged him into the basement. It took the bastard seven years to die, and I enjoyed every scream he uttered.

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Suffering Fools


From, Blood’s History: Suffering Fools


I have no patience for fools.

In 1844, a judge by the name of Abraham Rote traveled down to Cross from Boston. He had heard, in the ways of New England, of the Bloods and their exceptionally long lives. Rote traced his lineage proudly back to Cotton Mather and the hanging judge, Hawthorn, responsible for the deaths of so many witches.

Judge Rote felt it was his responsibility to oust the Bloods as witches, much as his ancestors had done. He came to my farm and spoke with me, explaining clearly his intent. Whether he hoped to frighten me into some sort of devilish confession, or whether he was simply a braggart, I’ll never know.

Judge Rote was one of the few people I personally introduced to the Gallows Tree.

I told him if he would like to see true power, he had best to accompany me. He did want to, and I led him deep into the property. Throughout our journey, he admonished me for my heathen ways, the obvious bargain I had struck up with the Devil, and my need to repent before he convinced a group of my neighbors to lynch me.

I could have let him go, but I did not. The man was a fool, and I do not suffer them lightly.

I left him hanging from the Gallows Tree until his clothes rotted away and freed his bones from their confines. His cloak remains in my hall closet. When the weather is especially foul, I put it on and travel to the Gallows Tree, where I reflect upon the painful and timely death of a fool.

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Fields of Battle


From, Blood’s History: Fields of Battle


Part of Blood Farm shares a border with Gods’ Hollow, a place where our world meets and melds with an infinite number of others. Like any true farm, we Bloods have always worked every bit of acreage we could. The borderland is no different in that regard.

There, however, is where the similarity ends. The borderland is dangerous, and many have experienced strange and disturbing events. Eight hired hands have vanished over the years, three more were killed outright. These vanishings and deaths have prompted me to hire only veterans to work the fields, men well aware of how to handle danger. Of the many men available for such work, the finest specimens are those who lost a limb during battle.

Perhaps the greatest of all these was a man named Jean Pierre De Dumas. I met him when I was in France for a short time after the Great War. He was a double amputee, a man who learned how to wield a scythe and to harvest. His determination and good humor were impressive, and I was able to convince him, as well as several others, to travel to Cross to work the fields.

He and his colleagues did just that. The harvested and planted, and when something foul tried to slip onto the Blood lands, Jean Pierre and the others stopped it.

His death was a surprisingly peaceful one. A mild heart attack in the midst of a dance with some of the eligible mill girls from Lowell.

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From, Blood’s History: Dogs


I have a great fondness for dogs. Because of my own longevity, I rarely keep them. Their lives are far too short, the heartache too great when I must say goodbye to them.

On occasion, I do welcome one into my home, and once, shortly before the end of the 19th century, I took in an entire pack.

They arrived from Gods’ Hollow, although I do not know from what world or what time they might have originated from. I do know they came into Cross for a purpose, and I did my best to help them carry out their task.

For nearly twenty years, we hunted the damned together. Lycanthropes of various strains – wolves, bears, boars, etc. – often plague Cross, though rarely all at once. The dogs had followed several different breeds through a gate, traveled through Gods’ Hollow and arrived in Cross hot on the heels of their prey.

The nature of lycanthropy, the way in which it travels via the blood and saliva, means the disease can spread quickly. Especially in a community as small as Cross.

The first few years was spent confining the infected to Cross and preventing it from spilling over the border. By the end, we were hunting them down where they hid during the lull between moons.

I have, of course, outlived all the dogs. Even their pups. I cherish the memories of our time together. I think of the dogs often, when I sit and gaze upon the stuffed heads of the lycanthropes we slew together.

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The Library


From, Blood’s History: The Library


My private library lies deep beneath the cellar of Blood farmhouse. For someone as long-lived as myself, books have been a constant friend. I have collected an eclectic selection of works both well-known and obscure, and some which have been both at various times in their existence.

It pleases me to say that I have known genius’ such as John Steinbeck, and veritable devils such as Mather and his kin. While none of Mather’s works soil my shelves, I have everything Steinbeck published, as well as some he sent only to me, tucked away.

Among treasures such as these, however, are books far more dangerous. Works and ideas known to kill with the slightest caress of their pages.

And if you think books are not dangerous, then you are a fool.

Ideas are wicked entities. They can enter your thoughts, wrap themselves around some vital part of your workings and squeeze until you have no concept of what you are doing. Some books, like any object, can become haunted, the dead clinging to the manuscripts, traveling with them and ruining lives.

I keep my most prized possessions, and the most dangerous as well, in my private library, far from the eyes of foolish people. They are kept away from prying eyes. Not only because the books are mine, but because I am tired of hiding bodies.

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From, Blood’s History: Chores


Early in my life I learned an important lesson: killing is a chore.

It is work which needs doing, and rare are the occasions when joy might be taken from it. I took no enjoyment from the death of Mary Olcott. Her killing was merely a chore.

Captain Samuel Olcott, her husband, was a man who felt the need to cheat and swindle his business partners, one of whom was my Uncle Cy. Cy lost most of his farm to Captain Olcott, and my Aunt Faith sought to regain them by pleading the family’s case.

Olcott had his way with her and then she killed herself out of shame. My Uncle Cy soon followed.

Of all my relatives, I am the hardest. We discussed the need to punish Olcott and it was decided that pride cometh before a fall, and he was terribly proud of the beauty and virtue of his wife Mary.

On May 10th, 1766, I entered their new home – which had once been my aunt and uncle’s – and I beat Captain Olcott to the floor.

As he lay there, attempting to get up, I dragged Mary to him, apologized, and cut her throat, dousing him in his wife’s blood.

Killing Mary Olcott was a chore. Castrating her husband was a joy.

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From, Blood’s History: Purification


No one is exempt from justice.

In 1905, the Cross chapter of the American Red Cross learned of this the hard way. I was tired of their foolish games. The Cross chapter was more of a way for those of a social mindset to gather and talk amongst themselves than it was to assist those in need.

During a brutal spring, when many of the poorer members of Cross were dying of fever, the American Red Cross refused to treat them. The death rate among the poor was thirty-six percent. Those who did survive often found themselves being evicted from their homes, for who can pay when they can’t work?

I attempted to speak with the Cross chapter’s board of trustees, to ask for their assistance with the caring of the ill. The board had no desire to listen. All of them, I learned, were concerned with obtaining property on the outskirts of town, property once rented and owned by the recently deceased and diseased poor.

For the board, the fever was a blessing. It freed them of the burden of having to evict the majority of the families.

On May 9, 1905, I traveled into Cross for the monthly meeting of the Cross chapter’s board. A short time later, a large explosion shook the building and killed everyone inside.

No one bothered to ask why each of the board members had been shot once in the back of the head.
Perhaps, no one wanted to know the answer to the question.

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The Door


From, Blood’s History: The Door


I have not opened the door since 1784 when I last closed it.

The door is in the oldest barn, a relic to centuries past. Rarely do I venture there, for the creature behind the door still lives. Still hungers.

And I cannot bring myself to kill her.

I found her when I was sixteen, long before the nation existed. She was on the edge of Gods’ Hollow, bathing in the waters of a small, vernal pool. Her skin glowed in the sunlight, shined upon her bright, sharp teeth, and drowned in her pure black eyes.

I watched as she washed blood off her mouth and bare chest, her long black hair hanging in damp locks. She saw me, laughed, and licked her full lips with a forked tongue which would later speak the greatest of lies in the sweetest of whispers.

I brought her home with me, and when she slew my uncle Ezekiel and ate him, I bound her in iron and dragged her screaming to the barn. With my own knife, I carve the sigils into the wood, and with my own blood, I sealed them.

I placed her in the unlit room and freed her of the chains. On my back, I bear the scars of her teeth and nails. My ears bled from the rage which spewed from her mouth.

Occasionally, I return to the barn, and I listen and speak with her. Always she asks to be freed. Always I deny her.

She tells me she loves me still, and I say the same.

It is a painful truth we both speak in darkness.

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