April 24, 1930

A hanged man is a terrible thing to see.

In my travels, I have seen my share of lynchings and executions. The killing I stumbled upon this afternoon took me by surprise. I am amazed the Hollow can continue to shock me.

The man was in the uniform of a soldier, his hands bound and his neck stretched. Whether his crime was real or imagined, or whether it even warranted a hanging, I will never know.

For a short time, I stood and observed the dead man. In the trees near us, great ravens gathered, eager for their share of the hangman’s price.

Finally, I sat down near the dead man, took out some food and ate. When I finished, I cut the man down and dug a shallow grave with my hands. I laid him out as best I could, covered him with dirt and stones, and tried not to think of what his crime had been.

Brushing the dirt off my hands, I left the hanged man in his shallow grave and continued on my way, the screaming protests of the ravens ringing in my ears.

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April 23, 1930

From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.

 

April 23, 1930.

I came upon them in the early morning, only an hour or so after I had crossed the border into the Hollow. The mother and child stood in the remains of their home without any sense of shock or surprise.

When they heard my approach, they turned and nodded to me. In beautiful French, the mother said, “Yes, we will have breakfast with you.”

Feeding them had been my intention, but I had not voiced it to them. I did not hide my surprise, yet neither did I comment upon it as I sat down and took out my provisions. Soon, the three of us were eating the slim repast I had prepared.

When we finished, the woman, without introducing herself, stated, “We have done this before.”

“How many times?” I asked.

She sighed, smiling bitterly. “For eight years now.”

“Always with me?” I asked.

“Always with a version of you,” the woman answered. “There are times when you know French, and others you don’t. Times when you kill us both, and times when you pass us by.”

“How did you know I wouldn’t kill you today?” I asked, handing her a slice of bread for the child.

“You knew French,” she said, smiling, and spoke no more about it.

I left the mother and child as I found them, standing in the ruins of their home, and waiting for me to arrive in the morning.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #house #nightmare #fear #alternatereality #supernatural #scary #skull #gods

April 22, 1930

From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.

 

April 22, 1930.

I smelled the smoke before I saw it. A terrible, familiar odor I wished I could forget. With the memory of the woman in the farmhouse fresh in my mind, I followed the trail of smoke with weariness and resolve.

I need not have worried.

A massive chimney stood alone, wreathed in smoke and stinking of death. No other evidence of the building remained, but I didn’t need any. I knew the chimney. Had, in fact, laid some of the bricks myself when I was younger.

In desperation, I wandered around through the smoke, seeking signs of life. Yet there was nothing. Neither clothing nor furniture. Not a cracked cup or a charred book. Nothing remained of the building I remembered.

Once, the house had stood on Washington Street in Cross. In 1859, it vanished during an April thunderstorm. The home was torn from its foundations, the family within disappearing with it. For years, I hoped in vain to find some trace of them, and as the decades passed, I tried to forget.

But how do you forget the woman you loved and hoped to marry?

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #house #nightmare #fear #alternatereality #supernatural #scary #skull #gods

April 19, 1930

From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.

 

April 19, 1930.

Close to where Gods’ Hollow meets my lands, I discovered an abandoned stretch of road which had not existed the day before. The houses were small, well made, and empty. Near a large totem, I saw a weathered man wrapped in animal skins, and he sat on his haunches, face bathed in the morning light.

Through half-open eyes, he watched me approach. When I stopped a short distance away, getting the measure of him as I loosened my Colts in their holsters, he smiled and greeted me by name. When I asked him his, he responded, “Tukutkaa.”

The word was old and familiar, one which caused me to drop my hands to my pistols.

“No, Duncan,” he said, shaking his head. “You are not for me to claim. But go, you might scare away my prey, and I have waited here a long time for them to arrive.”

He gestured with a dark hand, and I looked behind me. In the distance, I caught sight of a woman and a trio of children as they stepped onto the road.

Letting go of the pistols, I nodded and passed the old man by.

Who am I to argue with Death?

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #house #nightmare #fear #alternatereality #supernatural #scary #skull #gods

April 18, 1930

From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.

 

April 18, 1930.

I am not quite sure how I came upon the necropolis, or how it came to be in Gods’ Hollow. Then again, I should have learned by now not to question anything about the Hollow. I found the necropolis, and that should suffice.

For hours, I wandered among headstones and mausoleums, crypts and half-forgotten graves. A short time before the sun began its descent, I discovered the boneyard. Acres of excavated human bones spread out before me, a drear reminder of the fate that awaits us all. As I stood on the boneyard’s edge, I heard a curious sound. It was reminiscent of branches rattling against one another in a winter breeze, of boys dragging sticks along the sides of a fence.

My attention turned toward the center of the boneyard, where the noise seemed to originate from. In silence, I watched as a small wave of bones was created. It pushed out from the center and spread, like the ripple on a pond’s surface. As the wave of bones drew nearer, I understood suddenly that there was something beneath the bones. Something coming for me.

With my Colts gripped futilely in my hands, I retreated from the boneyard, and I prayed that whatever was beneath the bones would not leave the safety of the dead.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #house #nightmare #fear #alternatereality #supernatural #scary #skull #gods

April 17, 1930

From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.

 

April 17, 1930.

I spent most of the day walking through the Hollow. Shortly before sunset, I was of the opinion that the Hollow had nothing to show me for the day.

On my return toward the boundary between my lands and those of the Hollow, I learned I was wrong. Gods’ Hollow did have something it wanted me to see.

A passenger car, to a railroad for which I could see no name, lay in a field, flanked on either side by old equipment. While all were interesting to me, only the old rail car drew me on. I approached it carefully, with the caution that had served me well thus far in my later years.

Within the rusting steel hulk, I found a scene of destruction. All the seats were torn out, windows shattered from the inside. Old bits of fabric rustled in a light breeze. Ancient blood still stank of iron and teeth from a dozen heads were scattered about the car.

Of the victims, I could find nothing larger than a molar. The few words I discovered were written in a language I did not know, and while I tried to understand it, the letters were too elusive.

I have left the car without any questions answered, while several new concerns have arisen.

Not the least of which is who seized the train and slew its occupants.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #house #nightmare #fear #alternatereality #supernatural #scary #skull #gods

April 16, 1930

From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.

 

April 16, 1930.

The ringing of a bell welcomed me into Gods’ Hollow this morning. I left a nervous group of militiamen behind me as I traveled into the woods of the Hollow. A narrow trail branched off to the left, and I followed it towards the sound of the bell. Each harsh clang was louder than the last, each coming quicker on the heels of the one before it.

Someone knew I was there.

The Colts are always with me now, the weapons ready at a moment’s notice. I am cautious, far more than I have ever been. There is a sense of an intelligence watching me as if Gods’ Hollow was far more than a crossing point. I feel as though it has a malignant design for Cross.

The narrow trail ended suddenly in a small glade, in which a two-door school house stood. While the sun was warm, a chill emanated from the structure. To the left of the building was a small bell-tower, and the bell rang incessantly, the rope jerked down with a frenzied, maniacal rhythm.

There was no one at the rope.

I eased my pistols from their holsters, cocked each hammer back, and waited to see what would happen.

The bell went silent as if an unseen hand wrapped around the clacker and stilled it. The doors to the schoolhouse flew open, and the cries and laughter of children could be heard, but none of the students could be seen.

I stood at the edge of the glade, listening but not entering. Soon, the unseen children returned to the school. The smell of smoke stung my nose as the screams of the students wounded my ears. In a few minutes, everything was silent.

When the bell rang again, I holstered the pistols and left. There was nothing but sadness and memory in the glade, and I have my share of both.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #house #nightmare #fear #alternatereality #supernatural #scary #skull #gods