Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Ghost (2)

Te Mock was beaten to death by an angry mob on the outskirts of Cross in 1911. She had fled from Boston, where people believed her to be in league with the Devil. Ms. Mock was not in league with the Devil, of course, but when has reason stopped a mob?

I found her body just over the border, and rather than being allowed to return her remains to China, the body was seized by the state and given to a Boston hospital in order to ‘better study the Asian physique.’

Cross paid for the state’s stupidity.

Ms. Mock’s ghost returned shortly after her body’s confiscation and took her anger out on members of Cross. Her rage transformed her into what was known as a ‘hungry ghost.’ She was forced to feed off the corpses of Cross’ dead. Ms. Mock had been transformed, her body elongated, her mouth wide and filled with needles for teeth. She had four sets of arms, and eight pairs of hands, all equipped with razor-sharp nails to tear flesh from bone.

On July 2, during the Ghost Festival, I fed her cooked rice and fresh meat and promised to avenge her.

It took me twelve years to hunt down her killers. The last I slew on his deathbed, smothering him with a pillow.

I keep my promises.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #giants

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February 15, 1931

Imelda Mae was a brilliant artist.

She was one of the few female artists invited to teach at the Cross branch of Miskatonic University.

Her use of colors and space on her canvases was a wonder to behold. There were times when viewers felt as though they could reach out and touch her subjects, whether those subjects happened to be still-lifes or – her preferred – the portraits of children.

While Imelda was unmarried and childless, she was able to draw upon a deep, maternal vein within herself. From there she painted with a poignancy few could match.

Imelda’s private studio was in an old barn off Northwood Road, a road often traveled, but one that had only a few homes upon it.

At all hours of the day and night, she could be found working in her studio, one canvas or another in the process of being completed. Imelda never minded an interruption, nor did she ever turn away a hungry guest or inquisitive student. She always showed any who asked how she went about preparing her paints and cleaning her brushes, the best way to use light to draw out the subtle nuances of a piece of still life.

Imelda Mae was one of the university’s finest acquisitions in the art department, and she blended in seamlessly with the other staff members.

It was shocking to all, then, that Imelda vanished on February 15th, 1931.

Concerned that she might have injured herself, several of her students hurried over to her home and never recovered from what they witnessed there.

In a room over her studio, they found where Imelda mixed her paints, and what she mixed them with.

Ground bones were in a small mortar and pestle while blood was carefully gathered into sealed containers.

The half-finished portrait of a child stood by her work table. On the floor was a pile of bloody children’s clothes, which matched those upon her painted subject.

On the counter was a small index card which read, Nathan, age 5, taken in Boston.

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

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February 14, 1940

Love is a dangerous emotion.

Lincoln Verne could readily testify to that fact.

Born in 1919 on March 3rd, Lincoln was undeniably the most handsome man in Cross. In addition to his good looks, Lincoln was genuinely pleasant and mild-mannered. He had literally given the shirt off his back to a man in need, and he would cheerfully do so again.

It was with some disappointment, then, that the young ladies – and some of the older ones – received the news that Lincoln had found himself a beau. Who the mysterious woman was no one knew, all they did know was that he was completely and utterly enamored with her.

At the end of January 1940, Lincoln began preparations. He intended to propose to his beloved on her birthday, February 14th. He purchased a ring and a gold necklace to celebrate her birthday.

On February 14th, he greeted the early morning train from Boston, where a young woman, clad all in white, walked arm and arm with him to his small apartment above Von Epp’s Books.

Shortly after lunch, the young woman was seen leaving the building and returning to the train station.

Once the train had departed, several customers and one of the clerks in Von Epp’s heard a moaning sound from Lincoln’s rooms. Concerned, they went up the back stairs and found the doorway open.

Lincoln was at his table, the gifts spread out before him, and a look of horror on his face.

Not only had she refused his proposal, but she had stolen his youth.

According to Lincoln, she had said no, and then gave him a conciliatory kiss. When their lips met, he felt his energy drain from him, and within minutes he was left exhausted and defeated.

When Lincoln was later examined by the doctor, that esteemed physician stated that Lincoln was no longer a youth of 20, but an old man of at least 92.

Lincoln lived long enough to see his 22nd birthday, and a beautiful young woman in white attended the burial.

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

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February 13, 1913

The fog hides many sins.

What particular sin emerged from the depths of Cross on February 13, 1913, is still unknown. The damage it caused is a matter of history.

At 1:13 PM, the Boston & Maine southbound train came in for its final turn towards Cross station. It did so through a long, deep fog that enveloped the entire town. Residents and survivors recalled hearing the train’s whistle as it alerted Cross of its imminent arrival. Several seconds later, an answering whistle pierced the fog, and then the earth shook.

A hideous explosion filled the air, and sudden silence that followed was shattered by the screams and shrieks of the injured.

Three of the train’s cars were knocked off the track, scattering both the living and dead. The train’s engine was stopped on the track, the front of its tank smashed in as if a giant fist had been driven through the iron.

Neither the engineer nor the fireman could be questioned; they were both dead, necks broken by the impact. The brakeman was found a day later, his body shattered and hanging in the topmost branches of a pine tree.

Several children were never found, and while it is the belief of most that their bodies were pulverized in the wreck, there are others who would argue the point.

Around the train were deep impressions, as if some tremendous bull had stalked around it in the fog. Even some of the trees bore gouges, far higher than any bull could reach.

One or two have whispered that it was a minotaur that derailed the train and thus stole away some of the children.

Few people doubt the veracity of the latter statement, but in June of 2018, the bones of three children were discovered in a cave on the edge of Gods’ Hollow. Above the remains, a single word was carved in ancient Greek: Minos.

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December 20, 1916

     It is known as Die Feldhausen von Totenbaum, the tree of dead hares.

     The tree can rarely be found for it is hidden somewhere on the vast estate of Duncan Blood, and the only warning that the tree has blossomed is the sound of rifle fire emanating from his land.

     Most years, the tree bears no fruit. It grows and, according to legend, it follows the seasons as any tree will.

     Some years, however, the tree serves as the harbinger of disaster, and the only way this is known is to see if the tree bears its strange and hideous fruit.

     When the field rabbits of Cross can be found hanging from the branches, and the triple guns and the dog of the unknown Hunter are present, Death will visit the town.

     The last known observance of the tree in bloom was December 19, 1916, when Bram Hall was wandering – drunk – and somehow managed to end up in the middle of Duncan Blood’s property. A day later, when he found his way out and back to the center of town, Bram stopped first for a drink, then made his way around Cross, telling everyone he met about what he had witnessed.

     While many people ignored his ramblings, a few of the older residents knew what it meant, and they barricaded themselves in their homes.

     On the night of December 20, 1916, a storm tore through Cross, destroying houses and sweeping livestock and horses into the river.

     While only five people were killed in the storm, the sickness caused by exposure to the elements resulted in 37 hospitalizations, and the property damage prompted two men and one woman to commit suicide.

     Recently, the crack of rifle fire has been heard from Duncan’s land.

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How Much is Enough?

     ‘How much is enough?’ is a question that crops up often in regards to many ventures, but especially when the focus is on writing.

     Writing shouldn’t be a painful act.

     Some elements of what you write may be painful (memories of abuse, struggles in life, and a slew of other triggers), but the act of putting thought to paper shouldn’t pain you.

     What you need to do is strike a balance between how much you believe you can write, and how much you want to write.

     These can often be two vastly different numbers.

     The best way for you to find the happy medium – the amount you can reasonably produce – is to pick a subject you like, estimate how many words you believe you can write, and then write about it for half an hour.

     Focus and write.

     That’s all. Don’t set up your music.

     The only task you should focus on is your writing.

     When those 30 minutes are up, stop and take a look at what the difference is between your estimated ability, and the actual amount you were able to produce.

     Let’s say you were able to write 500 words in those 30 minutes. And let’s say you thought you would be able to write at least 1,000.

     Split the difference.

     For this instance, I think that 750 would be a reasonable number to strive for.

     In my experience, increasing your writing a little at time is better than becoming frustrated with an inability to meet an unrealistic expectation.

     Next time you sit down to write, set a goal for yourself. If you’re going to write for half an hour, try to reach 750 words. An hour? 1,500.

     Remember, life happens. It’s cliché, I know, but it’s also the truth. You’ll be interrupted by the phone, by family, by just about everything under the sun. Roll with those disturbances and keep your eye on number of words you’re striving for.

     It can only make you a better writer.

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What drives you to succeed?

     Is it a need to be the best at your chosen profession? Is it a contrariness in your nature, to make certain that all who doubt you will have to eat crow?

     Are you obsessed and can do nothing other than what you’re doing?

     For me, I’ve always been driven to succeed with my writing. I like to tell stories. Some of them are true. Most aren’t. I’d like to be known for the truths I tell. I’d like to be admired for my ability to write about historical events. The fact of the matter is I can’t. When it comes to writing military history, I need to know everything.

     Absolutely everything about a subject before I feel comfortable enough to write intelligently about it. If there’s a document out there, I need to read it. Someone who lived it? I need to speak with them about it.

     But just as I’m driven to know everything about an historical subject, so too am I driven to write my stories. This focus in regards to my fiction is both good and bad, like so many other qualities in a person.

     The pros, well, I want the story to be the finest I can craft before I set it free into the wild.

     The cons, well, I want the story to be the finest I can craft before I set it free into the wild.

     Do you see the dilemma?

     I’m sure that you, as an equally driven individual, can see it as easily as I do. And so we come to the real question: what do we do about it? When can we let go of the story and say, ‘Go then, and do what you will.’?

     That has always been the most difficult part of writing fiction, deciding when the story is ready to go. I’ve been fortunate in finding a few magazines and publications that have been willing to take a chance on me. But it took a long time, and it requires drive and focus.

     Focus on what you want, and drive yourself toward it.

     There’s no guarantee of success. There’s no guarantee of greatness.

     But there sure as hell isn’t if you never try.

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