Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Anansi

It is always difficult to deal with a God. Especially one the likes of Anansi.

He arrived on a warm day, wearing a large coat and smoking a pipe. While he kept a mild smile on his face, there was a glimmer of wickedness and stupendous intelligence in his eyes, which bade me keep my distance.

I was on the front steps of the Cross Historical Society, smoking my own pipe and waiting for a cousin to arrive when Anansi came down the street. He had a baker’s dozen worth of children following him, calling out and squealing at the silly faces and magnificent jokes he told them. A few parents tagged along as well, and it seemed to me that he paid special attention to them.

It wasn’t until he was abreast of the Society that I heard him speak, and knew him for who – and what – he was. When the knowledge crossed my mind, he turned and winked at me, a subtle sign that I would do well not to interfere.

As I said, it is always difficult to deal with a God.

I kept my peace, and I watched and waited as he tempted the parents closer, whispering to the children and eliciting gales of laughter from the young throats. Finally, the parents – none of whom I recognized – stepped into the circle. Anansi let out a cry of triumph and he vanished.

The children clapped and cheered at his magic, and it took them all several minutes to realize the parents were gone.

Why he took them, or where he took them to, is unknown. When he returns to Cross, I’ll have a word with Anansi about the incident, God or not.

I ended up caring for a trio of siblings for the better part of a decade, and I’d like to know if the joke was meant for me or someone else.

Either way, it sure as hell wasn’t funny.

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

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Purification

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.

#CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #blood #library #scary

April 26, 1930

From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.

 

April 26, 1930.

Behind a copse of trees, the valley stretched for the entirety of Gods’ Hollow. It was filled with the wreckage of war. Shattered trenches and destroyed machinery. Upturned earth and trees transformed into slivers. Barbed wire and artillery pieces, planes and tanks, all from the Great War, littered the valley floor.

I picked my way carefully through the destruction until the sight of a corpse caught my attention. The body was the only one I had seen in the Valley, and it is one which piqued my curiosity. Upon his remains was a cross.

While I hold no truck with religion, I recognized the piece of jewelry and felt a strange sense of foreboding swell around me. With my heart beating a little quicker, I sat down near the corpse and picked up the cross. On the back of it, there was an inscription: To My Father’s Arms I Have Been Called.

I returned the cross to its position and considered it. Once, in 1913, the cross had belonged to Meredith Coffin. She had given it away in the hopes that it might offer some sort of protection.

In my world, I suppose it had. I had carried the cross with me throughout the war and gave it back to her once I returned to Cross.

In this valley, far from the battlefields of Europe and the curious nuances of my own reality, one of my alternates lay dead.

Dead and forgotten, as we all must be in the end.

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

April 25, 1930

From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.

 

April 25, 1930.

I have long suspected the Hollow to be under the influence of malignant entities, and thus the reason for its name. Today, it seems as though the Hollow sought to confirm my suspicions.

The Hollow expressed itself and threw a building at me.

I heard the rush of the structure through the air; caught the sound of screams of outrage emanating from a dark place between realities. These were enough to cause me to pause and look, which in turn saved me from a great deal of pain.

I’m not certain as to how large the house was, or if there was anyone alive in it when the building crashed into the earth. Boards were scattered like matchsticks as the house split in half. The ground shook, and for a moment, lightning tore through the cloudless sky.

Yet within seconds, the disruption was finished. Birds took up their songs, squirrels argued from their perches in the trees, and all was as it should be.

I don’t know when I drew my Colts, but they were in my hands, hammers drawn back as I stood and observed the wreckage. After some minutes, I returned the pistols to their holsters, spat in disgust, and continued on my way.

The Gods of the Hollow will have to do more than throw a house at me.

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

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.

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