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 21, 1930

From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.

 

April 21, 1930.

Who he was and why he shot at me, I will never know.

I must confess, however, that I do not care either.

The man opened fire at me from a concealed position, his rounds well-placed and close enough to crease the folds of my coat. It took me nearly an hour to work out where he was and then to out-flank him.

But I did it.

I had no sympathy when I found him. No pity for him either. I emptied the cylinders of each Colt into the man, and had I not needed the rounds for later, I would have reloaded and shot him again.

I have no love for sharpshooters.

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

 

April 20, 1930

From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.

 

April 20, 1930.

The house nearly killed me.

I was walking along the western edge of the Gods’ Hollow field when the house materialized not a dozen feet from me. It stank of cinders and charred air, roasted flesh, and sadness. Moaning came through the open windows while the entire structure groaned as it settled on its foundation.

The moans quickly changed into cries, which mutated into shrieks of desperation.

Against my better judgment, I entered the home.

The table was set for breakfast. Coffee boiled on the oven. A burnt woman stood by the back window, her hair gone and her flesh a horrific mockery of what it had once been. She turned to face me, her eyes melted within their sockets, her teeth blacked and cracked. With a scream of outraged sadness, she held her arms out to me.

I fired a single shot from each of the Colts and blew her brains out over the wall.

It was all I could do for her.

For a short time, I stood there. Then, I walked to the oven, found a cup and poured myself some coffee. The warmth of it chased the chill horror of Gods’ Hollow out of the pit of my stomach as I left the house to continue my search for the missing.

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

April 13, 1930

From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.

 

April 13, 1930.

Gods’ Hollow is a peculiar place. It has stolen from the past, the present, and the future. Within its malleable boundaries are people and creatures from this world and others, as well as some I know not where to place.

I came upon such a one this morning when I caught a peculiar scent. It was reminiscent of pork cooked over hickory, and of spices both sweet and bitter. I followed the odor to a small rise, where I found the source.

A man, who spoke a dialect I had not heard in well over two hundred years, crouched in a small shack. Near him, the remains of a hickory fire smoldered, the coals hot and cooling slowly. On a rack above the coals was a body tied tightly in a fetal position. The body, the man explained to me, was that of his father, and he was curing it.

I did not ask the reason why, for that was of no concern to me. It was the man’s business, how he wanted to dispose of his father’s corpse, but the stranger was a chatty fellow, and he gladly told me why.

The smoke served two purposes. The first was to make certain his father could find his way to the next world. For a year, the man would cure his father. On the anniversary of his father’s passing, the man would bring the body home and celebrate by dining upon the hickory flavored flesh.

I bade the stranger farewell, and I hope he enjoys his repast.

I myself have never had a taste for hickory.

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

April 12, 1930

From the Gods’ Hollow journal of Duncan Blood.

 

April 12, 1930.

I came upon an old structure today, one that I remember building alongside my father and my uncles.

It had once housed the weapons and foodstuffs of both the Bloods and the Coffins before the New World was ours. We had hidden there, during raids, hunkering down to defend ourselves against the attacks of our Native American neighbors when they grew tired of our company.

And I remember when the building vanished from the strip of land between Blood Farm and Coffin Farm. My father had been in it, putting away the new rifles purchased from a gunsmith in Pennsylvania.

We searched for years, hopeful that the building might reappear, and that my father might still be alive.

Stranger things have occurred, of course, but it was not meant to be. For decades and centuries passed. He and the building remained missing.

Standing near it, I felt a sense of dread. Would it be better to know what happened to my father, rather than continued wishful thinking?

I sat down and stared at the building, wondering where the roof had gone and what had occurred when it had vanished. Did my father fight, or was he slain upon arrival? Did he arrive?

Finally, as the sun slowly began to set, I stood up and walked away.

The boy within me needed the hope that his father was still alive.

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