Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Nymphs

Nymphs are rarely to be trusted at the best of times, and never when they have learned to adapt.

I couldn’t establish why this particular group of Nymphs appeared in Cross. There are a few who live in the deeper parts of my woods, a group of naiads close to the islands of Blood Pond, and more than a few clans of dryads scattered through the entirety of Cross.

So, I was more than a little concerned when the new group appeared as a traveling dance group attached to a carnival early in June. Several young men vanished over a course of a weekend, and while all eventually returned to their homes, the men were all gelded. None of them remembered anything other than going to the show.

When I arrived at the carnival, I discovered the Nymphs. I told them to either cease their activities or to take their act further along the road. Anywhere other than Cross.

Their response was an attempt to seduce me.

I am an old man, and I have had my head turned by far greater beauty than theirs. I warned them once more, and they redoubled their efforts.

All three died by my hands that night, and I burned their corpses as well.

I dislike being ignored.

 

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Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Hellhound

It killed three people in the dead-end alley off East Stark Street before I caught up with it.

Hellhounds are notoriously difficult to catch, though far easier to kill. I never learned who summoned the hound, nor to what purpose. If the goal was to sow fear and discord, it failed. I cannot believe that any of the victims were intended as targets, though there may have been something in the dead persons’ past.

Regardless as to the reasons why and what-for, the hellhound came to Cross on a cool June evening. I smelled the beast’s sulfurous stench when I was in the Old Cross Cemetery, paying respects to long-dead friends. There is no mistaking that odor, or what it portends. I rode my horse hard back to the farm, gathered up my Colts, and raced back to the cemetery. The tracks were easy enough to follow – great, smoldering prints of a hound.

When I reached Main Street, I could clearly hear the screams of the victims, and when the wind shifted, I smelled burning human flesh. More screams rose up, and I reached the alley in time to see the hound kill the last of its victims.

I put twelve rounds into the beast’s head and chest, then I reloaded and added another six shots for good measure. When I was done, several members of the Cross Historical Society – those few who know of my age and other, darker things – helped me to drag the hound’s body to the river, where we tumbled it in. For well over a week the water was warmer than normal, but I’ll take a hot river over dead children every time.

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Cousins (Part 3)

From, Blood’s History: Cousins (Part 3)

 

In the late 1890s, I traveled to Copenhagen in Denmark at the request of my cousin, Magdalena Blod. No one had heard from the Danish line since the early 1750s, and while there was a subdued air about the letter, her name was signed and underlined, an old and subtle message of distress.

The voyage from Cross to Denmark was arduous, undertaken during the worst of the Atlantic storms. Several passengers died along the way, one by my blade before I threw him overboard for lacking a civil tongue.

In Denmark, I found my cousin at the University of Copenhagen, a prisoner to a professor who had discovered her longevity. He had overseen the writing of the letter, making certain there was nothing remotely close to a cry for help within her beautifully crafted sentences.

Magdalena welcomed me in and introduced the professor as a man of foresight and power, both of which were keywords. Only King Richard of England had once been referred to as such, and that was after he had put our great-grandfather to death.

I smiled, nodded, and drove my knife up into his heart.

Magdalena and I spent a pleasant evening in the man’s rooms, enjoying dinner while destroying all evidence he had gathered about our family.

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1842

From, Blood’s History: Another Death

 

My mother has never truly left my house. After I killed her on the table, we butchered her corpse and buried the pieces at the cardinal points of the compass. Despite these efforts, and others which I choose not to name, she remained in her sewing room. No locks can hold the door shut; no shutters can bar the windows.

In July of 1842, Atticus Coffin and his young niece, Gwen, paid us a visit. The child, only six at the time, went chasing after one of the cats. Before we could stop her, she vanished into my mother’s sewing room. A heartbeat later, the child came staggering back into the hall, clutching her doll to her chest.

When Gwen turned around to race into her father’s open arms, her eyes were those of my mother, and in the child’s free hand was a darning needle.

Atticus twisted away from the death blow, but still, the possessed child slashed and stabbed with wanton glee. She battered Atticus to the floor and would have killed him had I not intervened.

I dragged her off of him, and I bear the scars of the needle still.

It is a terrible thing to kill a man’s child in front of him.

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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

March 27, 1943

Philip Coffin wandered the streets of Cross for 63 years.

In 1883, at the age of 10, Philip Coffin was taken out of school and given the Watchman’s Clock after his father was beaten to death on Olive Street.

Philip accepted his new responsibility easily, and put on the traditional black of the Coffins.

Around Cross there are dozens of keys that must be used to wind the Watchman’s Clock. Each night, before his shift began, Philip would learn in which order the keys needed to be used, and at which time.

Through the use of his clock, Philip kept back the monsters that roamed the dark. He served as a conduit for the magic within the keys, bridging the distance between life and death for the entire town at times.

By 1943, Philip was growing tired, and he knew his time was short.

The patterns for the keys was changing rapidly, sometimes in the middle of his shift.

Philip had never married.

There were no children for him to pass his legacy of guardianship onto.

On March 27, 1943, Philip stumbled.

Some people on Washington Street heard a commotion close to two in the morning, but it sounded like nothing more than a pair of feral cats fighting over trash.

When dawn graced the town, a boy delivering papers found the Watchman’s Clock, and a splatter of blood on the wall of 54 Washington Street.

Nothing more was ever found of Philip.

The Watchman’s Clock is currently on display in the library of the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University and any interested in the position of town watchman is invited to apply.

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March 19, 1942

Why do the dead linger?

The citizens of Cross have no answer for this, although many wish they did. Perhaps then, they argue, the dead might be put to rest.

Hawkins’ Mill is located at the widest part of Murders’ Creek, and until 1943, the Mill was still used by descendants of the Hawkins family.

On March 17, 1942, Carl Hawkins went into Murders’ Creek to examine an issue with the wheel. His brother and cousin watched as he went into the cold water, swearing and declaring – adamantly – that the world hated him.

It seemed Carl was correct.

His hand became caught in the wheel, and for a moment the wheel was freed, jerking Carl around and pulling him beneath the frigid water.

But then the wheel stopped, and the man did not surface, although his feet kicked up and out of the water.

His brother and cousins leaped into Murders’ Creek to assist him, but it was no use.

By the time they freed him, Carl was dead.

March 19, 1942, a day after his internment in the family crypt, the ghost of Carl Hawkins returned to work.

He wasn’t happy to be dead.

From the moment the mill opened, until the moment it closed that day, Carl Hawkins screamed about the ineffectuality of his relatives.

It continued the next day, and the day after.

Following a week of profanity laden diatribes, the Hawkins family brought in a priest and hoped for an exorcism.

The action only angered Carl.

He tore up machinery in the night and hung living rats from the rafters.

Each day, it seemed, was worse than the one before.

Finally, after a full year of spectral abuse, the Hawkins family closed the mill on March 19, 1943.

Carl can still be heard screaming in outrage when the wind shifts.

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March 9, 1868

Vengeance is often a bitter draught.

On March 9, 1868, former Confederate sergeant Antoine de Sainte Beauvoir arrived in Cross. His purpose, as he had told friends and family prior to his departure, was to avenge his three brothers and his father, as well as several uncles and a baker’s dozen worth of cousins.

All this could be done with the slaying of one man: Duncan Blood.

In the heat of battle, during the war between the States, the Sainte Beauvoir Militia (made up of relatives along both the paternal and maternal lines) attempted a raid upon nearby Federal forces.

The militia was foiled in this by Duncan Blood, who had first fought Indians before the United States was a country.

The few survivors, including Sergeant Antoine, were adamant that they had faced at least a company size force of Federals. In all actuality, they ran into Duncan Blood, and no one else.

He had shown the militia no mercy, killing the wounded as he cut a bloody swath through their ranks. In the end, Sergeant Antoine and three others lived because they had fled the battle.

Furious at having been put to flight by a single man, Sergeant Antoine vowed to find Duncan Blood and exact his revenge.

On March 9, he attempted to do just that.

He found Duncan Blood in the street, and he called Duncan out.

Duncan, who had left the general store carrying a new hatchet, killed Antoine where he stood. Then, much to the horror of all, Duncan scalped the man.

When asked why, Duncan replied, “What was good for his father was good enough for him.”

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February 28, 1901

What do we know of madness?

This was a question that Dr. George Merrimac asked himself, and it was a question he valiantly sought to answer.

George was an accomplished psychologist, one whom many of his colleagues went to when dealing with particularly troublesome patients. In a time when hysteria was a common diagnosis for any woman who failed to fall in line with the standards of society, George was an outspoken opponent of such a diagnosis.

Thus, when George, a widower, retired at the age of 68 to Cross, it was unsurprising that he sought to help those who were tucked away in the maddening labyrinth of lunatic asylums and poor houses.

In an effort to determine how imprisonment affected the perception of reality, George purchased an old ‘coffin,’ a device used in Vienna, Austria to restrain lunatics.

He wrote a letter to Dr. Mitchell Anderson, a colleague in Boston, requesting that the man visit him at his home on 1st of March 1899. The letter contained explicit instructions on where to find a key to the home and, more importantly, the key Dr. Merrimac’s private study in the basement.

Dr. Anderson received the letter on the 27th of February 1901.

Curious as to why his friend wanted him to visit, and why he had left such detailed instructions, Dr. Anderson traveled to Cross on February 28, 1901. Once inside his friend’s home, Mitchell was disturbed by the dust on the furniture.

With a rising sense of panic, Mitchell descended the stairs to the private study, let himself in, and found the remains of Dr. Merrimac in the ‘coffin.’

When Mitchell managed to open the device, the remnants of George fell out, and two facts were painfully clear.

The first, Dr. Merrimack’s fingernails were embedded in the wood of the door.

And the second, the corpse’s teeth were ground to nubs.

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February 26, 1920

What would it be like to meet your double?

While much of the world theorizes and wonders whether the multiverse exists, many in Cross do not.

They know, first hand, that parallel universes, alternate planes of existence, and the maddening structure of the multiverse, all exist.

Few, however, can speak so succinctly upon the idea as Hazel Clay.

Or rather, who most people believe to be Hazel Clay.

On February 26th, 1920, another version of Cross bled through the thin fabric of the universe in front of the Cross Social Library, and it was Hazel Clay who found it.

And it was Hazel Clay who came through.

Both versions of Hazel were holding their dogs, and both women were wearing the same clothes. Their hair was identical, as were the expressions of shock on their faces.

Witnesses state that both women spoke at the same time, yet none of the words were decipherable. It was as if the two versions were so in tune that a new and brilliant language sprang up for those few minutes they were together.

Reports stated that the universes pulsed around the women. Waves of light and darkness, truth and lies, flowed about them, pulling and pushing at reality.

Finally, after nearly five minutes, the ground around the women shuddered and they were hidden by a black shape.

When it cleared, only one Hazel Clay remained. She held her dog in her arms, and smiled and called to those she knew.

Over the years, she has professed to be herself, which she undoubtedly is. But she does not know certain people, and has no memory of events in which she played a key role.

Thus it was that in 1921, Hazel filed for divorce on the grounds that she had never been married, and had never met her alleged husband.

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