From Blood’s History of Cross

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Flashback!

From September 3rd to September 5th of 1892, a storm raged through Cross.

Lightning tore through fields, destroyed buildings, and laid waste to crops. Thunder shook the siding off houses and the shingles from their roofs. Trees were felled by the shaking of the earth, and the train tracks leading into and out of Cross were warped.

On the morning of September 6th, the storm was over, and the ringing of a blacksmith’s hammer could be heard on the outskirts of town.

For eight days this continued, until the source of the noise was found to originating from Duncan Blood’s farm.

A group of townsfolk traveled to the farm and found a blacksmith working at his anvil. When the concerned citizens approached the shop, Duncan stepped out from the shadows and stopped them. Over his shoulder, they could see the blacksmith working on a sword, dozens of others were being sharpened by some of his apprentices. Old plows and shears hung on the walls and were stacked in piles around the shop, and they could see it was from these the blacksmith was transforming into swords.

When asked why the man was making so many swords, Duncan smiled and replied, “Because there are just some people in this world who need killing.”

The sound of the hammer rang out every day for 22 more years.

#horror #fear #art

Stories from the Sentinel: 1875

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He was long of face and short of temper.

Both of which served him well as a reporter for the Sentinel.

I’m sorry to say that more than a few people judged Jared Bendle on his appearance, and it was to their own detriment that they did. I’ve seen him sit outside a house, whittling at a piece of oak and listening to the folk inside talk about what they saw. Whatever information he gathered, he brought back to the Sentinel and wrote up as well as anyone might.

While he could abide being ignored, he couldn’t abide being picked upon, and it was his short temper that saved him in early November.

There had been some trouble with werewolves, and no one was quite certain where they were hiding.

I’d been out searching for the damned things, as had several of the old hands from the Cross Historical Society.

The werewolves found Jared Bendle first.

Or, I should say that he found them.

He was out wandering along North Road, searching for sign as the sun set, and two of the hairy bastards came over the wall at him.

I think, upon reflection, that they might have had him had they not tried to toy with him first. In Jared’s own words, it vexed him.

By the time I arrived, there was little for me to do. He had brained them into submission.

He was standing astride them both, his hands bloody as they gripped a fist-sized stone in each hand. Every time one of the werewolves made a noise, he smashed it in the head.

When Jared saw me, he nodded and stepped back.

My Colts, which I’d loaded with silver for my nightly excursions, thundered, and I killed the sons of bitches. The werewolves shifted into a pair of young men I’d never seen before, and when I looked to Jared, I saw a look of satisfaction on the man’s face.

“They called me an imbecile just this morning,” he mused. “I would have hit them harder if I’d known who they were.”

I nodded.

I would have done the same.

#horror #fear #art

Disaster and Calamity: Inferno

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Flashback to 10/17/19

In all honesty, I thought Jonathan Coffin had died in 1867 when fire tore through the small home he kept on an island in Blood Lake. Part of my reason for this belief was the length of time in which the fire burned: 72 years.

It was a smokeless, terrible fiend which could not be approached for fear of death. I forbade any attempts to examine the flames and threatened the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University with several lawsuits (which, it turns out, is the best way to repel any interest they might have in a subject).

On a warm day in October, I noticed that the fire no longer burned on what had become, not surprisingly, known as Fire Island by some of Cross’ less than imaginative residents.

As soon as I discovered the absence of flames, I set sail for the island and saw immediately that there were other intrepid investigators as well. I later learned that they were graduate students from Miskatonic, whose curiosity drove them forward.

It also cost them their lives.

I was pulling into the lee of the island when I heard gunshots. By the time I reached the students, I found all five of them dead, and Jonathan Coffin sitting in front of his home.

Luckily, Jonathan recognized me, and he allowed me to approach. I asked him where he had been for the past seven decades, and he shrugged.

“Don’t know,” he replied, “but it was hotter ‘n Hell.”

Well, I suppose he was right about that.

War: 8.9.1930

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The town lamented its dead.

Weeping greeted my ears as I broke camp and made my way eastward. It was a rolling, heartbreaking sound, and one with which I was well familiar.

The forest fell away to rent fields, crops churned beneath the plows of war. There would be famine, come the fall and winter, and far worse things if history was any judge of the future.

I found a road of hardpacked earth, and I followed it. The wind pushed at me from behind, and then, as the road curved, the wind shifted and carried with it the carrion stench of the battlefield and murder.

Crows watched me from broken trees, and the occasional raven sat higher up, a sergeant amongst the avian troops. Occasionally, a raven would call out a greeting to me. Though I did not know their names, it was clear that they knew mine. I waved in return, my BAR slung, and my Colts loosened in their holsters.

Dust rose with each footfall, and soon, I caught sight of a town. Yet the closer I drew to it, the louder the weeping became. Soon, my bones vibrated with the lamentations, and I knew it to be the town itself that mourned the dead.

The buildings were shattered. Walls tumbled, and roofs destroyed. Wells were fouled. All that had been good and right in the town was gone.

I saw broken bodies and clouds of black flies hovering above scattered pieces of meat, which had once been part of the townspeople.

Then, ahead of me, I saw a solitary figure.

As I drew nearer to it, I was able to recognize the figure as a child, perhaps no more than twelve or thirteen.

He was clearly dead, though standing upright. His eyes were missing, and his mouth was open. From the open mouth, past the blackened tongue and sunken cheeks, the cries of the town issued forth.

I was silent as I passed the dead mouthpiece.

There was nothing I could do. No words of comfort could I speak to this creature whose Joie de Vivre had been torn from its heart.

All I could do was kill those responsible.

Killing is something I can do.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

Flashback

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Hello! Here’s a flashback from January 5, 2019. I hope you enjoy it!

Like many New England towns, Cross is fiercely independent.

The town does not accept funds from either the Federal government or the State. This way, Cross regulates itself in many aspects of government, which other towns and cities cannot.

Since Cross is beholden to neither the Federal nor the State governments, it is not required to allow either to establish buildings or properties within the town’s borders.

Once, in 1921, shortly after the conclusion of the First World War, the Federal government attempted to house a medical research facility in an old building along the eastern border of Cross. Within this building, euphemistically called, Dawn’s Shining Light, doctors in the employ of the United States Army sought to incorporate the idea of the ‘men of steel’ as written about in Ernst Jünger’s memoir, Storm of Steel.

The doctors took this idea literally, seeking ways to graft steel to bone and sinew.

On the morning of January 5, 1921, a young woman was found wandering along the North Road. She was a mass of surgical scars and bandages.

When the local doctor was able to make her comfortable enough to speak, the young woman told of the facility, and what was taking place there.

A group of Cross citizens, many of them veterans of the First World War, gathered at Duncan Blood’s home, where they were presented with the information available.

As the evening light vanished, the Cross citizenry attacked. With covering fire from the women’s marksmanship group, Duncan led the attack on the building. The veterans forced their way in, but they were too late to save the other patients in the facility. The test subjects had been put to death.

The medical staff was captured alive, and they demanded to speak with their superior.

Duncan responded by drowning them all in a tub.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

In Gods’ Hollow: May 29, 1912

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I found the man sitting on the edge of Gods’ Hollow, a look of perplexity on his face.

For the past few weeks, there had been rumors in town of a strange man asking questions that no one was able to make any sense of. Those who had spoken with him could not seem to remember what he looked like, nor could they truly recall what he had asked about. All they knew was that they had been left with feelings of uncertainty and discomfort.

I had searched on an off for the better part of a week, all the while making sure my new charges were safe on their islands or in my home.

The stranger’s expression, combined with the fact that he was well-armed, caught my attention.

When I stopped a short distance from him, I called out and asked what the problem was.

“I’m looking for some boys,” he replied. “They are vandals.”

“Vandals?” I asked.

He nodded.

“What happened?” I let my hands rest on the Colts. He was distracted and didn’t notice.

“They worked for my mistress,” he informed me. “They killed her and set fire to our home.”

“Ah, vandals is an appropriate name then,” I nodded. “Are you alone in your searching?”

He shook his head. “No, there are a few of us. We are searching…towns such as yours.”

“What’s your name, friend?” I asked.

“Jeremiah,” he smiled. “And yours?”

“My name?” I asked, tilting my head towards him as though I hadn’t quite heard him.

He chuckled and leaned forward. “Yes, friend, what’s your name?”

“Duncan,” I grinned. “Duncan Blood.”

The man’s eyes widened, and he jerked back as he tried to get to his feet and aim his pistol with his left hand.

By the time he brought the pistol up, both my Colts had cleared leather, and the hammers were falling on the first of twelve rounds, all of which ended up in his chest.

I was surprised to find he was still breathing when I reached him, but I took his knife from his hand and kicked the pistol out of the other.

Lifting his ax up from the ground, I tested the weight and found it to my liking.

“Now,” I told him, “let’s see if your heart is as black as my mother’s.”

It wasn’t.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death