The Hollow is filled with horrors and curiosities.
More often than not, they are one and the same.
This point was brought home to my father in an entry he titled, ‘The Waterfall.’
‘I know not where or when I am. The men I saw this morning looked strange yet almost familiar. I was not close enough to hear them, though I observed their actions and their fate.
‘It was difficult not to.
‘I had taken a seat beneath a fir tree, and I was well hidden and warm despite the weather. The sound of the waterfall was pleasant, and it offered a small bit of respite from the incessant marching that I found myself doing.
‘As I sat and considered the strange situation I am currently in, movement caught my eye, and I saw three men stride onto a narrow bridge over the falls. Two took up a position off to the left, and the third stationed himself on the right. They were dressed for the weather and were focused solely upon their task.
‘The two men chanted in tones that were indecipherable, and the third watched them. The water in the pond appeared to boil. Bubbles rose to the surface, popped, and hissed, releasing a noxious odor that I could smell from my place. Had I not been concerned about missing whatever performance was about to occur, I would have taken my leave of the place.
‘As it was, I stayed.
‘Within less than a minute, great black tentacles rose up from the depths of the pond and lashed out. They took hold of the pair of men and dragged them into the water, and neither man said a word. As they vanished beneath the surface, the remaining man tilted his head back, opened his mouth, and waited all of a heartbeat before another tentacle snaked out and burrowed into his mouth.
‘The tentacle disappeared into the man completely, and he stiffened as though frozen. Then, as I blinked, he burst apart, leaving nothing more than steaming meat and blood splattered about the bridge.
‘After a short time, I got to my feet and found a better place to rest. One a bit farther from the pond.
‘I had no desire to learn how far of a reach the tentacles had.’