Devil’s Nest – Part I
The art of story telling is a well-earned talent but some have better luck at weaving these sorted tales of horror than others, some have lived them.
It was a black rainy morning outside the towns general store and inside, a crowd started forming near the fireplace that was always kept burning near the front of the store. One of the gloom faced men spoke up, “When are we going to do it?” asked Paul, the youngest of the bunch.
He was about twenty and a fairly large man and he was lanky enough to take on most men in the town in a fight and win. “We can’t rush this. We don’t want to get anyone hurt this time,” said Jake. He was one of the older men who had lived in the town since he was a boy. He continued, ” We do this every ten years and if we do it the right way, every one goes home to their families, now we’re going to do it the right way or not at all”. “What do you mean” replied Paul, “I have always been told that if we did not go up there and do it before midnight they would come down here and that’s what got my father and grandfather killed. Now I say we go while it’s early and light out.” “It won’t matter,” said one in the crowd. “There is no danger until midnight” said Jake, “And by the time we get there, it should be way before that, so we have some time to plan”. “Plan what?” shouted Paul “It’s simple, we go up there and check the grave to see if they have been disturbed, if so we dig’em up and kill the bastards before they can come down here and kill us or our families”. Paul’s words caused six or seven of the wet rabble to voice their agreement. Just then the crowd started to part at the entrance to front door and a small frail figure of a man walked in. All was silent as he walked slowly to the counter near the fire. When he raised his head to speak, he exposed a sight that made most of the men in the room swallow and take a deep unsettling breath. The man was shabbily dressed as if he were a homeless person but if you looked closely the dirtied; formally white collar of a holy man could be seen. “Father Benjamin” said Paul ” Are you ready? “Yes, we must hurry though, the lady still has to choose” as he turned and quietly walked out, as the lion’s share of the men followed including Paul and Jake.
It had just gone dark but with the rain coming down so steadily it seemed as though it had been dark forever and raining at least as long.
A few hundred yards up the path the group stopped in front of a small cottage and rang a bell on a fence out front. Within a short time, a silver headed woman appeared at the window and waived father Benjamin to come closer to the slightly opened window. He spoke to her and she whispered back. “Every one take off your caps so she can see your faces and walk across the porch slowly, Jake, hold a light so she can see”. The men complied and the woman watched carefully until they had all cleared the porch and then she whispered something to the father and disappeared back into the dim light of her cottage. The rain was sheeting as the men placed their hats back onto their heads and their nervous grumblings were almost muffled by the approaching thunder.
The father placed his hand on the right shoulder of the men who were dismissed and they turned and started the regretful walk home. All wished to participate but all knew the law, only those chosen by the woman’s vision can proceed up the hill to “Devils Nest”. When the dismissed men had all gone, only seven figures still stood in the pouring rain.
A Chance Meeting
The 8 on Broad Street