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The Dying Place

+ A Short Tale of Horror +

by D. Alexander Ward

Published by D. Alexander Ward at Smashwords

Copyright 2011 by D. Alexander Ward

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The darkness soaked the mountain in its suffocating, inky embrace, punctuated only by the rolling and shifting rivers of shadow, borne by the wind, that slithered among the highest branches of the trees. On the porch of an old cabin there sat a man in a rocking chair, sipping generously from a bottle of white lightning with a shotgun lying across his lap. With grand determination, the man had come to this place—his ancestral home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. He had come here to die, and die he would, though not in the way he had intended. As the shadows in the trees shifted and grew closer, he rose and slowly shuffled his way inside. Leaning the shotgun against the cellar door, he took a seat in the nearby chair and picked up the dog-eared spiral notebook in which he had scrawled the events of the last few days. As he flipped through its pages, barely able to read the words within, he felt his attention being drawn to the family quilt that lay folded over the arm of the couch next to him. Its seemingly random patterns were the result of generations of his kin having repaired it, adding new pieces as the years drove on. The last square bit had been added by his own mother when he was a child, years ago in a time that now seemed like another life. Her contribution would be the last. Staring at the old cloth, he dwelled fondly on times gone by before his thoughts turned to these past few days, the last days of his life.

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