The Shadows of Lonesome Hollow
This book is titled "The Shadows of Lonesome Hollow." It is the story of a village filled with strange people and the visitor that witnessed their horrific ceremony.
The following tale was told to me by my father, which he had heard from his father's father. I won't be alive too much longer, and I have no son to tell this story to. Therefore I will record it in this book. Perhaps someone will find it and pass the story along, keeping the warning alive.
Many years ago, there was a community of people that lived not far from here. Having chosen to live away from the big city, they were a very private people. They did not even have an available tavern for the wandering visitor. One such visitor was my great-grandfather, Daramain. Having suffered grievous wounds by an attack from a hungry pack of wolves, he sought shelter in their village.
Though he bled profusely, it would seem that no one in the village would acknowledge his cries for help. He would watch as the villagers would peek at him from behind closed curtains, but no one would come to his assistance. Just when he thought he would die from his wounds, a young woman came out of her house and began tending his wounds.
Taking him inside, she argued with her parents that they couldn't just let him die out upon their doorstep. After finally agreeing, they took him up to their attic and allowed the young woman to assist him in his convalescence. No clerics lived within the village, so Daramain would only be able to rely upon natural healing to heal his wounds.
For the next several weeks, Daramain would slowly regain his strength though the help of this young woman. She introduced herself as Marilitha, and said that he would need to leave the village by the full moon, which was only a few days away. The urgency in her eyes filled Daramain with a sense of unease.
That night, as he lay sleeping in the attic, he heard some sounds coming from the town courtyard below. Dragging himself to the window from his bed, he watched the townsfolk in the village's courtyard. They appeared to be erecting some type of wooden structure similar to a gallows pole. Behind the gallows pole was a sheet of odd looking marble that stood about a man's height. Daramain was unsure of the purpose of the stone.
Each day, Marilitha would check on his health and urge him to try to build his strength at a quicker pace. She alerted him on the night before full moon that it was imperative he leave. By now Daramain was getting rather worried when speaking with her. He could see fear in her eyes as she would speak with him, and felt there were words that she stopped short of speaking.
On the day of the full moon, Marilitha did not come to see to his wounds. Daramain, having taken her warning, gathered his belongings together and braced himself for a long journey across the endless plains. As he approached his door, he found it to be locked. He began to panic with the girl's warnings ringing in his ears. In his weakened state, he was not strong enough to bash the door down. Using everything he could find, he began attacking the door with all the strength he could summon. Eventually, he was able to break open the door, but by now night had already fallen.
Limping out of the house, Daramain spotted the entire village congregating around the gallows beneath the full moon. Hanging from a rope was Marilitha, neck broken and dangling to the side. Her shadow, cast upon the marble sheet from the bright moon, was being traced by one of the villagers. When they lowered the body, however, her shadow remained. And started moving on its own.
Marilitha's corpse then stood up, dusted off, shook hands with her shadows and then joined the crowd. That's when Daramain noticed that not a single villager cast a shadow in the bright moonlight. By the time the villagers had entered his room, he was already miles away. Several months later he returned with a large posse intent on destroying this village of undead creatures. But sadly, there was no trace the village ever existed. But it did. And this is my warning to you, reader. This was true. This was real. And those shadowy people are still out there.