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The Woodcutter

Tonight I walked the crisp city streets, enjoying the majestic architecture in gloomy moonlit tones. The midnight scenery suits my mood. I’ve been struggling to contain a restless energy of late. It is an affliction I have battled my entire life. Ideas keep me awake, vague, unformed ideas. I’m not always sure they are benign.

It was in Clockhaven where I met the woodcutter. A big man by the name of Peter Feldspar.

“Peter Feldspar!” I exclaimed. It was practically sacrilege. “How is it a common woodcutter bears the name of one of the church’s greatest builders, an extraordinary worker of stone?”

“I’ve heard your legends,” replied the woodcutter, his axe resting easily upon his shoulder. “My name’s my name and that’s all there is to it. Besides, we have bigger concerns than your church fables.”

I was at first incensed that he should be so brazen as to belittle our church history but then a sense of caution took hold. “What bigger concerns?”

The woodcutter bent close and pointed toward an alley. “Down there,” he spoke no louder than a whisper. On his breath I could detect no scent of alcohol. “There were two of them. Lanky, terrible creatures, like men but with longer arms and legs. They had blood all over their mouths and hands.” The woodcutter paused and swallowed several times before continuing. “Them two devils saw me. Looked me right in the eye. I saw a cold intelligence staring back at me. I had me axe in hand and at the ready. Those vile creatures knew I meant business and maybe that’s why they hesitated. A second later and you come by. I guess they figured two of us was more trouble than worth. They ran off deeper into the shadows.”

“Shall we go investigate?” I asked. My fingertips tingled with nerves as I spoke. For the record, I do not believe in monster, devils or demons, yet it was evident the woodcutter believed he had seen something sinister so I was curious.

The big man nodded and led the way down the alley. It wasn’t long before we’d come to an end, our search had been unsuccessful.

“Don’t start thinking Peter Feldspar is a fool!” The woodcutter said to me. “I saw what I saw.”

I believed him. Even now that I am safely back at the institute behind closed doors. I believe he saw something sinister. I just don’t believe it was supernatural.

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