All Dreams Defiled(Tales From Jones Hollow 3)
It was a day quite unlike any other in the recent history of Jones Hollow. Something grisly had been revealed to the townspeople courtesy of the forces of nature, and it was truly only the tip of the iceberg as far as the darkness within the town was concerned. Evil had been bubbling and brewing underneath the peaceful skies since time immemorial, and now, after countless decades, that primordial darkness’ hand was finally revealed. Late in the previous night, a rageful, torrential downpour had begun, quickly undoing hastily performed dark work. Two rushed, shallow graves had been uncovered in Serin Grove, and a couple who had been hiking through the area discovered the bodies of one Lily Carson, and one Parker Graves, both freshly butchered. In fact, the Carson girl was so fresh, it had been decided the murderer had dispatched her right there in the grove. The other body appeared to have been dismembered for quite a bit longer. Families rose up with fear and concern, while cold and forgotten missing persons cases were looked at with new interest. All of this led to the authorities being prompted to search the grove for more graves. Many more were found. Many missing persons were found in them. Though none of the bodies showed ligature marks, the townspeople took to calling the enigmatic mastermind of this nightmare “The Hangman of the Grove”. While I liked the name, it just didn't… click. The “Hangman” themself wouldn't like it. I was certain of that. Being in my position of power gave me certain privileges, and I was able to use these to access the crime scene. Something I noticed, which I doubted anyone else would for a while, was that the killer had an affinity for plants of all sorts, and seemed to mark the graves atop his burial mound with various sorts of them. This revelation gave me the insight which led to my preferred name for this fellow shadow walker. His true name. He couldn't have known it, but we were facing off. We had been for a long time, and yet… I'm just now aware of him. Was he aware of me? Likely. Who didn't know Perseus Stanton, at least by name? I'd gained some level of infamy as of the last couple of months. Or was it years? One of the two. I had even heard it rumored that I was immortal, and a ruthless revenant. Neither were particularly close to the truth, but I so enjoy stories. Fear made the best stories, the kind of stories that withstand the tests of time, the kinds of stories children pass down to grandchildren until the end of everything… The various boogeymen, Krampus, vengeful spirits, and all of the many agents of evil and chaos we hear about throughout our entire lives. One thing created them, and that is fear. Sure, there are other stories spawned by other things, such as joy, bravery, and hatred, but none are as mighty and enduring as fear. This is a fact which my crimson counterpart is no doubt beginning to realize. Soon, our tales will meet. Yes, under some shadow on a particularly haunted night, in the darkest abyss our world has known, we shall meet. I swear this. I'll ensure it. Pleased to meet you, Greenthumb.

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