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Jude is a troubled man, a man who is fighting the ghosts from his past, monsters of flesh and blood and bone. As Jude (aptly named by his mother after the patron saint of lost causes) reaches the lake, bloodied and out of breath – it’s clear that he’s running from something. But what?
In the calm vista that is before him Jude pulls from his shoulder his trusty satchel.
Within Jude has collected totems from his past, trophies from the monsters that haunted his childhood – macabre rewards of the revenge he’s enacted for him and his brother Kyle, each one is a memory, each one is a sacrifice, each one is a pain and torment realised and released – all of them a declaration of love for his brother Kyle.
At the water’s edge Jude begins to sift through the items and with each tainted artefact he is forced to remember his troubled upbringing, his childhood that caused him to grow up too soon at the hands of his abusive father and uncles – with their shield of protection gone, the beasts… they soon came to feed.
And so we wait under the weight of tragedy, suffocated by the brutality of childhoods lost to abuse and we wait for Jude’s final judgement.
Because after all is said and done; only the stains remain.
Ross Jeffery is the Bram Stoker nominated and Splatterpunk Award nominated author of Tome, Juniper & Tethered. A Bristol based writer and Executive Director of Books for STORGY Magazine. Ross has been published in print with with a number of anthologies. His work has also appeared in various online journals. Ross lives in Bristol with his wife (Anna) and two children (Eva and Sophie). You can follow him on Twitter here @Ross1982