Twenty-seventh of May, Seventeen Fifty Three
Liz, I am unsure if you received my previous letter. The watchman, Thomas, spied a column of troops marching into town. They veered toward the house and two of them broke through a window, the monsters nearly followed them into the dining room. At this point, only three windows remain intact, all on the second story.
The two fresh-faced young men reported that the town was overrun. They had been ordered to “secure the area” and keep the beasts from attacking the outlying estates, such as ours. Louis laughed, desperately, for the first time in weeks as he gestured to the decaying arms clawing through the space previously filled with crystal clear glass. The soldiers looked somewhat abashed and admitted that command underestimated the “re-animation threat.”
I gave them the letter I wrote, the shorter one promised to post it straightaway. The taller one assured us that help was en-route. Another battalion would bring weapons, food, and water before the end of the week.
He lied. Perhaps that is unfair, perhaps something went wrong, perhaps he was unable to send my letter to you. Perhaps perhaps perhaps. Nothing is certain anymore. Apart from those soldiers, we have had no contact with anyone since this debacle began. If the town is destroyed, how much longer do we have left?
Elizabeth, something happened. Shouts and shots echoed down to the cellar, which almost feels like home. The men had all the muskets, so we took a few kitchen knives and rushed upstairs. The beast-men filled the house, reeking and howling in every room. The shrieks had ceased, sounds of ripping and tearing took their place. A cook and a maid, Isobel and Marie, stabbed one of the attackers. Another shambled forward and bit Isobel’s neck. It bit her like a toffee and chewed. I— I tremble to think about it. Her screams were horrible. We ran back into the cellar and barred the door. That was four days ago, we can still see shadows moving around the kitchen through the gap along the floor. They moan and bang against the door, the bar has held thus far.
The lantern was smashed in all the confusion, so it is quite dark down here. But after all this time, I know the cellar better than I remember my old rooms. Sometimes, light peeks under the door, but the tiles are covered in blood, so no one wants to spend much time at the top of the stairs. That is where I write to you.
I pray that the situation in Warwickshire is preferable to this. Stay safe.
The water is gone. We tried choking down the dry cornmeal, but it was impossible, and decidedly unladylike, not that it matters anymore. My mouth is so dry. Victoria cannot stop coughing and the beasts have started hammering on the remains of the door. We set a guard at the top of the stairs, to cut down any of them that break through. There is black blood all over the steps, I
[The enclosed document was recovered from the Carter Estate outside Halstead, Essex on the fourteenth of June, 1753 by the Colchester Garrison.]