Nickos Papolagoes, Journal
My name is Nickos Papolagoes . my sister told me to start keeping a journal, “just write it all down as if talking to someone”.
I was born in a small village near Athens, Greece. Father, the local blacksmith, and mother, a good cook. We lived in Greece until I was five years old. Just after my sister Racheal was born, named after a good friend of my parents. Mrs. Smith died a few months after Racheal was born, I don’t know how or why. When I asked, I was shushed and asked to leave the room. Two days later me and my family were on a ship going to America. I was told that we are helping Mr. Smith who wanted to bury his wife in America .next to her parents, I think. And something about us starting a new, better life.
We settle in a small town, not far from the Forth Worth stockyards. Near enough to get all the gossip but none of the trouble.
I went to school until I was thirteen. I broke a kids arm, he was messing with Racheal. After that, I was working with father, as his assistant. Or any job he could find for me; carpenter, carry rocks to make a rock wall, build a chimney on the side of a three story building. Racheal made it a point to teach me all that she was learning in school. She told me once,”you WILL learn this, or I will crack your skull open and shove these books inside!” I don’t think Rachael is strong enough to pick up a hammer big enough to crack my head open, but I do know she would find a way how.
Life was ‘normal’ up to about a month after my twentieth birthday. An old cowboy asked me to turn a handful of silver nuggets into a silver rose for his sweetheart. I told him I was not a silversmith, but he insisted. I think I got most of the silver more on the anvil than the rose I made. But he loved it, even gave me a big tip. (I tried to refuse, but he would not hear of it)
Later that night I hear something moving around downstairs in the shop. I go downstairs thinking it’s another raccoon again. I walk in and find myself facing a seven foot tall mass of fur and fangs. I thought to myself ‘if it gets passed me to the stairs, the family would not have a chance’. I barely got my hands on fathers’ biggest hammer when the fight started. I hit it several times; it seemed not to feel any of the hammer blows. It just pushed me back away from it when I hear a intake of breath. Racheal was at the bottom of the stairs with the monster just a few feet way. Time seemed to slow down; it was turning its head towards Racheal. I do not remember picking up the anvil or even throwing it. I saw the anvil smash into the things chest and carry it through the wall behind it. I must have finally hurt it, because it ran off into the darkness holding its chest.
With all the noise me and the monster made, several people came by to ‘help’. Racheal quickly told them that a stranger tried to rob us, but “my brother threw him through the wall” and she gave me a look to say nothing. I did. With the body size hole in the wall, how big I am, everybody believed it. Racheal made me go upstairs and get cleaned up while she got everybody out of the shop.
Mother saw the scratches all over me and started to make a fuss. ( I do not remember getting any scratches at all). Racheal finally comes upstairs, says that the shop is all locked up,”well, not the hole in the wall”. This is where the REAL story comes out. We all get real quiet, I am sent to bed.
In the morning mother made me the biggest breakfast I ate in a long time. After breakfast Father told me to fix the hole. “You made it, you fix it.” I asked if he could help me, but he said “I got to go brag about how strong my son is”.
I see a stranger come into town, nothing odd about that, but he seemed to be looking for something.
People were staying away from the shop, I think Rachael and father was telling people I wanted to be alone. I see the stranger talking to Rachael up the street. I could not hear what was being said. He looked like he was being polite, he looked up at me, or the repairs I was making. He said something to Rachael then tipped his hat and walked off. Ten minutes later he rode off the direction the monster went in.
The next week seems like a big blur. People had jobs and repairs for me to do, some of them did not seem like they should have ever broke in the first place. Father was working in the shop and would not let me see what he was working on. At night Rachael started to tell me stories, mostly about monsters and how to kill them. When I asked her what is going on she said. “Remember the stranger that came into town the day after the monster? Well, he told me that he was a monster hunter. The ‘creature’ he was hunting should have killed you. It should have killed all of us. He said that once you get the scent of a monster hunter on you, they start coming after you.”
“He said if he can he will come back here to see if you would join him and his team. Mother, Father and I have talked about it, and think you should go with them”
My heart seemed to stop right there, leave my family?
“Nickos, this may be the only way to keep us safe. That monster is not the only one out there, you have to make the world safe for all of us.”
I cannot remember Rachael crying like that, but I did promise the help the stranger. It was the only way to get her to stop crying.
Seven or was it eight days after the ‘thing’ showed up, the stranger came back into town. As I was getting the nerve to walk to the hotel and talk to him, I spot a shotgun behind the kitchen door. I look around a little bit and find two more guns that can be gotten without difficulty.
I walk over and talk to the stranger; his name is ‘Spence’. He tells me that the ‘werewolf’ is no more. Him and ‘Jo’ took care of it. Jo is another recruit, short frail looking woman, but has several guns on her and seems to know how to use them. We talk for hours, mostly him telling me about what I am getting into. He tells me to tell my family good bye, send one more night with them while you can. When I get home, Mother, Father, and Racheal are waiting for me. We talk; get quiet, talk some more…
Father gives me some presents to help me ‘with my new job’. A leather vest, “to protect me from doggies’ long nails”, A work belt with shoulder straps and pockets, A complete tool kit, and a big ten pound hammer. One side of the hammer was cold iron and the other side silver.
In the morning, after breakfast, Father also gives me his old duster and hat. He said,” it high time I got me a new one anyways.”
We got onto a train going to New York City, we did not talk much, just did not have anything to say.
“Racheal, I promise, to do all I can to make this world a better and safe place to live.”
………………………………………………………………………………..A month or so has gone by since i last wrote anything here. Jo and I are staying at a ‘lodge’. it is really an theater, but any place with a warm bed and roof over head is good. I have been keeping busy fixing stuff up around the place. A couple of nights ago we went to a party. I was told we had to do stuff like this to get money to fund our ‘monster hunting’. the party was …the food was good. a lot of very well dressed people, when most of them heard i was a blacksmith or a ‘common worker’ they suddenly needed to be somewhere else. as Racheal would say,“it is their lost”. After the party, we were walking back into town (the car broke down). A couple of guys came out of the woods ahead of us and started to walk our way. the big one, shorter then me but just as much muscle, was holding the other guys arm. i think so he wouldn’t run off. as they get closer i hear Sawl ( more on everyone later ) say that the big one is a ‘hide’. knowing that this is one of the ‘monsters’ in this world i walk up to it to pick a fight. we push each other a little, it lets go of the little guy. and before it gets a chance to’get bigger with more muscle’ ( i am told they can do that ) Jo shots it. one of our group ran off to the house we just came from to get help as soon as this all started. so right after the ‘hide’ was dead we heard a wagon coming up the road. o yea, the little guy ran off into the woods, we did not find him. at least he is freed of the ‘hide’. Sawl tells the people that he shots the guy after he tryed to attack us. the man who was having the party said ‘thank you’ and gave Sawl a silver dollar. we take the ‘hide’ to the morge so Sawl can look at it. the rest of us go home. the smart guys start trying to figure out whats going on, i know to stay out of the way. they heard of something strange going on in a museeum ( place with very old stuff ), i go with to protect them if need be. we get to the museeum after someone cleaned up the place and fixed the ‘dissplay’ cases. ( they had ‘crok-o-die-ls’ mummies in them ) (long dead big lisards ).
them cleaning up the place made Sawl and Johnathan and little miffed.
we get a invite to come back and talk to the manager after closing. Claud finds out that some foringers are also coming to talk to the manager after closing but before we were told to get there. we get to the museeum right as the foringers go in, we sneak in after them ( i let the others sneak in, i followed way behind them. yes, me and my cloomping feet ).
the foringers did something to the big lisards mummies things, made them come back to life ( well, they were moving on their own ) ( they were now ‘monsters’). the manager was killed by one of the lisards. thats when we came in. I was swinging my hammer, Sawl and Jo was shoting the foringers, Johnathan … wiggled his fingers, said something strange, and big ass fireflies shots out of his fingers and into one of the lisards, hurts it too. I smash it flat with my hammer. I then go after the other one (there was two big lisards ) Jo and Sawl keep shoting the foringers so they won’t stop me from smashing the lisard flat. one of the bad guys runs off, we case him into the park. but he gets away anyways.
David Broms says we have to leave town for a little while. ‘untill things kool down’, i think it is a way to to hide me. ( not a easy thing to do ).
David Broms runs the lodge
Jo, she is a cowboy…cowgirl. shots very well
Claud is ex english army. he also work with shipin stuff
Sawl is a police officer. he works with dead bodies to find out who killed them and how.
Johnathan…he is a talker, got one of those ‘winning’ smiles. I think he is a ‘wisards’ like in the storys.
well, i got to get my stuff packed onto the wagon .