January 24, 1914


The station’s death was heard by everyone in Cross.

On the morning of January 24th, 1914, a horrific and terrifying scream pierced the stillness of the town. Within minutes the police department reported that the permanent line to the Lifesaving Station by the lighthouse was broken.

Dozens of men, women, and children raced out to the station, and were shocked into silence by what they saw.

Two of the station’s three buildings were in a state of total disrepair, with one turned on its side. The third building, the one that housed the permanent watchman for the organization, was missing.

Burt Elwood, the watchman, was gone, as were his son and his dog. The man’s boots were there, empty upon the land, but that was all.

After nearly half a day of searching in vain, the rescuers found Albert Elwood, Burt’s young, 10-year-old son.

He was found in a whaleboat drifting nearly a mile off the coast.

His story, when it was finally told, was as disturbing as it was disheartening.

As he and his father ate their breakfast, a creature had emerged from the Atlantic. To Albert, the beast had been a gigantic devilfish, its long arms snaking out of the surf to wrap around the houses and crush them.

He and his father had been in trying to escape the house when the creature turned its attention on them. A large, writhing arm had crushed the windows and snapped the door, leaving only a small space through which Albert could escape.

After the destruction of the house and his father’s death, Albert could not remember how he came to be in a whaleboat on the ocean.

Albert was convinced that his father had been the one to put him in the boat and that his father and the dog were still alive on the ocean.

Three nights later, Albert escaped from the custody of the police, and he was last seen flinging himself into the cold embrace of the Atlantic.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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