August 20, 1954


It was an echo and nothing more.

I told myself this as I stood outside, breathing in fresh air, and preparing for a day of exploration. The sun attempted to cut through the clouds, and I admired the beauty of some of the building’s architecture. I took out my pipe and for the first time in days, enjoyed a smoke. There had been undeniable rough spots within the orphanage and hospital, but there was hope that not all the days would be difficult.

As I stood in the sun, smoking, and thinking of both the future and the past, I heard screaming.

The sun’s rays illuminated a section of the hospital where the windows were covered in metal grating. Through it, I caught sight of children.

Dozens and dozens of children. Their heads were shaved, and they wore rough-spun, undyed woolen nightshirts. Their eyes were wide, and their mouths open. The screams which issued forth from those mouths were both terrifying and pitiful.

For nearly a full five minutes, those children screamed. Then, a bell rang in the distance, and as one, they closed their mouths. Nurses came in behind them, and I saw the rise and fall of thick leather straps. The children did not shy away or cringe as they were beaten away by the nurses.

I stood there, my pipe forgotten, and I speak a lie to myself.

It was an echo and nothing more.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #asylum #insane #ghoststories

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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