Murder in Cross: December 9, 1897


Patrolman Giles James was not a bad man. He wasn’t a good man, either. How he came to be one of the few patrolmen employed by Cross is easy enough to answer: his father was, for a short time, the town manager.

The night of December 9th was exceptionally cold, and one which I was forced to be out in. A rather raucous group of fey had slipped the borders of my land and were wreaking havoc on nearby farms. I could hear the baying of dogs and the angry cries of horses in the night air, and so I was doing my best to wrangle the fey, attempting to convince them that it was in their best interest to return home.

Around ten, I came upon the house of Klaus Hapsburg, an older German who had emigrated years before following the Franco-Prussian War. As I considered going in to warm up and to see if Klaus had any of his schnapps on hand, I heard a scream from within.

I hastened to the door, threw it wide, and saw a scene of pure horror.

Klaus was hanging by his feet from the center beam in front of his fireplace. Patrolman Giles James stood there, his hands deep in Klaus’ belly and whistling as he pulled the man’s intestines out.

Klaus, I saw, was dead.

Giles would wish he was.

The patrolman turned and looked at me in surprise, and as he reached for a knife on the mantle, I shot him in each shoulder. His eyes widened, and he let out a cry of pure misery.

While I dragged him out of the house, he told me he only wanted to know what it was like to kill someone.

I didn’t answer.

Instead, I brought him into the woods and dragged him the mile to Blood Lake. Once there, I pushed him on to the ice and told him to crawl. He objected, at first, but a few well-placed rounds sent him on his way.

He made it 30 feet before the ice broke beneath him.

I am pleased to say that his body was never discovered.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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