Murder in Cross: December 25, 1940


I tracked him from Cross to New London, Connecticut.

His name was Albert Franks, and he was a professor of ancient languages at Cross Branch of Miskatonic University. It was he who had brought forth the creature I had killed two years earlier on Christmas Eve, and it was he who had lured the young man from Athol. Professor Franks had done so with the promise of work, for the young man had been destitute and hoping to provide for his mother and younger siblings.

When I found Albert, he was sitting in his mother’s home, sitting between two of his sisters. Because of the revelry going on, none of them had heard me enter. For several minutes I stood in the kitchen, listening to them talk. Albert, it seemed, shared all his ideas and hopes with his family, and they, in turn, supported him fully. I listened with growing disgust as he elaborated on his plans to gather up several more sacrificial victims to see if he could open up a door within the school to one of the other worlds. When I heard his mother suggest some of the ‘street urchins’ who could be found on the wharf, I decided I had listened to enough.

I stepped into the room with my pistols drawn, and all looked upon me with surprise. While his siblings and mother argued that they had nothing to steal, Professor Franks understood who I was and why I was there.

To his credit, the man did not run, nor did he beg.

He was horrified, though, when I gunned down his family around him, the guns roaring in the confines of the room. As their blood and brains splattered him, he sat immobilized, too shocked to react.

And that was fine.

A single round through his forehead ended the hunt, and a bit of turkey quieted my hunger for the ride home to Cross.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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