Murder in Cross: December 27, 1948


Randall Savage had worked for his uncle, Herman, for nearly ten years. In 1946, Herman died when he was thrown by his horse, leaving his home to Randall, who continued to work the land.

I learned of Herman’s death this afternoon, and of his last will and testament as well.

Neither pleased me, so I went to visit Randall at the Savage farm.

He wasn’t in the house when I arrived, so I went out to search the property for him. Instead of finding Randall, I found his hobby.

It was in the last and oldest of the farm’s three barns, an old structure that I had helped to raise myself before the colonies broke away from King George. There, in that building, I found fourteen naked bodies, all young women. They had been dead for some time, and they had died badly from what I could see.

I searched the barn for any sign as to who they were, or where they might have come by, but there was nothing. Randall had robbed them not only of their lives but of their histories as well.

I set fire to the barn and searched in earnest.

A short time later, I found him. He’d been tapping the maple trees again, though I know not for what purpose, but it was a gift to me. His attention was on the thick snow and not ahead of him so, he was quite surprised when I struck him in the stomach with enough force to cause him to vomit.

With Randall still puking up his breakfast, I dragged him to the nearest tree and stripped him bare. As he regained his senses, he recognized me and seemed to understand what I was about to do.

While I bound him to the tree with his own clothes, he begged me not to kill him. Not to torture him.

I didn’t listen to him. Instead, with the memory of the wounds upon the corpses fresh in my mind, I took out my knife and did my best to replicate them.

By nightfall, the man was dead, and my arm was tired.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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