Duncan Blood’s Journal: 1909

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His tastes were abominable.

Howard Lucien arrived in Cross on the morning train from Worcester. He had only a small carryall and a letter of introduction, which he brought with him to the Cross Historical Society. According to the information contained within the letter, he was a professor of history from Hartford, Connecticut, and he was researching the efforts of small Massachusetts towns in the Revolutionary War.

Soon, Howard acquired rooms with the Black family in their boarding house, and he made himself indispensable when it came to tutoring some of the younger men as they prepared to head off to college.

Word from Pepperell and Groton, as well as Dunstable and Tyngsboro, however, was that some of their young men were going missing.

It is not unusual for the younger folk to travel.

But this was different.

I noticed that the number of men had increased ever since Howard Lucien had arrived in town, and I suspected he had something to do with it. As I prepared to speak with him on the subject, I was informed that one of the younger Coffin cousins had disappeared.

I went to speak with Howard, and I was informed by the Blacks’ maid that he had requested he not be bothered. He had received an important book in the mail and he was immersed in it.

I assured her that he would be pleased to see me, and I forced the issue.

As I climbed the stairs to his room at the top of the stairs, the strong smell of incense drifted down. It struck me as odd that he would burn it, and I hurried the rest of the way up. When I knocked on his door, he proclaimed that he was busy, and he was not to be disturbed.

I burst through the door and found him, naked, sitting on the floor. Incense burned in plates around him, and in his hands, he held a chunk of well-cooked meat. The rest of the Coffin cousin was diced and in a large basin by the fire, where a section of thigh was on the spit.

Howard babbled his innocence, but I wasn’t listening.

I drew both Colts and blew his brains out the back of his head.

He slumped forward, and I stood there for a moment before I shot him again.

He deserved it.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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