Chasing Them Down: Day 1

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Of all the things they could have done, running was the worst of them.

Accidents happen. I know this, and – if the circumstances warrant it – I can forgive.

But they ran, which meant it wasn’t an accident.

I found her dead on the east side of Old Cross Cemetery. Her name was Emily Anne Warren, and I had known her for a fair amount of time. She was a widow, her husband having been killed at sea by a rogue whale in 1858, and her son had died of fever in 1865, shortly before my return from the War of the Rebellion.

She was a pleasant woman, and while she was not wealthy, she was comfortable, and I made it a point to check on her. There were, I well knew, those without scruples, those who would seek to take her wealth for their own.

I had several conversations with would-be suitors. None of them ended well for those seeking Widow Warren’s hand.

On Saturday, I heard Pastor Davies was hounding Emily Anne for marriage, and so I decided it was time to go and speak with him.

When I arrived at his home, his housekeeper informed me that he had gone out for a walk with his son and had yet to return. The housekeeper told me she suspected he was on his way to speak with the widow.

I left the pastor’s home in a bit of a temper, and I doubt the conversation would have gone well had I gotten hold of him.

As it was, I did not.

I had to pass by Old Cross Cemetery to reach Emily Anne’s home, and when I neared the burial ground, I noticed the gate was open, and the tools of the gravediggers were scattered around. There was no sign of the Martin brothers, the men who dug the graves and kept the cemetery free and clear of overgrowth.

It was unlike them to abandon their tools.

I went into the cemetery, and behind a plinth, I found the crumpled corpse of Emily Anne. Her head was caved in.

I sat for a short time and read the sign on the ground around her. From what I saw, Davies, with the Martins for muscle, had pressed her for a proper response to his proposal.

Evidently, he hadn’t liked the answer.

When I found them, none were going to like what I had to say.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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