Strangers: Confusion


I consider myself a sharp man, though my wits at times may be addled.

Today was the fifth anniversary of the end of the War of the Rebellion, and I find it necessary at times to ignore the world on this day.

It wasn’t quite yet noon as I wandered along the edge of Blood Lake. The sun shined on the water, and the islands shimmered, gentle reminders of peace and horror, both of which could be found in the middle of the lake.

As I strolled along, smoking my pipe, I heard someone call my name.

I turned, prepared to chastise whoever it was, and the rebuke died in my throat.

A stunningly beautiful young woman strode toward me, wearing clothes that made little sense. The strange spectacles on her eyes were bizarre, and I found myself unable to look away from her.

The smile that blossomed on her face caused my stomach to twist, and I found myself at a loss for words.

She came to a stop some ten or so feet from me, the silence between us filled with the lapping of the lake’s water against the shore and the birds singing high above us.

“You look good,” she told me after a moment.

“Thank you,” I managed.

She smirked, and my knees weakened.

“I know you don’t know me, Duncan,” she chuckled. “We have not met. Not yet. It’s 1870?”

I felt my brow furrow as I nodded.

“Yes,” she said, and her smile faded, replaced for a moment by a look of sadness. “No, we won’t meet for another seventy years. Our time will be short, Duncan. I want you to know that I cherished it. Every minute.”

“What’s your name?” I asked her.

She shook her head. “That I cannot tell you. It would spoil the fun. I’ll see you soon, Duncan Blood. We’ll have coffee and I’ll laugh and tell you I don’t believe we met before. But you’ll say one word to me, and I’ll know it’s true.”

“What word is that?” I asked.

“Kendall,” she answered. “Remember that and remember July 1st, 1940. Boston Common. Say it back.”

I did.

“Seventy years, Duncan,” she whispered. “Wait for me.”

She faded away and I was left alone on the shore of Blood Lake, wondering who she was, and why I had to wait so long to know her.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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