Strangers: The Nurse


Her touch was at once gentle and fatal.

Like so many of the strangers who have drifted into Cross and over-stayed their welcome, Nurse Aimee Farrow came from the Hollow.

I didn’t know it at the time, though by the end, I certainly did.

Aimee Farrow arrived in Cross in 1899, and she went to work for the local sawbones. She was a curious lady. More often than not, one had to strain to hear her. She wore gloves whenever she dealt with patients, and she was only seen to take them off when the individual was gravely ill.

Around 1900, there was an increase in accidents on some of the farms. Someone, it seemed, was going ‘round and sabotaging some of the equipment. In the space of a month, three hired hands were killed, and six more permanently injured.

On August third, when I was out helping the Coffins, a team of horses was spooked. They were hooked to a wagon that was loaded with deadfall we’d been cutting, and when the horses took off, the harnesses snapped. The wagon went over, and the load came down on myself and a young Irishman from Boston.

When I awoke, I was in a bedroom in the Coffin farmhouse. In the bed across from my, the young Irishman lay. I could feel my body knitting itself back together, and as my eyes slowly adjusted to the dim light, I saw Nurse Farrow enter the room. She carried with her a bowl of water and set it down between myself and the Irishman. As I watched, she removed her gloves, sat down on the bed beside him, and lay her hands upon his battered forearm.

His eyes, which had been closed, snapped open, fear, and pain alive in them.

It was not from the injuries he had suffered, but from the long tendrils which snaked out of her fingers and burrowed into his flesh. They pulsed and quivered as they drained him of his blood, and in less than a minute, the young man was dead.

She turned towards me as I climbed off my bed, a look of shock on her face as I took a step toward her. When she reached out for me with her hands, I snapped both her wrists, pulled her arms out of her sockets, and then broke her damned neck.

I wasn’t in the best of moods.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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