Strangers: The Watchman


I go away and things go to hell.

I left for a brief trip to New York City to drown someone in desperate need of killing. When I returned, there was a mess, the center of which could be found at the University.

A bus full of nuns had stopped in town to get a bite to eat and to say hello to the Catholic priest. When they finished with their meal, they boarded the bus and set off for Boston.

They didn’t make it out of town.

Close to Gods’ Hollow, the bus was forced off the road. Everyone on it was killed, though the bus itself was in good condition.

The University, surprisingly, offered to bury the nuns in the school’s private cemetery. Someone in the Diocese of Boston readily agreed, especially since the school shouldered the financial burden of preparing the bodies, putting them in coffins, and then burying them.

I only became involved because the priest asked me to. It is rare that a member of the clergy in Cross, regardless of their denomination, will approach me for assistance.

I agreed and went about my own investigation.

I did not bother seeking witnesses. There weren’t any.

Instead, I dug up one of the sisters.

Her eyes, tongue, and brain were missing. There were no signs of injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

With a little more questioning, I discovered the accident had occurred shortly before dawn, and a member of the University’s staff had been first upon the scene. The night watchman, Pappy Froch, had been on his way home.

Except, Pappy lived on the grounds of the school, and he worked the midnight to dawn shift.

When I requested to speak with Pappy, the school’s president initially refused. After I broke the man’s thumbs, he called Pappy to the office.

I didn’t know Pappy personally, but he evidently knew of me. When the man caught sight of my face, he tried to run. I caught him by the back of his shirt and hauled him back into the office.

Teeth erupted through the lips of Pappy as he tried to fight his way free. And as the president vomited in a corner, I smashed Pappy’s head against the edge of the desk until his head split open and his brains spilled out on the floor.

That’s what I get for running errands.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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