Strangers: The ‘Gator


Some people do us the kindness of dying.

I’ve interacted with a great many idiots in my time. Occasionally, there’s one that raises the bar for all the others.

Maxwell Comstock was such a man.

He was proud, good-looking, and the coach for the crew team at the university. He was a Yale man, and he had captained several of their boats to victory over Harvard.

How he had come to Cross was an open secret. He’d been run out of New York City after having a relationship with the police commissioner’s two underage daughters. I’m surprised the man had escaped the City alive.

He told everyone it was a misunderstanding, of course, but I doubt any in Cross believed him. I sure as hell didn’t, and I was waiting for an opportunity to express my displeasure when the Hollow intervened.

I doubt it was intentional, but why look a gift horse in the mouth?

Maxwell received his just reward on September 25th. I wasn’t home, which was how he managed to get onto the property and over to Blood Lake without me putting a maggot hole in his belly.

He’d brought a camera with him, and he had told the president of the university that he was going to take some photographs of the water, to see how well it might serve as a place for the crew to train. What he didn’t tell the president was that the water in question was Blood Lake, or that he was bringing the president’s fifteen-year-old daughter with him.

She was the one who brought back the camera, and the story of how Maxwell had met his fate.

They were at the shore of the lake, and Maxwell was taking pictures of the girl, trying to coax her into revealing more of herself than she wanted. It was at that moment, she said, that the alligator rose up from the water.

Maxwell had turned to it, snapped a single photo of it, and then glanced back at the girl.

In that brief moment, she said, the ‘gator struck.

It bolted across the sand faster than she imagined possible and snatched Maxwell up. His camera fell from his hands, and the ‘gator dragged him into the water.

The ‘gator’s still out there, and there it will remain.

People are afraid of the lake right now, and that suits me fine.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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