Strangers: The Intruder


The roar of an engine shattered the silence and brought the Colts out.

I’d been walking along the North Road, smoking my pipe, and minding my business. It was a cool morning, much more than was usual for October. The weather reminded me of a bad season in 1675, and I was wondering if I should get more food put away than usual.

These thoughts were interrupted by a curiously shaped automobile that came tearing out of the Hollow.

The vehicle smashed through a low point in the wall, the man behind the wheel driving with all the grace of a lunatic. His companion saw me, Colts in my hands, and the auto skidded to the left, affording the passenger to bring a rifle to bear.

The Colts roared in my hands, and the brutal silence of battle fell upon me.

There are times when the world slows down, where I can see every bullet that leaves the barrels.

This was one of those occasions.

The first three shots took the passenger in the head, blowing his brains out over the driver. As the man tried to shift into gear, I put the next nine shots into the engine, killing the machine as easily as I had the passenger.

The driver’s fumbling motions appeared to be exaggerated, as though he was underwater and trying to move, the weight of the liquid pressing upon him. I saw him reach for the door latch even as I dumped the spent brass out of the Colts’ cylinders and reloaded, the steel hot to the touch. I smelled my own flesh as it was singed, but before that scent escaped, I snapped the cylinders back into place and stepped closer.

I killed the driver as he attempted to escape through the passenger door, having shoved aside the body of his companion.

As the driver collapsed onto his back, eyes staring at the sun, I emptied the pistols again.

It was only after the last shot was fired did the world return to normal.

Birds and squirrels screamed in the trees, and the automobile groaned as the engine cooled.

I don’t know who the men were, or where in the Hollow they had come from, but there’s a fairly simple rule I live by.

Don’t try and shoot me.

I shoot back.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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