Strangers: Sickness


He was sickness personified.

I tracked him from the Hollow.

Wherever he had stepped, there was rot. Cows lay sick in their fields, and birds had fallen from the sky. I passed by people on their hands and knees, vomiting into the dry earth.

Shutters were closed, and blinds were drawn. Those who could hid from the stranger, those who couldn’t lay in the streets.

I borrowed a cigarette from a man lying on his side, his face pale, and I broke the cigarette in two, placing one half partially up each nostril. The smell of tobacco hid the stench of illness in the air.

When I reached downtown, I saw a group of people staggering out of a small coffee shop. From within came the crash of crockery, and I knew the unwanted guest from the Hollow was there.

I entered the shop, stepped over the unconscious form of a waitress, entered the kitchen, and made my way past another who was being violently ill in the sink.

Passing through the backdoor and out onto the patio, I found him.

He sat at a table, drinking strong coffee. He paid little attention to me, focused as he was on the newspaper he was reading. I could not decipher the words or the language, and the longer I looked at them, the more horrific they appeared to be.

He continued ignoring me until I drew a Colt from its holster.

Only then did he look up, and there was a genuine expression of surprise on his face.

He asked me a question, the surprise replaced by a smirk. I suppose my skin was pale, but that’s only because I truly dislike having a cigarette in my nose.

As he lifted the coffee up to his lips, adjusting his glasses with his free hand, I pulled the trigger.

The cup exploded and sent shards tearing through his hands and chest as the bullet took off his chin and his left cheek. His left eye exploded from the force of the impact, and as he tried to look at me, I shot him through the throat.

For a moment, his head wobbled and then pitched to the right, followed a heartbeat later by the rest of his body.

I put another bullet through his head, just to be safe, and then went inside for a cup of coffee.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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