Strangers: Visiting Professors


I should kill them all.

There’s no love lost between the staff of the University and myself. They believe me to be an interfering rube, and I know them to be self-righteous fools.

This morning, I found Mrs. MacDougal standing on my porch. Her face was pale; her lips pressed tightly together. In a shaking voice, she said Duggan, her husband, hadn’t come home the previous evening. He had been walking out along Gordon’s Way after having played bridge at a neighbor’s. The neighbor told her that Duggan had accepted a ride from a gentleman in a Ford. The tags on it, she informed me, were 3-2-3.

I knew the vehicle of which she spoke.

The only automobiles with tags that began with ‘3’ in Cross were those belonging to the University.

I told her I do what I could, but her clothes told me she understood the situation.

Mrs. MacDougal was clad in black.

I arrived at the school a short time later, hands on the butts of my Colts. The older guards at the University know better than to try and stop me, so when I stepped up to the open gates, they turned their attention to newspapers as I passed by.

I’d gone no further than a score of feet in when I smelled it. The nose-wrinkling, fetid stench of the Hollow. There was little wind, and as I turned my head slowly, seeking the source of the odor, I saw the Ford parked outside the Life Sciences building.

Drawing both pistols, I walked to it, found the door locked, and shot out the bolt. As I stepped into the foyer, one of the professors rushed down the stairs, a look of horror on his face when he realized it was me.

He pointed down the next flight of stairs, and I descended into the building’s basement. In a small surgical room, I found the source of the odor. A collection of surgeons and nurses, speaking in a Hollow tongue, manipulating the corpse of Duggan MacDougal.

One of the surgeons yelled at me in his unrecognizable tongue, and I put a slug through his groin. Black ichor exploded out with the exit wounds, and the medical staff shrieked in agony as I gut-shot the rest.

There was quite the array of surgical tools spread out, and before the day was done, I’d sampled them all.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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