War: 8.10.1930

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They believed me to be easy prey.

They did not know that some days, some days, I am Death incarnate. But they learned.

I could tell by the stench upon them that they were responsible for the mournful village that I had passed through the day before. Their odor – a mixture of garlic and the faint, peculiar scent that belongs only to cordite – had lingered about the town.

These men, gathered as they were, were undeniably artillery spotters, and they were preparing to engage in their particular trade.

I didn’t bother with the BAR.

Instead, I let my hands drop to the Colts, easing the hammers back as I stopped a short distance from the men.

One of them called out to me in German, and so I answered in the same.

“Where are you going, friend?” he asked. His smile was broad, as though he thought I might not see his colleagues easing knives out of sheaths.

“I’m looking for headquarters,” I replied, settling into a shooting stance. “I’d like to have a word or two with whoever is in charge.”

“No one’s in command,” the man replied, laughing. “We are on our own, and we have been for years.”

I heard the lie in his voice, and I smiled.

The men nearest to me charged, evidently mistaking my calm demeanor for that of a fool’s.

They died with looks of dull surprise on their faces.

Their comrades reached for rifles and pistols, knives forgotten.

But my Colts were already drawn, my feet were planted, and I don’t miss.

Not when I am angry.

Eight of the men died in as many seconds. The ninth man, the idiot with whom I had been speaking, he tried to run.

I put a round through his knee and dropped him. He tried to draw his sidearm, but before he could, I was there.

I plucked the weapon from his hand, tossed it aside, and broke each of his fingers. As he lay in the dirt, screaming at me, I reloaded my Colts, holstered them, and sat down beside the man.

He snarled at me, and then I stuck my thumb in the hole in his knee.

His snarl became a shriek, and I withdrew my thumb before he could pass out.

There were questions I needed answered.

He answered as many as he could, though not nearly enough.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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