Madness: Nov. 1, 1867


It moved from house to house without rhyme or reason.

The madness began on the first day of November 1867. It struck one person a day, and when it was finished, the town was close to heartbroken.

I have seen Cross survive horrors that no other place could. Nightmares have crept out of the Hollow, erupted from the soil as we trod upon it, and in the month of November, it sprang from a source not even I could discover.

The first victim was Suzette Collins, a young mother of one and married to Jack Collins, a brakeman on the Boston & Maine Railroad.

The neighbors heard a horrendous shriek from the house, and when the menfolk stepped out to see what the ruckus was about, they witnessed the death of Jack. He staggered out of his front door, sank to his knees, and collapsed onto his back, a butcher’s knife buried to the hilt in his breast.

Suzette stepped out a moment later, chewing methodically on a chicken leg. Blood was smeared across her face and down the front of her nightdress. Her hair was torn out in great clumps, and there was a dull, savage look on her face.

Her neighbors approached her, calling out and asking her what had happened. It was then they realized she was not dining upon a cold leg of the previous night’s repast.

She was eating her own child’s limb.

Before they could react, she turned around and went back into the house.

I was sent for and arrived a short time later.

Jack was dead, of course, and it was surmised that the child was, too. Suzette, as far as we knew, still breathed. I could hear her rattling pans about in her kitchen.

With my Colts drawn and the hammers cocked, I went up to the front door and knocked.

She opened it a moment later.

Suzette was naked, her body smeared with blood and ichor of some sort. When she saw me, she smiled and threw her child’s head at me.

I gunned her down and stood there, in the thunderous silence, as she gasped out her last on the floor of her home.

The sharp stench of insanity slipped out of the house and raised the hackles on my neck.

November would be bad.

#fear #horror #art

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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