Madness: Nov. 5, 1867


Madness whispered its promises and lies into the ears of the damned.

My mother’s hand is in this. Thomas Redd said as much yesterday before I blew his brains out.

For the better part of the night, I sat in his chair, the blood and brains cleaned off it. The fire burned brightly in the hearth, and I considered what to do about the madness and the link between it and my mother.

This morning, I was awakened by the cry of ravens and then the pounding of a fist upon my back door.

It was Eldridge Coffin, and he told me there was an issue with Paul Graf.

Strapping on my Colts, I followed Eldridge out the door, and we ran for Paul’s home, which was only a short distance onto Old Hollis Road. There we found Paul’s wife and two young boys cowering behind the woodpile, gesturing wildly toward the house.

I could hear Paul arguing with someone, his voice high with fury and fear.

Leaving Eldridge behind with the rest of the Graf family, I drew my Colt and went inside.

I found him in the kitchen, hurling obscenities into the air as his left hand struggled with his right. The knuckles of his right hand were white, the fingers wrapped tightly around the handle of a butcher’s knife. His left hand gripped the right’s wrist and had it pinned to the table, but the table jumped and twisted beneath him, as though something was trying to free itself and get at him.

Paul, his eyes wide and frantic, looked to me.

“She’s furious about Thomas!” Paul gasped. “Wants me to kill Bess and the boys! She’s got my arm, Duncan!”

At the mention of my name, the table was hurled at me by an unknown force.

I stepped out of the way and brought the pistols up.

Paul turned his head, and I fired.

The heavy slugs caught him in the right bicep, muscle, and bone exploding outward. Paul sank to his knees, the knife clattered out of his grip, and I snatched it up. He passed out as I cut his arm off and kicked it aside, the limb flopping and twisting like a dying fish.

My mother, it seemed, was angry.

#horror #fear #art

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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