Madness: Nov. 18, 1867

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The screaming shattered my sleep.

As the first cry rent the night air, I leapt from my bed and pulled on my clothes. There was the rattle of gunfire and the unmistakable clash of steel on steel. The noise of combat intensified, coming closer as I raced down the stairs, ran into the parlor and pulled Colts out of their holsters.

Slipping my arm through the looped cartridge belt, I went to the front door, peered out, and then eased onto the porch. I could see a figure coming down my drive, the faint light of the night sky illuminating him.

For a moment, I thought I was gazing upon a bear armed and ready for war. Seconds later, as he lifted up a pistol, I saw the stranger was a man. He was tall, easily seven feet, and his height was accentuated by the large hat he wore. His weapon misfired, and he threw it aside as he raised up the sword in his right hand.

Creatures sprang from the shadows on either side of the drive, launching themselves at him, clutching barbarous swords and spears as they attacked him.

When I stepped down from my porch, pistols in hand, some of the creatures broke off and came for me. The thunder of my Colts rang out as I cut the creatures down.

The stranger put his sword to good use, and in a matter of moments, only the two of us remained.

He turned to face me, and when he did so, I could see the madness writ large upon his face.

We stared at each other, my guns in my hands and his sword in his. He spoke in a language I did not understand, and I told him as much.

He smiled then, and his teeth were silver and jagged, more akin to a shark’s than a man’s.

The stranger shrugged, reversed the blade of his sword and thrust it up and into his belly. With a laugh, he twisted it, pulled hard to the right, and disemboweled himself.

He stood there, with his innards scattered at his feet and smiled until he pitched backward and crashed to the ground.

I looked at the scattered bodies with a sigh, and then I turned and went back inside.

The mess would wait ‘til morning.

#horror #fear #art

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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