Madness: Nov. 24, 1867

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He was nameless.

The man wandered into town from North Road around mid-morning. He had a small smile on his face and a distant look in his eyes. He stank of death and madness, and when he turned his gaze upon those around him, they fled.

I was sitting outside the train station, smoking and enjoying the warmth of the sun. I’d had a particularly difficult night in the orchard, and I’d fought creatures which had crept out of the roots of the apple trees.

Still, the man’s curious, almost shambling gait caught my eye, and I loosened my Colts in their holsters. The weapons had seen a great deal of work of late, but that wouldn’t stay my hand.

The man came to a stop in front of the train station and grinned at me. I nodded to him and waited to see what, if anything, he might say.

For several minutes, he stood in silence, doing nothing more than licking his lips and tapping his fingers on the sides of his thighs.

“Tell me, Duncan,” he said, his low voice barely reaching my ears. “Are you still fond of eggs?”

I eased the Colts out of their holsters and set them on my lap, the barrels pointing at him.

“I do.”

“As do I,” the man nodded. “As do I. You eat them poached?”

“Any way I can get them,” I responded.

“I like mine scrambled,” he laughed and ran toward the train station.

He lowered his head and slammed into the brick wall, striking it with enough force to split his head open and spill his brains out onto the sidewalk.

He collapsed and lay there, twitching out his last in the morning light.

I holstered the Colts, looked at the body, and wondered when it would stop.

#horror #fear #art

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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