Strangers in Cross: Jan. 2, ‘38

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The Lindell Hotel was a horror.

I tracked Michel Roi’s battered old auto out to the southwest edge of Cross where the Lindell Hotel stood. When I dismounted and tethered my horse, I saw what looked like Marie Roi peering out the glass of the front door.

She watched me with eager, hungry eyes as I approached the front steps, and when I reached for the door, she opened it for me. There was a clicking sound in her mouth and a humming that reverberated through the building. She smiled at me, her fingers twitching as she closed the door with haste.

The girl’s eyelids flickered, first left to right, and then up and down, as if she had corrected herself. She opened her mouth to greet me, and when she did, I caught sight of a thousand dull-white, needle-shaped teeth lining the interior of her mouth.

I drew my Colt, but she was faster than I imagined.

Her hand was a blur, sharp nails on her extended fingers opening a long, narrow cut across my brow. Blood poured down from the wound, and even as it healed, she launched herself at me.

But I’d drawn the pistol, and I put three .44 caliber rounds in her belly.

The scream that exploded from her shattered the windows around us, and she stumbled back, collapsing into a writhing mass of flesh that seeped out of her stolen clothes. Several times it attempted to reform, but the damage she had taken was too much, and a moment later, she stopped moving.

I put another bullet in what I assumed was her head, and then I heard a door slam.

Hurrying to the back, I found the remains of Harriet Lindell, stripped naked. The clothes of a child lay beside her, cast off by whatever had helped to butcher the Roi clan.

In silence, I made my way through the hotel, and I found three single men, all clothed and all dead. It took me a short time to discover how they had died, and when I did, it turned my stomach.

There were needle marks around the mouths of the men, and it appeared the creatures had devoured the men’s innards in a particularly horrific fashion.

I reloaded my pistol.

There were 13 more Rois to hunt down, and Harriet, too.

#horror #fear #art #writing

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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