Strangers in Cross: Jan. 6, ‘38


The house stood silent in the cold.

The ravens had come to me, called out that Grimnir had tracked the second creature to a house best left forgotten, and that I had best go quick.

I did, well-armed and girded for war.

It was a good thing that I did so.

The house was where Bjorn Jurgensonn had murdered his family a decade earlier. A bank from Boston owned the deed, and on occasion they rented it out to men of questionable morals.

Evidently, they had done so again.

When I approached the house, I saw the ice hanging from the edges and the lack of smoke from the chimneys. It was too cold to be without heat, and I wondered if the creatures needed heat the way humans did.

They did not.

I stepped up onto the porch, went to the front door on the left, and let myself in.

They were waiting.

I don’t know how many men had been living in the house before the creature had arrived or how quickly it had dispatched them, but there were eight of the creatures that came at me.

The Colts thundered in the house, and then they were silent, the rounds all fired, the weapons now clubs in my hands. I did not need to go after the creatures, for their hunger drove them to me.

Within a matter of moments, my left arm was broken, my jaw dislocated, and a length of wood driven through my right thigh. All save one of the creatures was dead. It salivated as it looked at me, black ichor dripping from its needle-toothed mouth. The creature was unharmed, hungry, and wary.

It tried to feint to the right, but when I didn’t move, it reconsidered its options. The creature seemed to be waiting for me to pass out.

I pulled the wood from my thigh and reset my jaw.

The creature attacked, and I beat it to death.

After I set the house on fire and stepped outside, Grimnir landed on my shoulder and whispered, “More.”

“I know,” I answered. Wiping the gore from my Colts, I reloaded them in the heat of the burning house and then made my way home.

I needed coffee.

#horror #fear #art #writing

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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