Strangers in Cross: Jan. 8, ‘38


It was only a matter of time before they found their way to the University.

Eight days, to be precise.

I had stepped out of my house at sunrise for a breath of fresh air and to gather my thoughts. As I stood and smoked my pipe, Grimnir landed on the porch railing and peered up at me with his one eye. He chortled deep in his throat and spoke a single name.


The Cross branch of Miskatonic University had been open for only a short time, and that was long enough for me. If I had my way, I’d burn the damned place to the ground and salt the earth when I was done.

If the Romans could do it to Carthage, well, I suspect I could succeed with something as small as Miskatonic.

Still, the town would frown upon such an act, so as much as I despised the school, I let the buildings stand.

With the name ringing in my ears, I made my way out to the University, and when I arrived at the gates, the watchmen wisely looked the other way. By the time I stood near the main building, I caught sight of a raven, who winged off to the right when he saw me. I followed him, and when he came to a stop near a professor’s bungalows, my ire rose.

I don’t know who the two men were who came around the side of the building, but when they saw me, they froze.

A heartbeat later, one of them tried to run, and I gunned him down.

His compatriot remained still, more out of fear, and waited for my arrival. As the other man’s body cooled in the snow, I asked where the creatures were.

“She’s inside,” the man whispered, and then he smiled. “She’s perfect.”

I broke his nose for his stupidity and left him wailing beside the body.

When I went inside, whatever ‘she’ was tried to attack.

She was slower, fatter than her siblings, and the .44 slugs tore through her with the sound of a fist through a wet paper bag. Her shriek was barely audible as it sent needles of pain through my skull, and a dozen squirming monsters tumbled from her ruptured guts.

As she fell back and died on her feet, her spawn died beneath the heels of my boots.

#horror #fear #art #writing

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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