Strangers in Cross: Jan. 12, ‘38

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They’ve changed their tactics.

The sun has set, and a new storm has settled over Cross. I have returned to the grounds of the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University, and things have gotten worse.

These creatures, for which I have no name to give, have elicited the assistance of the staff of the University and those students who have remained behind over the winter break. Some of these men have, either willingly or unwillingly, given up their lives for the creatures. The beasts have taken on the forms and likenesses and, I suspect, some of the mannerisms of their sacrificial victims.

That is neither here nor there.

What matters is that there is a combined force of creatures and men hiding on the grounds, seeking some way to stop me.

And one of the bastards can shoot.

Luckily, it isn’t anything heavier than a .22, otherwise, I’d be waiting for a whole damned limb to grow back rather than digging the round out of my shoulder.

The shot took me by surprise, a solid punch that caused me to pause and take shelter behind a tree as the echo of the blast was muffled by the snow. As I finished fishing the round out of my shoulder and dropping the bloody piece of metal into my pocket, I waited for the wound to heal before continuing on. Who knows if the scent of blood will entice them. Mayhaps it will, but I don’t want to take the chance of being ill-prepared.

Not when I know one of them’s armed.

I left the Colts in their holsters and drew my knife. This occasion now called for knifework.

For nearly fifteen minutes, I remained where I was, waiting. Soon, I heard the soft tread of a hunter, the careful step of a man not certain where his prey had gotten too, or how badly it was injured.

The barrel of a small rifle preceded him, and he stepped around the tree a moment later.

I slammed my knife up to its hilt in the center of his chest, cracking the breastbone as I covered his mouth with my free hand. His eyes widened with shocked astonishment, and a moment later, he sagged to the ground.

Pulling my knife free, I cleaned it on his coat and proceeded to tread with greater caution. 

#horror #fear #art #writing

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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