Strangers in Cross: Jan. 13, ‘38


Professor Lewis Plummer never learned to hold his tongue.

I was still sour over getting shot, and my attitude was none too pleasant as I entered the Department of Dead Languages. I paused in the lobby, listening, and soon I caught the sound of a voice. It was soft at first, but as I climbed the stairs, following the words, the tone became one of adulation and reverence.

On the third floor, at the end of the hall, the door to Professor Lewis Plummer was closed.

From behind it, the man’s voice was strong and proud.

He’d been at the school for five years, and I had, unfortunately, spoken with him on numerous occasions.

They had never been pleasant conversations. Too often, he had demanded to speak with me, to discover how much I knew about the languages of old. Each time I sent him scurrying back to the university, usually with a black eye as a reminder of my dislike for him.

When I opened his office door, there was a scurrying sound and the slamming of another door.

Plummer, whose back had been to me, turned around, his eyes glowing with a feverish light, his face red with exultation.

“They want to speak with you, Blood,” he laughed. “They want you to stop what you’re doing. It isn’t fair, you know, to keep this chattel to yourself. They know it. I know it. What’s more, the school knows it. We are sending word to the main branch of the school. They will send along reinforcements.”

“No,” I shook my head. “That, they won’t do.”

He blinked, uncertainty flickering across his features.

“They know my name, Plummer,” I told him, drawing my knife. “They know what I’ll do to them, should they interfere in Cross.”

Plummer took a step back, shaking his head. “They would not ignore an opportunity like this!”

I didn’t answer. Instead, I advanced further into the room, the man’s eyes widening and darting about frantically. He looked at a door to the left and called for help.

The door didn’t open.

And why should it?

To the beasts, he was nothing more than meat.

And he was nothing more than that to me.

#horror #fear #art #writing

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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