Strangers in Cross: Jan. 16, ‘38

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Robert Bligh could make the violin sing.

Each night, regardless of the weather or the time of year, you could pass by his little shanty and hear him playing. He was, without a doubt, one of the finest musicians ever to be born in Cross.

The monsters took that from us.

I’d spent the day searching for the creatures, and I had come up empty. None of the ravens had spotted any of the thrice-damned things either.

No, it wasn’t until I was passing by Robert’s home, where the light was spilling out of his only window, that I saw him sitting in his chair.

He wasn’t playing.

Now, I’ve seen Robert sick with fever, and still, he’d be picking out a song on that violin. Even when he only had a few strings and a bow where half the horsehair was gone, he’d cause the glass in the window to vibrate with music.

Seeing him sitting there, not making a sound, told me everything I needed to know.

I went up to the door, forced the lock, and went into the single room house. Robert looked at me without surprise. The violin lay on the bed, as did a pile of clothes that had belonged to a woman.

Robert was an avowed bachelor, and he wasn’t in the habit of keeping company.

He smiled at me with the needle-teeth I had come to know so well and shrugged his shoulders.

As he rose up from his chair, I drew a Colt and put two rounds in his chest, knocking him back and down.

The creature screamed, squirmed, and collapsed upon itself, black bile seeping through the clothes and onto the floor.

I reloaded my weapon, snatched the violin and the bow from the bed, and set fire to the shanty.

When I reached home, I went down to my secret library, sat down in my chair, and played the violin as best I could.

I was a poor substitute for Robert Bligh.

#horror #fear #art #writing

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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