Strangers in Cross: Jan. 21, ‘38


She should have kept the door closed.

Muriel Forsyth was the wife of Professor Stuart Forsyth, and I doubt there was a more pompous pair on the grounds of the Cross branch of Miskatonic University, which is saying something.

Stuart tended to take long trips down to New York City at least once a month, where he entertained prospective students at the Turkish baths. Muriel did the same from the comfort of her own bed.

I am a firm believer that each is welcome to their own way of living. However, she should have paid a little more attention to who she allowed into her rooms.

The ravens saw her walking arm in arm with a young man, and she seemed rather giddy at the prospect. Was it the novelty of taking a monster into her bed? Did she believe that she was going to engage in nothing more serious than a bit of fun in her boudoir?

She was sorely mistaken.

As was the monster.

When I went into the large, ostentatious house the Forsyths called home, I could smell a fetid odor mingled with blood. I followed my nose up the center stairs and then into the master bedroom.

Neither Muriel nor the monster had wasted any time.

Clothes were scattered from the threshold to the master bed, and there the abomination lay.

I couldn’t tell where the monster ended, and the woman began. Their flesh was entwined, ichor and blood smeared across the headboard and dripping from the sheets and blankets to the hardwood floor. The thing on the bed rippled, but nothing more came of it.

It was nearly dead.

I considered setting fire to the house, of purging the building, but then I thought of the books in the Forsyth library on the first floor, and then I considered Stuart’s expression when he found the remains of his wife.

Humming, I closed the bedroom door, locked it, and left the house, whistling to myself as I stepped out into the cold, January air.

#horror #fear #art #writing

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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