Strangers in Cross: Jan. 25, ‘38


She was an unwelcome surprise.

I went out to the barn to take care of the animals, much as I’d been doing since I was old enough to walk, and I found Dora Setter standing by the cow.

Except, it wasn’t Dora.

One of the monsters stood there, clad in the shapeless shift Dora preferred and the same muck-raking boots she’d worn every day since her feet had stopped growing.

The monster grinned at me and spoke.

The sound was harsh, brutal, reminiscent of nails on glass and hatred in a broken throat.

How the creature managed to speak English, I neither know nor do I care to. It was a disturbing sound, and one I doubt I’ll ever forget.

“Blood,” the beast greeted.

I nodded, coming to a stop beside some of my tools.

“I would speak with thee.”

I raised an eyebrow at this familiarity and held my tongue to see what the monster might say.

“We are not many,” the creature lied, “and we but do seek a place here. A small farm, perhaps, where we might feed. Did those at Miskatonic not say as much to thee?”

“They did,” I replied.

The monster smiled, its teeth glinting in the pale light of my lamp. “What then is thine response?”


The eyelids clicked. “No?”

“No.” I took a scythe down from the wall.

“We want but a taste of this land!” the monster shrieked. “Surely thou can share?!”

I shook my head and swung the scythe.

Whether the monster thought it could out-maneuver me or perhaps believed I could not wield such a tool effectively.

Either way, it was wrong, and it died with a look of surprise on its stolen face.

The worst part about the whole thing, though was that the monster had scared the cow.

The damned milk was spoiled.

#horror #fear #art #writing

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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