Some things ought not to be touched.
In May of this year, the scholars at the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University acquired a pistol for the school’s museum. The weapon was a Colt, to be precise.
I learned of it this morning when I spoke with Dr. Martin van Burke, who had resigned from the school, told me that the Colt was purchased from a collector of haunted items. He had advised against the purchase, especially since there were rumors that the weapon had been responsible for the suicide of at least four previous owners.
Later in the evening, I reflected upon what the professor had told me.
I am no fan of the school, but neither am I pleased with the idea of such a weapon in the university’s museum. Young men make poor decisions, and Miskatonic was full of such individuals, as evidenced by their choice in university.
I went to the school and persuaded one of the nightwatchmen to let me in. It was no great effort, not since I told him I’d knock his teeth down the back of his throat if he didn’t.
With the man’s coerced permission, I made my way to the museum and found the door unlocked and the lights on. Considering it was close to ten at night, I found this odd, and so I kept to the shadows as best I could.
I heard a pair of men arguing. One man’s voice was thick and heavy, the other hollow.
A dead Federal soldier stood but a foot away from one of the professors, the living man holding the Colt in his shaking hands.
“You touched the damned thing,” the dead man snarled. “Now you put the barrel in your mouth in and pull the trigger!”
The professor groaned, tried to respond, but when he did, he unwillingly thrust the barrel of the weapon into his mouth and blew out the back of his skull.
I stepped forward as the body hit the floor, the pistol tumbling free of the now lifeless hand.
The dead man saw me, nodded and said, “You’ll put me somewhere safe.”
“I will,” I told him. “With other ghosts, if you like.”
The dead man considered the offer. “Aye. Like it, I would.”
We left the fresh corpse behind us and spoke of war and suicide, things well familiar to us both.