She stood in silence.
I found her standing alongside a length of Hassel Brook, which cut along the southwestern corner of my land. Soft fog drifted up around her feet, caught in the folds of her parasol, and lingered, briefly, upon her.
I didn’t know what manner of creature she was, only that she’d come from the ship that had so recently run aground.
This fact alone caused me to draw one of my Colts and thumb the hammer back, ever so softly.
Still, the click of it locking in place caught her attention, and she turned to face me.
Her face was beautiful, almost delicate, and the wickedness in her orange eyes was more appealing than it was disturbing. She kept her hands tucked inside the voluminous sleeves of her garment, and when she spoke, it was with a voice of strength and power.
“Where am I?” she asked.
“America,” I answered. “Cross, Massachusetts.”
She raised an eyebrow in a sharp arch. “It is a new place for me. I have not left the shores of Nihon before. Tell me, are there many of you here?”
“More ‘n I like at times,” I admitted.
She licked her lips, and I caught sight of teeth both sharp and foul in appearance.
The weight of the Colt was comforting in my hand.
“I have never eaten such pale flesh before,” she mused. “Do you think you taste much the same?”
“There’s never been any difference I could tell,” I told her.
She laughed, revealing far too many teeth for a human head. “That is good. It has been too long since I had a decent meal.”
Before I could respond, her head sprang from her shoulders. While her body remained perfectly still, her head flew towards me, mouth widening like a viper’s and her eyes blazing.
I brought the Colt up at the last minute, and before she could veer away, she impaled herself on the barrel. Her teeth shattered upon the steel, and I offered her a smile of my own as I pulled the trigger.
Bones and brains and hair exploded out of the back of her head, and her skull slipped to the ground, bouncing once as her body trembled and then collapsed.
I left the skull where it lay and walked to the corpse.
The silk of her clothes was perfect for cleaning the Colt.