July 18, 1938

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The cold struck me with the force of a closed fist.

I exhaled sharply through my teeth, grimacing and bracing myself for an attack.

None came.

My eyes adjusted to the weak light in the room, and I took in my surroundings. They were bleak.

The room was a wreck and had been so for decades at the very least. From what I could gather, it had been an operating room of some kind.

Sadness hung in the air. Sadness and desperation.

Painfully cold fingers touched my cheek.

“I know you.” The words were hardly above a whisper. I could not tell if they were spoken by a male or female, adult or child.

“Do I know you?” I asked in response.

A sigh hovered around me, and the chill in the room intensified.

“No,” the ghost responded. “I don’t think you ever did. I wanted you to know me, though. But you are not my Duncan. He was kinder. Gentler. I can see your hard heart in your eyes, Blood. How many have you killed today?”

“Not nearly enough.”

Silence greeted my response, and for a few moments, I thought the ghost had left me.

“No,” the ghost’s voice finally became clear. The speaker had been a woman. “I suppose you’ve not killed your fill. So few of you have.”

“Why are you here?”

The ghost replied with a sad laugh. “I don’t know. I think, at one time, they kept me here. Bait for others of your kind. But none of you took it. I was unknown in your worlds. I’ve only existed in a handful of them.”

“Did they kill you?”

“No,” she answered, “but they didn’t help me to live either. They let me starve to death. I took a long time to die, Duncan Blood. Everything takes a long time here.”

“Is there anything you want me to do?”

“No,” she replied. “You’re dead. That part of you that was perfect, it died here, in this room, when they gunned you down and cooked your heart. You’re dead, but you don’t know it yet.”

I nodded and left the room and the strange statement behind me.

But she was wrong.

I knew full well that part of me was dead, and it had been from the moment I killed my mother in the kitchen.

#horror #fear #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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