July 19, 1938


This place is a warren.

I’ve not seen a set of stairs for nearly a day, and at first, I thought I’d be pleased.

I’m not.

I’m completely turned around. There aren’t any windows on this level, and every five minutes, it seems, there’s a turn to take. Either left or right.

Several times, I’ve doubled back only to find myself in a new corridor. Everything changes as soon as I turn a corner.

I took an apple out of my rucksack and was eating it when I came upon a curiosity. Five paths stretched out before me. There was nothing different from any of them as far as I could see. So, I stood in the center, finished my apple and took the far left. It was as good as any.

I’d not gotten much more than a dozen steps down the hall when it curved sharply to the right and opened onto a small room. I’m not sure which surprised me more, the room or the woman sitting on the desk.

She held a death mask in her hand, and when she looked up, she didn’t seem overly concerned to see me. I opened my mouth to speak, and she placed the mask upon her own face.

In a blur of motion and with a hideous grown, she transformed in front of me.

The body of a large man tore through her clothes, and her hair tumbled down from her head as her skin grew up and around the edges of the mask. In a moment, the creature stood naked in front of me, body quivering with rage. The plaster mask remained the same immobile object, blood trickling down from the edges.

I barely had time to duck as the creature grabbed for me, arms passing through the air above my head as I drew my Colts. I was knocked back by a kick to the groin that caused pain to explode through my stomach and sent bile up into my throat, but I didn’t lose hold of my guns.

The creature raised a large foot to stomp on me, and I put two slugs into its chest, which did nothing more than cause it to hesitate.

With a bitter curse, I raised the pistols higher and squeezed the triggers again.

The mask exploded, the creature shuddered, and then it too exploded, covering me in trembling globs of dying flesh.

For an hour, I cleaned my guns and wondered what I might find next.

#horror #fear #paranormal

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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