July 27, 1938

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The clink of flatware on plates stopped when I stepped into the room.

Fifteen people sat around a long, rectangular table. A trio of well-dressed waiters stood off to one side, and eighteen sets of eyes fixed themselves upon me. A gamut of emotions flickered across their faces. I saw fear and shock, hatred and desperation.

In the end, all the emotions melded into one, and that was terror.

From what I could see, not a single one of those dining were armed.

Oh, they had their silverware and their dishes, but none of them looked as though they could wield the items in front of them as weapons.

None of them had the look, the one that said they’d do whatever it took to survive.

I drew my Colts, and one of the waiters began to speak.

I shot all three of them, quick shots to the chest that sent them tumbling into the wall, the heavy .44 caliber slugs tearing through flesh and bone to bury themselves in the horsehair plaster.

One of those at the table, a Japanese man, turned to the man on his left and hissed in Japanese, “How is he in here?”

Before the man could answer, I put a bullet into his forehead, splattering the questioner with blood and brains.

“Because I am,” I stated. I slipped the Colts back into their holsters as another man began to beg.

I shook my head, drew my knife, and opened it with a flick of the wrist.

“What do you want?” the Japanese man asked, his voice trembling as he removed his glasses.

“Nothing,” I told him. “Not a single damned thing.”

“He lies.” My mother’s voice came from the corpse of the man seated at the table. “He wants violence and death. Pain and suffering. He is Duncan Blood, and he will not know peace until he has murdered the world.”

“Not the world,” I told her. “Just you.”

The corpse didn’t speak again, or, if it did, the words were lost beneath the screams of the others in the room.

I cut my way through them, butchering them whether they sat and begged or tried to run.

I wasn’t there to murder, but I sure as hell was there to kill.

#horror #fear #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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