July 28, 1938

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“You have a fondness for dogs, Mr. Blood.”

“Aye, that’s a truth.”

My hands were on the butts of the Colts, thumbs on the hammers.

The knuckles on her hands whitened, and a low whine escaped from the throat of the hound. I kept my eyes locked on hers, and in turn, she didn’t look away.

“I’m going to kill this dog soon,” the woman said. “Just as soon as my husband returns. Neither of us expected to see you. We heard you were looking for your mutt, and we happened to find this one only this morning. We were, in fact, planning on butchering it later on and having one of its haunches for dinner this evening.”

“When is your man returning?”

“Soon,” she smirked. “I suspect he’ll run you through with that damned sword he’s always carrying, and I’ll be forced to listen to him crow about how right he was to wear it, but it will be worth it. Of that, I’m quite certain.”

“A sword won’t do much,” I stated.”

She laughed. “I know. But it will keep you in place, at least for a moment, and that will be long enough for me to get the shotgun out from under my settee. You know, Mr. Blood, you’re a bit older than most of those we see here. I would have thought someone with your age and experience wouldn’t have been so foolish as to be sentimental about a dog.”

“I’m sentimental about a great many things,” I replied. “They usually get someone killed.”

“Someone you care about?”

“No. Someone I couldn’t care less about. People like you.”

She opened her mouth, and I drew the Colts, the steel whispering against the leather, the hammers clicking into place. Before she could kill the dog, I put a pair of slugs through her mouth and blew her brains out across the wall.

The hound sprang past me, slammed into a man entering the room, and tore the man’s throat out. Blood sprayed across the walls, and the gentleman’s sword clattered uselessly to the floor. The man quivered, and his heels thumped on the floor for a moment before the dog stepped back, chewing noisily on the piece of flesh it had torn free.

“Good luck, Duncan Blood. I’d join you, but I feel a need to make a meal out of these two.”

I didn’t blame the dog. I’d do the same.

#horror #fear #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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