Baker’s Mill, 1936

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The mill had been empty for close on 70 years.

Henry Baker had given the mill a go for a bit, but in the end, he’d returned to Boston Town, dissatisfied with the town and his inability to turn a profit.

None of us were sad to see him go.

He’d been a right pain in the ass, and despite the fact that he was undoubtedly dead and in the ground, his difficult presence was still felt. Namely, it manifested itself in the form of his failed mill.

It was late afternoon and nearly time for me to give up my hunt along the southern edge of town. I was tired and ready for a bit of coffee and a large glass of bourbon. I had been planning on going home when I caught sight of Baker’s Mill, and that single look was enough to set my teeth on edge.

There were plenty of places for a vampire to hide there. Mayhap even tuck a few new ones alongside it.

I stood on the side of the road and listened to the water running by the mill, knowing full well that there were plenty of ways to get around the water without crossing over it. The wind was blowing away from me, robbing me of any sort of scent.

Still, there was one more clue, and it bothered me something fierce.

The birds weren’t singing. No animals called out.

I couldn’t even hear the insects.

A glance down showed the road was barren even of ants.

Something was in Baker’s Mill, and it was something bad.

I eyed the distance from the road to the buildings and considered the effort it would take to find a fair place to ford the heavy stream. I’d need to search the structures, too, and that alone brought any further planning to a halt.

I knew I wouldn’t find the vampire before dark, and if I did, it would only have to last until the sun dipped below the horizon.

I didn’t doubt the vampire would be able to.

And if I killed it?

It didn’t mean it wasn’t alone. It didn’t mean that there weren’t any number of freshly made vampires between the mill and home.

I checked the loads on the Colts, marked Baker’s Mill in my mind, and made my way home, anxious to reach it before the dead woke and sought to break their fast.

#fear #horror #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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