Busy Work, 1936

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It slouched on the border of Cross and laid in wait for the living.

The building, at one time a Shell Service Station and the former owner’s home, had been purchased by the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University some ten years ago, and the school has since let the place fall into ruin.

Briefly, the business had thrived under the guidance of Mr. Mitchell O’Connor, but he’d died suddenly in 1926 when he wandered into the Hollow. The town sold it to the University to pay off back taxes, and because of the school’s neglect, the building was nothing more than an eyesore.

I smelled the cloying stench of the undead, and I could only hazard a guess at how many were in there, lurking in the shadows. Whatever vampire had come to Cross was industrious. I’d killed more vampires in the past two weeks than I have in the past century, and that’s saying a hell of a lot.

I was fortunate in that most of the townsfolk took refuge at night, barring their doors and covering their ears. The people of Cross were quick learners.

I didn’t bother with the bizarre steps cut into the ceiling of the front porch. The second floor would be far too close to the sun for any vampire’s liking.

Instead, I went ‘round the side and climbed in through a window, and I was glad I did.

Someone had rigged a scattergun at knee level.

I kept to the edge of the room until I found a door that led down into the basement, and I turned on the flashlight I’d brought with me.

It took me almost half an hour to find the vampires, and I was glad I’d brought half a dozen stakes. I’d need every one of them.

Four men and two women lay on the floor, tucked as far from the sun as possible. The glow of the flashlight didn’t disturb them, but the thunder of the Colts did.

I blew out the brains of each one quick as I could and then spent an hour repeating the process as I staked each vampire and then removed the heads. By the time I was done, I was covered in blood and angrier than I’ve been in a long time.

By the time I was done disposing the heads and cleaning up, it would be too late to hunt anymore.

Which means the vampires would have another night to spread.

#fear #horror #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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