Janet DeWolf, 1936

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Sometimes, you judge a person unfairly.

I’d never been impressed with Reginald DeWolf or his wife, Janet. They were from Maine, and folks from Maine tend to irritate me. It’s a failing on my part, I know.

Well, the DeWolfs had moved into Cross in 1933, just after the repeal of prohibition. They were both teetotalers, and they suffered under the delusion that Cross was a dry town. The pair of them made some noise about the drinking when they first arrived, but when they discovered a distinct lack of sympathetic ears – combined with a small element of the population that attended any sort of worship on Sunday – they kept to themselves.

The DeWolfs had spent the majority of their time working on the home they had purchased. It had been in run-down condition, but they put a hell of a lot of effort into rebuilding it. When I came upon the DeWolf homestead, I was surprised at the transformation.

The house was painted a crisp white, and the shutters a brilliant blue. The roof had new shingles, and the chimney had been repointed. There was a goodly stock of seasoned wood off to one side.

Janet DeWolf opened the door and greeted me with a double-barrel shotgun in her hands. While the weapon wasn’t pointed at me, her firm, intense expression told me she would have no qualms about using it.

I kept my hands away from the Colts.

“Morning, Mrs. DeWolf.”

She nodded. “Duncan Blood, isn’t it?”

“It is.”

“I’ve heard rumor that you hunt things that shouldn’t exist,” she said, her voice hard. “Things that most of us were led to believe weren’t quite real.”

“That’s a fact.”

“You know there’s a vampire ‘round about.”

I nodded.

“It came here last night,” she continued. “Reggie answered the backdoor and tried to let the damned thing in.”

“Tried?”

She nodded. “I put him down with a shot to the chest and told the monster it wasn’t welcome in my house.”

“What happened?”

“It grabbed Reginald and dragged him off into the dark,” she told me. “I found him this morning. His head’s missing, but at least he won’t be coming back. You’ll kill it?”

“I aim to.”

“Good. Get about it then.”

The door clicked shut, and I went on my way.

#fear #horrorstories #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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