Tyrant, 1936


The barn waited for me to arrive.

Seneca Phaneuf lived just over the Cross line, and it was a place I preferred him to be.

He was, last I knew, almost 80 and living comfortably on his pension from the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University. He made his home on a farm that had once been owned by a better man than him, and while Seneca didn’t work the farm himself, he did have hands around who did.

When I arrived at the farm, the bunkhouse at the back of the property was empty, and it had been done so in a hurry.

Given what was hunting in Cross and the border homes, I didn’t blame them.

Seneca’s old Ford was still in the carriage house, though, and everything appeared normal in the house.

After a quick search, I stepped out into the yard and heard a long, low whimper from the barn.

I crossed the short distance to the barn, drew my Colts, and stepped inside. Seneca’s old mastiff, Tyrant, was chained to post close to a pile of guards.

My anger blossomed and grew into a fine, violent rage when I saw the dog was injured. He was on a short leash, and there were long, deep scratches in his side. The wounds had scabbed over, and his blood was matted with dried fur.

I knew what had caused the injuries.

I freed Tyrant, and the dog licked my face as I squatted down to examine the tracks on the floor. There was dried blood from the dog to the pile of guards, and I knew where Seneca was.

I holstered the Colts, patted Tyrant on the head, and stood up. From a corner, I picked up a pitchfork and then kicked some of the gourds aside, finally revealing the undead form of Seneca Phaneuf. The man’s lips were stained bright red with the dog’s blood, and it enraged me to know he’d chained his own dog to make sure he had something to eat when the sun went down.

With a snarl, I drove the pitchfork into Seneca’s chest, causing the vampire’s eyes to snap open, a howl of rage on his face. He clawed at the iron, the dog barking and growling as I dragged his former master out of the barn and into the sunlight.

As the vampire shrieked, I held him in place and wished I could hurt him more.

#fear #horrorstories #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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