Witness, 1936


He was alone in the house.

It was getting close to evening, and it was the last building I was going to check before heading back to the safety of my home. I prefer fighting vampires on my own terms and not on theirs.

When I found the boy, he was in the parlor, standing and looking out a window. From his position, he would have seen me coming.

A quick scan of the room showed half a dozen bedrolls, but he was the only one there.

He turned, and I saw the exhaustion writ large upon his young face. His eyes flickered to the Colts on my hips, the BAR over my shoulder, and the mallet in my hand.

His nose wrinkled, and I knew he could smell the garlic in my rucksack.

The boy nodded.

“They’re out there,” he told me, gesturing toward the window. His voice had a Southern twang to it, and I wondered for a moment how far he had come up the coast and who he had traveled with.

He seemed to anticipate the question.

“My pa and my older brothers,” the boy said. “They’re waiting on nightfall. They’ll be hungry.”

“You know what they are?” I asked.

The boy nodded. “Heard tell of such. Didn’t believe it. Not till last night. Pa answered the door, worried it might be the police. We been run out plenty. Ain’t ever good.”

“Who was it?”

“Okies,” the boy answered. “We’d seen ‘em a week or so ago when we finished up in Connecticut. Talked some about moving up for the apple harvest. They were turned, though. Suspect it was a few days ago.”

“They left you alive,” I said.

The boy’s eyes widened. “No sir, not them. They were done feedin’, and I was hidin’, and then, well, they found me. They was goin’ to eat me, too, but she stopped ‘em. Stopped ‘em cold. They tried to argue with her. Tried to fight her. She wasn’t havin’ none of it. Chased ‘em outside, she did. She killed ‘em, and then, well, she come back in and told me I best leave before my pa and brothers come back. She said she was sorry.”

“Who? Who said she was sorry?”

“The little girl did, sir,” the boy sobbed. “She ain’t nothin’ but a little girl.”

#fear #horrorstories #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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