October 13, 1937

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He didn’t have a civil tongue, and it cost him.

I was sitting in my parlor, enjoying some brandy, when the phone rang.

It’s a god-awful sound, one that is, unfortunately, a necessary evil at times. Still, it soured my mood some as I stood up, crossed the room and plucked the handset up none too gently.

“Mr. Blood.” The voice belonged to the chef at the Cross Diner.

“Aye.”

“One of them’s here at the Diner,” the caller stated. “He’s talkin’ ‘bout the Hollow.”

The call ended before I could take the handset away from my ear.

I finished my drink, went out of the house and to the barn. My eyes fell on the ’35 Harley Davidson I’d acquired the year prior. I didn’t ride the thing too often – I’d broken my share of bones on the miserable machine – but I didn’t want to risk one of my horses by riding hard in the dark, and the Ketch brothers were working on my truck.

The motorcycle would have to do.

I tied down the holsters of the Colts, dug around in the saddlebags for the riding goggles, and then pulled them on.

In a moment, I kicked the machine over and left the yard as the engine roared.

With the lamp illuminating the way, I soon arrived at the Diner and pulled into the parking lot, swearing and spitting out dirt and bugs.

As soon as I dismounted the machine, the door to the Diner opened, and the staff and customers exited. The chef nodded, wiped his hands on his apron and said, “He’s still in there, Mr. Blood.”

I muttered my thanks, pulled the goggles off and entered the building, drawing one of my Colts.

I found the man sitting in a booth near the back. His dinner, a fine-looking steak and sundries, was on the table in front of him.

The man smiled at me, blinked, and then the smile faded.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“Professor Roth. I’m a visiting lecturer.”

“I know,” I said and brought the Colt up.

The shot took him cleanly between the eyes and passed through his skull and into the back of the booth. As he slumped forward, leaving brains and blood and bone embedded in the wood, I sat down and pulled his plate to me.

I’d take his heart after I ate.

I was hungry and still had to ride the damned machine home.

#fear #horrorstories #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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