October 20, 1937


I’m tired of getting shot.

Someone isn’t paying attention. Or else they just don’t believe the professors at the university.

I’m going for the latter at this point.

This morning, close to noon, I’d decided it was time to go home and get a bite to eat before I went out and hunted around for those last few conspirators who might remain in the area. Well, I’d no sooner reached my drive than something struck me in the head and knocked me down.

It was well after sunset before I came to, and it’s a hell of a thing to see bits of your own brains splayed out across the road.

The ravens had gathered ‘round me and kept me safe, and they remained blessedly silent as I stood up. My skull pounded and my throat was dry, and every step I took was jarring agony as I went home. I managed to make it into the kitchen, got myself a drink of water, and then a bottle of whiskey.

I sat down at the table, uncapped the bottle and had a drink as the back door was pushed open.

Grimnir, the old and worn raven, entered the kitchen. He hopped up onto the table, peered at me with his one eye and let out a raucous caw. I winced at the sound, and there was an unmistakable chortle that escaped his throat.

“What the hell is so damned funny?” I asked, taking another pull from the bottle.

“Gift,” the raven answered, and he flew out the door.

Frowning, I left the whiskey on the table and got to my feet. The pain was fading, and I was feeling better as I went out into the yard. There was a half-moon low in the sky, and it cast enough light to show a long box near one of the outbuildings. I crossed the yard and came to a stop just a foot or so away.

The box was large, almost six feet in length, and it looked almost as old as me.

Grimnir landed on the box, and a muffled, fearful shout could be heard. The raven leaned down and pecked the wood hard, causing someone to shriek from within. Straightening up, the raven cocked his head to one side, peered at me and cried out, “Gift.”

“That the one who shot me?”

The bird nodded.

“Care for a whiskey?”

In the comfort of my kitchen, we drank, and the man in the box took a long time in dying.

#fear #horrorstories #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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