October 21, 1937


She ran for Blood Lake.

I was on horseback as the sun set and the moon began its slow ascent into the heavens. I was in no rush, and my horse stepped out at a steady pace along North Road.

The woman had tried to escape into the Hollow, but she’d been turned back by something snarling on the Hollow side of the stonewall. She beat feet toward my property, and perhaps she believed she could get to the safety by way of my lake.

That was a poor decision.

Her last one, as a matter of fact.

I watched her fumble along the road, glancing back at me with mounting panic, her eyes wide and her spectacles broken, hanging from one ear. There was a bit of blood drying on her temple, and a fair amount splattered onto the front of her blouse. While I couldn’t see it, I knew it was there.

I’d given her a backhand that broke her front teeth and split open her lips.

She was Professor Micah Tomlison’s secretary, and she was from a Cross similar to my own. Tomlison was too. They’d both been active participants in planning for my mother’s return.

When the secretary left the road, following the old path toward the lake, I dismounted, slapped the mare on the hindquarters and sent her home.

In the bright light of the moon, I tracked the woman with ease.

When she reached the shore of the lake, she paused to catch her breath, her head jerking from left to right as she tried to see a way to escape me.

There wasn’t one. Not on this part of the lake.

She went to the shore, stepped into the water and let out a long, plaintive cry. When nothing responded, her shoulders sagged, and I spoke.

“Where is he?”

She twisted around and took another step into the water as she shook her head.

“Is he still here?”

She hesitated and then shook her head again.

Well, at least she was a bad liar.

“Fast or slow.”

“What?” she asked.

“Tell me what I want, you die fast.”

She pressed her lips together, wincing in pain as she did so.

I shrugged and walked into the water. She tried to get away, but I caught her from behind and wrapped my hands in her shoulder-length hair.

The waves pushed against my legs as I held her head underwater in the light of the moon.

#fear #horrorstories #paranormal

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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