Louisa Schuler had an eye for books.
I usually saw Louisa in Von Epp’s Books, shopping for a particular title. It was often one she knew nothing about.
“I have a feeling, Mr. Blood,” she would tell me with a knowing smile.
She would move among the shelves, hand gliding across the bindings, and invariably she would stop upon a title and pluck it from its brethren. The book could be a solitary copy, or it might be one of a dozen.
Whatever it was, the book was important to her.
On a Friday morning, I went into Von Epp’s and Kristoph von Epp was in a state. He’d not seen Louisa for the better part of the week, and this was unusual for her. I only succeeded in calming him down when I promised I would go directly to her home on Olive Street and make certain she was well.
When I reached her small, well-kept house, I saw that the situation was bad.
All the curtains were drawn, and there was no smoke coming from the chimney, despite the chill of the day. A knock on her door did not receive an answer, nor did the ringing of the bell.
I tried the handle, only to find it locked, and I drew my Colts as I went around the house. Every curtain was drawn, and only silence greeted me as I knocked upon the glass and called to her. The neighbors peered out, and I waved them away as I reached the back of the house.
The back door was locked too, but I did not hesitate to force it open.
The smell of death smashed into me, trying to shove me out.
I pushed my way into the kitchen, past an unfinished meal and a stack of books on the table’s center. In the dim light of the hallway, I followed the stench to the parlor and found Louisa on the floor.
She was dead, stripped bare and bound by thread to the floor. Her slight frame was pierced a thousand times, and miniature boots had left bloody prints from her corpse to the book at her side.
As I lifted the book from the floor, a single Lilliputian tumbled out, rapier in hand.
I ground him beneath my heel.
The book is with me now, and every year or so, I give it a shake. When a Lilliputian emerges, they meet the same fate as the first.
#books #horrorstories #supernatural