7:00 AM January 1, 1931

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The first students of the Cross branch of Miskatonic University arrived in August.

I wasn’t pleased when the land was sold, and the university came in. We’ve had a love-hate relationship for the past ten years or so, and I doubt it will get any better. The professors and administration leave a lot to be desired, especially when it comes to the gathering of items and books for their school.

In the first week that they were here, Mr. Sherwood Babcock, a young man sent to help prepare the school, introduced himself to me, hinting – strenuously – that he knew my age and a bit of my history. He then inquired as to the location of a book in my collection. A book he most certainly shouldn’t have known about.

Few know that I own one of the magicked copies of the Malleus Maleficarum, the Hammer of Witches. My copy had been torn from the hands of Increase Mather as he lay dying in August of 1723. My father, Ezekiel Blood, had been the one to take it from the bastard.

These thoughts rose up as Mr. Babcock sat in my parlor, sipping my brandy and smiling.

“So,” the man said, “we were hoping you would be willing to part with it. Donate it, as it were, to the university. We would be certain to take care of it.”

I finished my brandy and motioned towards the tea-table on my left, where my Colts lay.

“Do you see yonder revolvers, Mr. Babcock?” I asked him.

He nodded, his smile never leaving his face. “I do. I’ve heard something of your skill with them, too.”

“You’ll see what I can do with them,” I told him, my voice cold and harsh, “if you poke too much into my business.”

The man stiffened. “Mr. Blood, I don’t think you understand.”

His mouth snapped shut as I slipped a Colt free.

“It’s time for you to leave.”

“The book,” he managed to whisper, his eyes locked on the Colt.

I shook my head. “Leave with your life, or not at all.”

When he stood, he drew a pistol, his face pale and his hand shaking.

His shot went wild, and I gunned him down.

I buried him in the orchard, where the trees could feast upon him.

Others from the school have joined him since, and I suspect they always will.

#books #horrorstories #supernatural

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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