7:12 AM January 1, 1931

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Miskatonic opened a door best left closed.

Someone in the fledgling Miskatonic library learned of a book purchase I’d made, and they intercepted its delivery.

The courier was waylaid on the train from Boston, the station master finding the man unconscious in the restroom and his bag stolen. When the man came to, he handed a letter of introduction to the station master, and it was then that the master sent for me. The letter of introduction confirmed who the stranger was and what he had been carrying from Boston.

I had discovered the existence of a book in Somerville, and I had arranged for its purchase. The book was a rare, Arabic edition of a text on mad prophets, and it was known to damage – quite severely – those who read it. While I didn’t mind anyone at the university suffering, I couldn’t abide the thought of an innocent reader perusing the shelves and coming across the book.

With my Colts on my hips and anger in my heart, I left the injured currier in the care of the station master, and I went to Miskatonic.

I passed through the gates, made my way to the library, and forced my way in. Several students tried to stop me, but it’s difficult to say no when you’re staring down the barrel of a .44 Colt.

The book, they told me, was being examined by an interim library, and it was then that we heard the scream.

The students fled, and I went to the sound of screaming.

It stopped sharply, but not before I found the source.

The noise had come from behind a closed door, and with Colt in hand, I opened the door and entered the room.

Where the librarian had gotten off to, I didn’t have the slightest idea. I was more concerned with the man and child sitting and reading. The man looked up, and I knew the Colt wouldn’t work.

I slid it into the holster and waited.

After a moment, the man stated, “He was rude, so we ate him.”

“Sounds fair,” I observed.

The child smiled at me.

“We are finishing our lessons, Mr. Blood,” the man stated, turning a page. “We will be with you soon.”

I gave a nod, stepped out of the room and closed the door.

There are some men you fight and some who just aren’t men.

#books #horrorstories #supernatural

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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