February 18

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Her story is curious.

I keet her photo among the others in the Child’s house. I’d never known her, not really, but she had an affection for me all the same.

The Black brothers, Thomas and Arnhem, were on their way home when they found a dead horse and an overturned hearse on North Road. The animal appeared to have been dead for at least a week, but they knew that wasn’t the case. They had taken North Road not six hours earlier.

With the discovery of the hearse and the carcass, they made their way to my home and informed me of the situation. As they went home for weapons, I left my coffee and went out to see what the fuss was about.

I found the scene much described. When I tried the door on the hearse, I discovered it unlocked and so opened it to find the coffin within on its side. The coffin, nothing more than rough pine, was light and easy to move, and so I dragged it out onto the road and righted it. The Black brothers and a dozen other young men appeared soon after. They were underclassmen from Miskatonic who had yet to truly learn about the horrors of the Hollow.

That was about to change.

The Black brothers stood by me while the students focused on the coffin. They came to an agreement that they should open it and see if the corpse had aged as much as the horse. I advised them not to.

Instead, they pried the top off the coffin and had a look.

A woman lay in poor cloth and did not appear dead.

The young men were disappointed and soon decided to each take a snip of her shirt as a memento. Before I could stop them, the students were reaching in.

It was a poor decision.

Tentacles exploded from her chest, and she screamed victoriously. Each black tentacle latched onto a student and dragged him into the coffin, cramming each one in behind the other until the lid snapped closed.

The Black brothers ran for home, and I was left to muscle the onto the stonewall on my own.

I could hear her eating in the coffin, but I left her be. I’d told those boys to leave her alone, and they hadn’t.

She visits, now and again. A pale face pressed against the glass of the second-floor windows.

I wave, and she smiles.

She’s a sweet girl.

#love #horrorstories

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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