February 20

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She died badly.

Mae Finch was sweet and kind, and the death she got sure as hell wasn’t one she deserved.

When I came home from Korea in ’53, I wasn’t looking for company. I spent most of my time on the farm, arguing with the older apple trees and trying to keep the younger ones in line. Whenever I go away for a bit, the trees get angry. They’re spoiled, and if they don’t have fresh meat when they want it, well, they’re liable to complain.

I’d just left them and decided a beer down at the VFW would do me right when I stopped at the train station to say Dan Fleming. Mae Finch was stepping into the station from the platform at the same time. Her smile was beautiful, and I asked her if she had eaten dinner. She replied she hadn’t, and so I forwent the beer for a whiskey.

Mae was taking a position at Miskatonic. She’d done some work in ancient languages, and the university had offered her a bit of a bonus and a raise if she would go and work for them. I didn’t state my dislike for the school or that I thought it was a poor idea. She was a woman, after all, and she didn’t need a babysitter.

We met for the next month or so, dinner mostly, and she told me of the work they had her doing. Translations of Arabic and Aramaic. Exciting work for her. I could see it in her eyes, hear it in her voice.

Then, she missed a dinner.

No note, no message of any sort.

She didn’t show.

And that wasn’t like her.

I went ‘round to Miskatonic in the morning.

According to the watchman, there’d been no record of Mae leaving, which made both of us concerned. The watchman had been around long enough to know what happened at the school.

Together, we went to the department of ancient languages, made our way up to the third floor, and found the door shattered.

From what I could make out, there were at least three bodies in the room. The heads were in a rough triangle facing one another on a desk. The walls, floor, and ceiling were coated in flesh and blood, bones and sinew.

All the bookshelves in the room were empty, and a single word was carved into the wall.

“Mine.”

I’ve yet to find the killer, but when I do, I’ll carve Mae’s name on his heart.

#love #horrorstories

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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