Hunting Mother Day 7


Cain didn’t like the look of it.

Neither did I, but there was a storm coming.

The pup let out a low growl that was more anger than fear, and I took the coach gun out of the rucksack as I hunkered down. We looked at the old schoolhouse up ahead, and I wondered why it put us on edge.

With a sigh, I picked up the dog and slipped him into my shirt. His head poked out the front, and he bared his teeth as we went.

I reached the door and took a quick peek inside through a window.

Desks were arranged in orderly rows, and primers were set at each one. There was even wood stacked in the fireplace, ready for a match.

But there was no sign of any teacher, nor of any students.

I thought about trying to find another place to bed-down, but another glance to the sky showed the dark, racing clouds. I had no desire to spend the night shivering and wet, and I doubt the pup wanted it either.

With a sigh, I climbed the single stair and opened the door.

As I crossed the threshold, the building shook. Dust drifted down from the rafters, and pieces of chalk tumbled from the blackboard to smash upon the worn plank floor. Cain set to howling, and a moment later, a dozen other voices joined his mournful cry, silencing him.

But while the pup went quiet, the cries of the others rose in volume.

Glancing around the room, I saw them.

Children, half-intangible, chained to their desks. A schoolmaster at the front of the room was likewise chained to his podium. Their eyes were sunken into their heads, and their faces cadaverous. They turned their sunken visages to me, and they held out their hands, the chains rattling pointing to the blackboard.

Forcing myself to look closer, I saw words written in Latin and Greek, Aramaic and Arabic, and it all had the stink of necromancy about it.

Again, the schoolmaster gestured to the board, and I nodded.

I brought the coach gun up and pulled the triggers.

The shot shattered the blackboard, and the room went silent.

The dead were gone.

As the storm struck, I put match to the wood in the fireplace. In a moment, Cain and I were settled in, waiting for the storm to pass.

#horrorstories #mother

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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