October 12, 1976


The glasses were heavy in my hands.

The weight was unnatural, the frames bitterly cold, and the lenses, I knew from experience, would show me horrors yet to come.

I’d taken them off a being when I was hunting the Killed Soldiers. They were one of the few items I kept at the Child’s house.

Setting the glasses back down on the table next to me, I took a long and relit my pipe.

The creature had been hard to kill.

I’d tracked it from the Hollow to an old sugar shack in a grove of maples. It hadn’t been a difficult task. The creature had left fingers and toes as though it was a trail to follow.

Perhaps it was.

When I found the shack, I entered it with both Colts drawn. I could feel a wrongness in the air, and it caused me no small amount of discomfort.

Off the boiling room, I found a narrow door, and when I pushed it open with my foot, I saw the creature sitting at a desk. The monster’s eyes were black, a small sneer creeping up to settle on its wrinkled face.

“Blood.” It spoke my name in a harsh and bitter tone, one which denied me the opportunity of even hazarding a guess at the things gender.

“Aye,” I answered, keeping my Colts level. “You’re a soldier?”

“I was,” the creature chuckled. “I laid thousands out on the field of battle and wore the faces of a hundred more as we danced our celebrations. I’m here for your face, Blood. I’ll have one more dance before I die.”

The creature drew a long skinning knife from the folds of its cloak. I don’t know if it believed I’d be intimidated or foolish or both, but the thing stood up and moved a damned sight faster than I thought it could.

My fingers reacted faster than I did.

The Colts thundered in the close confines of the room and, round after round, slammed into the thing. The slugs tore through its chest, knocked it down, and the last two bullets took off the top of its head.

I don’t know why, but I took the glasses as a memento, and I’ve kept them ever since.

I’d looked for the knife, but that had vanished, and I’ve an irrational fear that I’ll wake up with the damned thing in my chest.

I hope I won’t, but I can’t rule it out.

Stranger things have happened.

#paranormal #Halloween

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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