1931: Genevieve

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The bastards at Miskatonic took her.

She was from an old Cross family, and she was seeing a young man from Miskatonic University’s Cross Branch. Caleb Withers taught in the Department of Artefacts, specializing in Arabian architecture. The man was polite, charming, and self-deprecating.

This morning, the first of November, the Colonel sent a man to me, asking if I would be so kind as to join the Colonel for breakfast.

The last time Colonel Johnathan Hunt had breakfast together, we were taking cover in a shell hole on the Somme in 1916.

Rarely did we speak of it.

I agreed to go with the man, strapped on my Colts and took my pipe and tobacco. There was no telling how long breakfast might go on.

When we arrived at the Hunt home, I was ushered into the man’s library, where he sat stiffly in the chair behind his desk. His hands gripped the top of his cane tight enough to make his knuckles white. Muscles jumped along the side of his jaw, and I could see the effort he was exerting to maintain some semblance of calm.

Only when the door to the library closed did Colonel Hunt let go of this cane and slump into his chair. The cane fell and clattered on the floor. Jonathan’s eyes, sunken deep into their sockets, had a desperation I’d never seen before.

“She’s gone,” he told me.

There was no need to ask who. He was a widower, and he lived alone with his daughter.

“Where?” I asked.

Jonathan shook his head. “I don’t know. Not for certain. She went out with her young man last night, around half past seven. They were to attend an opening at the university and return close to midnight. I took my tonic and went to bed. I only discovered her absence this morning, and so I sent Henry ‘round to bring you here.”

“Miskatonic,” I mused. “You rang them up?”

He nodded. “They told me her young man, Caleb Withers, had never been employed there.”

“That a fact?”

“Yes.”

I rubbed at my chin. “I saw him lecture myself when he first came.”

“As did I. They took her, Duncan. They took my little girl.”

“I know it.”

“You’ll bring her home?” he asked as I got to my feet.

“Aye,” I told him. “And some scalps too.”

Dead or alive, I’d bring her home to her father.

#paranormal #mystery

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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