1931: More Schooling


She was unpleasantly surprised.

Once the good professor lay dead in a pool of his own blood on the floor, I stepped over his corpse and entered the washroom. The toilet stood on the right, the sink on the left, and directly across from the door, another door waited.

It was similar to the one through which I’d just entered. The hardware around the knob was different, and the hinges were a tad more ornate, but the similarity was there.

A single step carried me across the tiled floor, and the knob turned with ease in my hand.

And why shouldn’t it? No one on the other side was expecting me, ‘though they should have.

When I opened the door, I found myself in a tall, grand room with a matron sitting in a room lined with books. Before her, on a slight table, stood an elegant coffee service, and for a moment, she wore an expression of pleasant surprise.

But only for a moment.

While I didn’t know the woman from Adam, she sure as hell knew me.

Her hand reached for a small revolver tucked off to one side, and her simple act told me all I needed to know about this version of Cross.

The click of my hammer stopped her hand.

“Now,” I said, voice low. “Seems like introductions are in order. I’m Duncan Blood.”

She snarled, “I know what you are.”

“What’s your name?”

“Names are power,” she replied. “I’ll give you none.”

Keeping the pistol leveled on her, I went to the coffee service, poured myself a cup, and took a sip of the hot brew.

It was damn fine.

“I take it sound doesn’t travel well,” I remarked, and her eyes widened a tad.

“If it did,” I continued. “You’d know your little playmate was dead. Died bad, too.”

The color drained from her face. “I don’t know what you’re doing here, Blood, but you need to leave.”

I shook my head, drank a little more coffee and asked, “Where is she?”

The woman’s lips tightened as she pressed them together.

I finished the coffee, moved the small table and leaned in close. “Where?”

Her hand moved for the pistol, and I shattered her jaw with the butt of the Colt.

The blow didn’t loosen her tongue, so I pried her mouth open, pushed past the shattered teeth and cut out her tongue.

She wasn’t using it anyway.

#paranormal #mystery

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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