1931: Word Spreads


Someone talked.

I had to dump Calvin’s official vehicle not long after I’d taken it. I found a safe spot to hole up for the rest of the day and cleaned my Colts.

Once night had settled, I slipped free of my hiding place and made my way toward the edge of town. According to the young man I’d scalped back at Miskatonic, the breeders (as he had called them) were being held in a building off Northfield Road. In my Cross, there wasn’t a damned thing there, which is how I liked it. Northfield Road was a tad too close to the Hollow for my comfort.

I skirted along the edges of roads and cut through yards, climbed fences and greeted dogs with a kind word. When I got to Northfield Road, I saw the scalped man hadn’t been lying.

The building was tall and new. Lights blazed down from the fifth-story roof, and guards patrolled in pairs around the property. A trio of tall iron fences, each topped with concertina wire, surrounded the place. After a quick scout around the building, I saw there were only two entrances.

Each was guarded by a trio of guards on a Vickers machine gun.

The men seemed particularly attentive to their duties, and I could only assume it was due to me.

From what I counted, there were six men on two machine guns. Eight men patrolling the grounds in groups of two. If they were running three shifts, that meant there were 24 more men inside, plus an officer or two as well as a sergeant or corporal of the guard.

Too many for the Colts alone.

I watched until the shift changed, and men came out dressed for the chill in the air. I heard them complain bitterly to the men they were relieving, and good-natured ribbing was the general response.

For another hour, I waited. The men yawned, complained some more, and then fell about the subject of attractive women.

I drew my pruning knife and crept down to the front gate after one of the wandering patrols had passed.

The men on the gun, men who only knew the machine-like thrum of modern war, died in silence. My first wars were fought in shadows and darkness, hand to hand and with brutal finesse.

These men were the first in this place, but they wouldn’t be the last.

#paranormal #mystery

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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