1931: Alive

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“There are children.”

I looked at her. “More children? Where are they being kept?”

The one-eyed girl child shook her head. “No, not like us. Children birthed from the monsters.”

My mouth went dry.

“There is a small door tucked around the corner,” she continued. “I saw it once, a great trio of machines, each holding a monstrous babe that clings to life.”

This place had succeeded in breeding with creatures best left unmentioned.

Young ones in a hidden room who needed killing, and my father had taught me to put my chores off, not when I could get them done.

“Stay here,” I told the girls. “I’ll be back soon as I’m done.”

They looked at me with eyes robbed of innocence, and then they sat down on a bunk together to wait.

I left them in the room and went to the small door, standing slightly ajar. It was barely tall enough for me to fit through and hardly wide enough for me to do the same.

Still, I fit through, and I found myself in a room occupied by three machines and a single nurse.

She drew a large bore revolver from behind her back and cocked the hammer. “Come no closer, Blood.”

I obliged her and came to a stop.

“These creatures will not be touched,” she continued.

I gauged the weapon in her hand, the steadiness with which she held it and weighed both against my ability to draw a Colt before receiving a wound.

Before I could come to a conclusion, the wall above the strange machines vibrated and opened. The nurse jerked around, fired once into the hole formed in the wall, and then was snatched up by a massive, scaled hand that vanished into the wall with her.

A dark shadow filled the room as dozens of hands and tentacles, arms and grotesque forms spilled out of the hole. They gathered up the children, the machines, and everything they could find.

Yet none touched me.

As the last creature vanished into the hole, a voice escaped from it.

“These children are ours, Blood,” the voice shook my bones with every consonant. “We will raise them and cherish them. When it is time, they will devour this place. Stone by stone.”

It sounded like a fine plan to me, and there were some at Miskatonic who I’d do that to.

But bone by bone instead.

#paranormal #mystery

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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