December 16, 1870


We visited the doctor.

After my father and I had hidden the bodies and the wagons and set the horses free, we drew the blinds about the store. My father found a closed sign, put it in the shop’s window, and we ate a fine meal as we chatted about shared memories.

Shortly before darkness settled over the town, we found some ledgers which listed a fair amount of people who ran a tab at the general store. It gave addresses and a place for us to start.

We slept little that night, alternately keeping watch and gathering supplies we could squirrel away. By daybreak, we had enough food to last two weeks, three if we stretched it out. With any luck, we wouldn’t need to ration the supplies.

As we slipped out of the General Store’s back door, we moved directly to the next building. It was, according to the ledger and our reconnaissance, a doctor’s office.

The physician would be an important man to question.

If he stood against my mother, he would be able to direct us toward her.

If not, well, there was no need for the enemy to have a man with any sort of surgical skills about. Not that my father and I planned to leave anyone alive.

But we could never be too sure.

 I broke the bolt on the back door to gain entrance to the doctor’s office.

We passed through a storage room, discovered a set of servant’s stairs leading up along the rear wall, and followed them to their end on the third floor. For a moment, we paused in the narrow hallway, listening in at the door.

A man could be heard, and my father, without hesitation, grasped the doorknob and thrust the door open into the room.

Despite the early hour, a pair of nurses and a doctor occupied the room. The doctor sat in a chair while the women stood. In an instance, the nurse standing behind the doctor assessed the situation and drew a small, sharp knife from a pocket. The nurse across from her nodded, and the knife-wielding woman cut the doctor’s throat.

The dying man tumbled from the chair, and the women charged at us.

Without uttering a word, we killed them both, snapping their necks with the brutal ease of men accustomed to the task.

Which is exactly what we were. #paranormal #christmas

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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