January 26, 1900

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Ezra Totenkopf lived in fear of the water.

At one time in his life, Ezra was a fisherman, a crew member aboard Norwich out of Cross. The ship plied the coastal waters of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, pulling in what fish they could and bringing home a modest income for the captain and crew.

On January 3rd, 1900, Norwich weighed anchor and left her berth at the small marina. She was due back on the 10th, but a storm sprang up, and the ship was last seen with the crew reefing her sails.

By January 14th, coast watchers were on the lookout for signs of Norwich.

Occasional bits of wreckage were found on York Beach in Maine, but little else of the ship was discovered, and it was believed that Norwich went down with all hands.

On January 26th, the Cross Lighthouse spotted a lifeboat, and the lifesaving station’s crew was activated.

Soon, the only surviving member of the crew of Norwich was recovered.

Ezra Totenkopf was found suffering from hypothermia and surviving on the last remaining supplies in the lifeboat. When questioned as to the fate of Norwich and the other men, he told a twisted tale of an attack from creatures within the water.

They were shaped much like men, but their teeth were sharp and set within rows like a shark’s. Their eyes were the same, black until they attacked when the eyes would roll back to reveal the whites.

As the crew used boathooks and belaying pins to battle the creatures, something broke the back of the ship and began to drag her down.

Ezra and the captain freed the lifeboat from its davits, but as they climbed into it, the captain was pulled over the side and vanished beneath the waves.

Ezra spent the rest of his life near the lighthouse, watching the Atlantic for signs of the creatures, and afraid of even the rain.

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Where are you with your writing goals?

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We’re almost done with the first month of 2019, and I’m curious, did you make a resolution about how much you were going to write this year? And, if you did, how did you break it down? Is it by day? Week? Month?

My own personal goal is to write at least 250 – 500 words a day of my own material. This is on top of the 3,000 – 4,000 I produce as a ghostwriter.

I’m happy to say that thus far, I have managed to achieve my daily goal. Some days I exceed it, but, overall, I’m right in the range that I chose.

It hasn’t been easy.

Not for lack of desire, but because of time constraints.

I work a full-time job on top of my ghost-writing. And I work a part-time job as well. This is in addition to being a husband, father, and a homeowner. Tack on a couple of cars that keep threatening to die and life is extremely busy. The last thing I want to do at 11:30 PM is prep a piece of flash-fiction, but, then again, it really is something I want to do.

I love the feedback that I get, and I’m always thrilled when the posts are shared.

Which brings me back to the initial question: where are you with your writing goals?

I hope you don’t think you’re working on something unachievable because you aren’t. You may have to adjust the number you want to reach or the amount of time that you need, but you can reach your goals.

The biggest hurdle to overcome in writing isn’t time or numbers, it’s our own feelings of inadequacy. When we start to lose focus, when we believe that we can’t do something, we lose the drive to complete the task. When that drive is gone, so too is the belief that we can accomplish what we’ve set out to do.

We don’t feel that we’re up to the challenge.

That’s why we create goals, so we can recognize that we are fully capable of doing what we love.

And what we love is writing.

For me, writing isn’t a choice. It’s a compulsion, and I suspect that it’s much the same for most of you as well. Some of you found it early in life, and you’ve been honing your craft for years. Others found it later, by accident.

Regardless as to how you came to your passion, the fact remains that it’s yours.

So, stick with it. Don’t let go.

And don’t be afraid to adapt your goals to what you need.

Remember, they’re your goals, so keep writing!

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January 25, 1898

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The child destroyed everything he touched.

Who he was, where he came from, or why he left a swath of destruction behind him were all questions that were never answered.

On January 25, 1898, a small child walked out of the First Congregationalist Church. Birds scattered to the skies and horses shied away from the boy, who was dressed in nothing more than a loose, white shift.

When Ms. Agnes Harrow attempted to speak with him, she was struck blind, deaf, and mute the moment her fingers touched the pale skin of his thin arm.

Patrolman Harlan Cobb tried to stop the boy by taking hold of the child.

Harlan died of massive internal hemorrhaging moments later.

A team of horses, driven by Enoch Phet when by several minutes later, and the horses went mad, kicking each other to death in their traces and throwing Enoch from the buckboard seat. He landed on his back and was paralyzed from the waist down.

The child walked to the Orion Building and touched the door, which exploded inwards. As he crossed the threshold, the windows shattered and bricks shot out from the mortar, damaging buildings on the opposite side of the street.

Three members of the August Collar Company were repairing a folding machine when the child walked into the room. One made it out before the child reached out and touched the piece of equipment.

The resulting explosion rocked the building to its foundations, blew out all the windows and doors, and turned the two remaining employees into bloody stains on the nearby walls.

The child’s remains were never found, and he is still wanted for questioning.

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January 24, 1914

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The station’s death was heard by everyone in Cross.

On the morning of January 24th, 1914, a horrific and terrifying scream pierced the stillness of the town. Within minutes the police department reported that the permanent line to the Lifesaving Station by the lighthouse was broken.

Dozens of men, women, and children raced out to the station, and were shocked into silence by what they saw.

Two of the station’s three buildings were in a state of total disrepair, with one turned on its side. The third building, the one that housed the permanent watchman for the organization, was missing.

Burt Elwood, the watchman, was gone, as were his son and his dog. The man’s boots were there, empty upon the land, but that was all.

After nearly half a day of searching in vain, the rescuers found Albert Elwood, Burt’s young, 10-year-old son.

He was found in a whaleboat drifting nearly a mile off the coast.

His story, when it was finally told, was as disturbing as it was disheartening.

As he and his father ate their breakfast, a creature had emerged from the Atlantic. To Albert, the beast had been a gigantic devilfish, its long arms snaking out of the surf to wrap around the houses and crush them.

He and his father had been in trying to escape the house when the creature turned its attention on them. A large, writhing arm had crushed the windows and snapped the door, leaving only a small space through which Albert could escape.

After the destruction of the house and his father’s death, Albert could not remember how he came to be in a whaleboat on the ocean.

Albert was convinced that his father had been the one to put him in the boat and that his father and the dog were still alive on the ocean.

Three nights later, Albert escaped from the custody of the police, and he was last seen flinging himself into the cold embrace of the Atlantic.

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January 23, 1903

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Maggie Kite refused to die.

In 1899, Maggie died of an unknown illness. She was laid out in the parlor, per the family’s custom, and by the end of the evening she sat up on the table and inquired as to what was being served for dinner.

The family was rightfully overjoyed at the return of Maggie, but that joy was short lived.

Within a week, Maggie was dead again, but by the hand of her uncle. He claimed that she had assaulted him on their way home from Sunday service. When the family called the police to arrest him, he defended his actions with a revelation.

Maggie had attempted to eat him.

He had large bite wounds on his back and shoulders.

As the police were questioning the uncle, Maggie was resurrected again, and she readily admitted to trying to eat her mother’s brother.

When asked why Maggie replied that she was hungry.

Over the course of the following year, Maggie was found to have eaten two horses, nine pigs, and three cows. The bones and remnants of dozens of other small animals and birds were discovered in the woods around the family’s home, but it wasn’t until the neighbor’s newborn daughter went missing that the family decided to take action.

Maggie’s father shot her twice in the head.

Within an hour, however, Maggie was up and about.

And furious over her family’s betrayal.

By the time she was finished, Maggie’s mother, two brothers, the bitten uncle, and three nephews were all injured.

Maggie was shot multiple times, and her father took a drastic measure.

That evening, on January 23, 1903, Maggie was buried in seventeen separate pieces around Cross. Her head remained unburied, for her father sealed it in a lead canister, and he and Duncan Blood brought it out to sea, dropping it into the Atlantic.

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January 22, 1947

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Hobbies keep us happy, and they help to keep us out of trouble.

It should come as no surprise, then, that a hobby is as individualized as the person enjoying it.

Collecting is a grand and time honored pastime, and there are many in Cross who enjoy building collections of various items. Some gather baseball cards, other books, and still others the bittersweet memories of lovers lost.

Juliet Marchant was a collector, and one who went to extreme lengths to build her collection, although she never shared the details of her passion.

She was the proverbial old maid. Juliet was an only child, and her parents left her a sizeable inheritance when they died in an accident in 1908. With no inclination to wed, Juliet enjoyed her life as a free woman. She traveled the United States and Mexico extensively. As she grew older, Juliet traveled less frequently, although she began to receive large shipments of unknown pieces of furniture.

During this latter period of her life, she had a large building constructed on her property. Beautiful stained glass windows illuminated the interior, but no one could enter the structure. There was no door to be found and the windows were reinforced with steel. When questioned as to how one could gain access, the aging Juliet would give a conspiratorial wink, and let the subject drop.

On January 22nd, 1947, Juliet was found dead on her front steps. On the table in the kitchen was a small shipping container, and in it was the freshly preserved body of a young girl in a plain, white cotton shift.

The police searched the house and found a small passage that led to the new building. Beneath it they discovered a vault, along either side of which were lined mummified remains.

Each had a date tattooed on its throat, the oldest from 1907, and the most recent, 1944.

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January 21, 1938

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Disease ravages humanity.

This is a truth, and one that has been with us for as long as there has been an ‘us.’

It is no different in Cross, except the diseases that strike there do not necessarily come from our own world.

On January 21, 1938, a small door was found in the Mathematics Annex of the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University. This door would have fit in nicely in the confines of an elaborate dollhouse. The hinges were made of brass, the wood was polished, and the doorknob was made of cut-crystal.

When Mrs. Grace Wilson, the cleaner for the Mathematics Annex, saw the door, she was fascinated by it. According to witnesses, she crouched down, opened the door, and peered in.

She fell back a moment later, howling with anger and clutching her hands to her eyes. Something had blown into them.

The door closed of its own accord, and within minutes Grace was violently ill. Her vomit was speckled with white flecks and tinged with blood-clots that writhed away on the floor before growing still. Several of the students carried her to her rooms on the school grounds, and her young daughter, Alice, attempted to assist in the care of her.

Within three hours Grace Wilson was dead. One hour after her, the three students who carried her in were dead. By days end, the school was quarantined, and seven additional students and one faculty member had succumbed to the disease. Of those exposed, only young Alice survived.

But those who came into direct contact with her became dangerously ill.

While no one died from exposure to the girl, it was determined that Alice would not be able to live out her days as a free person. She is alive still, in isolation, in a small house nestled upon one of Blood Lake’s many islands.

She has not had any contact with another human for 81 years.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #scary #death #killer #fear #writersofinstagram #murder #secrets #epidemic #Miskatonic

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January 20, 1942

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Cross, like fate, has no favorites.

Strange deaths and disappearances strike down the good as well as the bad, and while those who are good are lamented far more than those who are not, it does not mean that those who are kind and generous have suffered any more than their opposites.

Mr. David Leder is a prime example of such a case.

As a young boy, David fled the dangers faced by those of the Jewish faith in Eastern Europe in the late 19th century. He made his way across Europe, then found work aboard a ship that brought him to the United States. By the time he was in his late sixties, David was well to do, and he had moved to Cross and established himself in the community.

He was an active participant in his synagogue in Boston, and he kept the Jewish faith alive and well in his home. During the Great Depression, David sold off large parcels of land that he owned in various townships, thus ensuring that the poorest of his synagogue could eat and weather the terrible financial times.

David also cared for those in Cross as well, and he could often be seen in the company of Duncan Blood and the young Ezekiel Coffin. The three of them would often meet at Duncan’s home where they would discuss how best to serve the community.

During January of 1942, when the country was still reeling from the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by Imperial Japan, David set out in his large black Ford for Duncan’s.

He never arrived.

David’s vehicle was found the following morning, all four doors open and frozen blood coating the inside of the car. His clothes were neatly folded on top of his shoes beneath the car. David’s wallet and watch were with his clothes, and his gold fillings were there as well.

Everything but the man.

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January 19, 1903

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A great many strange and curious creatures have passed through Cross. Some have created havoc and wrought destruction. Others have done nothing more than pause upon the town’s ancient streets.

A few have traveled specifically to find sanctuary with Duncan Blood, and he has given it to them. His property is large, and few in town are allowed to visit.

Early in the 20th century, word traveled that there were animals of extraordinary size and shape on Duncan’s lands, and for a short time this resulted in unwanted attention from hunters unfamiliar with Cross and Duncan Blood.

For the most part, Duncan was able to keep these individuals at bay, but in 1902, a pair of brothers learned of a gigantic bear living in Duncan’s protected woods.

The brothers, Albert and Devon McClintock, took the train in to Cross and sought a meeting with Duncan. He agreed to, and when they met in the train station, and they told him of their desire to hunt the bear on his property, Duncan told them – in no uncertain terms – that such an act would be impossible.

The brothers accepted his statement at face value. After their meeting, however, they traveled to the opposite side of Blood Lake and rowed across it. Once on Duncan’s property, they vanished.

Their canoe was found adrift one morning, and the Cross Police later inquired as to whether or not Duncan had seen them.

He replied he had, and when asked as to where he had last seen them, Duncan responded, “Feeding the hogs.”

A trip to the pig pen showed a trio of large sows, and trampled into the filth beneath their feet were shards of bones.

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January 18, 1925

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Pierre L’Homme lived on the backside of Hollis Hill in a small, run-down home that had never seen better days.

He earned his living as a hired hand, working with whoever would pay. Often, Pierre could be found working a patch of the Coffin orchard or perhaps helping Duncan Blood with bringing in a harvest. But Pierre’s true love was drinking, and he only worked so long or so hard as was necessary to put the next bottle in his hand.

When Pierre complained of noises coming from Hollis Hill at night, no one paid him any attention. Many wondered if Pierre was ever sober enough to hear anything at any point after work.

Soon, he stated that he had found footprints outside his small house, and more than a few in town joked he had stumbled around the house drunk and was merely following his own tracks.

Yet as his complaints increased, his drinking decreased.

On the morning of January 17, 1925, Pierre entered the general store wild-eyed and pale. He related a tale of fighting off a group of creatures that, according to him, were, “short and thin, no noses and with black claws on the tips of their fingers.”

When no one in the store believed his wild tale, Pierre waved them away, cursed at them, and then bought a strange array of materials, ranging from heavy tubing to a thick raincoat. With these and other items in hand, Pierre left the store, hurrying toward Blood Farm.

At 7 AM on January 18, 1925, smoke was seen billowing up from the direction of Pierre’s home. When the fire brigade and volunteers went racing out to assist, they found Pierre standing over a hole in the earth, blasting it with a homemade flamethrower.

Near his home, they found a trio of small corpses, all charred, and each bearing a disturbing similarity to the creatures Pierre had described the previous morning.

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