Nathaniel Cannon and the Secret of the Dutchman’s Cross No. 39

“Captain?” Burr said, urgency in her voice.

“Here,” said Cannon.

The thing which had hit him moved. It rasped as it did, like a snake moving through dry grass.

“What’s the plan?” said Burr.

“Shoot it.”

Burr promptly complied, spraying bullets in the direction of the sound. In the light from the Thompson’s muzzle, Cannon caught a glimpse of it. Man-shaped, it was getting to its feet. Its face was hollow and sunken, and its garments trailed ragged strips. It jumped as bullets hit it, produced an inhuman screech, and fell away. The Thompson clicked and the light faded, and all was dark again.

“Cultists,” Cannon said, as echoing, bone-chilling cries answered the creature’s dying call. “I thought so.” Closer than before, metal clattered off metal, and one shriek answered another. “Come on.”

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