THE COMFORT OF A STRANGER
A short story by Mark Edward Hall
© 2010 by Mark Edward Hall
They met at the ruins of Saint Michael’s Cathedral. The city was razing it to make room for a new subway station. The police had roped the area off and posted guards along its perimeter, hoping to keep the curious away. It hadn’t done much good. The news of the crypt’s discovery spread quickly in the neighborhood and there had been an influx of pedestrians throughout the day. Most had gone away disappointed, however. The authorities were adamant in their protection of the site and maddeningly clandestine about what had been discovered there. Rumor was they’d uncovered a strange breed of humanoids, long dead and forgotten, buried beneath the cathedral.
Danielle knew that such rumors were easily fabricated and just as easily dispelled; nevertheless she had been perversely drawn to the demolition. She’d gone there that evening after reading a short piece in the morning paper. An earlier rain had ceased and the streets were streaked with silvery puddles. It was late October and a cool wet wind blew around her bare legs. She pulled her wool coat around her and stood staring into the ruins shivering. The site was now deserted. There were no guards, and the excavated catacombs all appeared empty. Sadly she had come too late for any sort of glimpse.