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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

Blogtober 2023, Day 16: Sign

I dreaded walking where there was no path

And pressed with cautious tread the meadow swath

And always turned to look with wary eye

John Clare, Trespass

“We can’t just leave the girls here,” Spencer said. “What if whatever you saw comes back while we’re in the house.”

“Would you feel safer staying out here, Spencer?” the man asked. “Will you protect these young ladies?” When Spencer nodded, he added, “and how do you plan to protect them? Do you have a weapon of some sort?”

Spencer looked at Carrie and Liz and shook his head. He did not have a weapon of any sort. The man looked at Glen and asked him the same question. “Do you happen to have a weapon?”

Glen said, “no.”

The man sighed and slid his hand into the satchel still draped over his shoulder and pulled a small 9mm pistol from it. He held out to Spencer.

“Can you be trusted with this?” he asked him. Spencer swallowed hard and stared at the pistol, a sign to the man that he could not. The man offered it to Carrie. “What about you, sweetheart? Do you know how to use a gun?”

“I go deer hunting with my daddy every year.” She took the 9mm from the man and held it like someone who knew what to do with it.

“You brought a gun to Deer Tick Creek,” Glen said. “Why?”

The man pointed at Denise’s body and said, “that’s why. Now come along.”

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