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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

Blogtober 2023, Day 2: Opaque

The winds must come from somewhere when they blow

There must be reasons why the leaves decay

Time will say nothing but I told you so.

W.H. Auden, If I Could Tell You

October 9, 1984

Fire crackled in the barrel, embers floating into the autumn air in what remained of Deer Tick Creek.The full moon glowed in the night sky. An infinity of stars twinkled overhead. The barrel fire provided both light and warmth for the trio huddled around it. A young woman, early 20s, leaned into her shaggy-haired boyfriend. Both wore flannel shirts and jeans and regretted not including a jacket or blanket for this excursion. Across from them a tall, slender thirtysomething man sat in a lawn chair reading a collection of poems. The boyfriend ran a hand through his moptop and called out to the man.

“Hey, did you come out here to read a book in a creepy town?”

The man responds in an elegant Southern drawl. “Reading poetry fireside is a most peaceful endeavor.”

“Are there really monsters here?” The young woman nodded her head toward the former downtown area of Deer Tick Creek with its opaque storefronts, abandoned bank and deserted neighborhoods overrun with brush and weeds.

“I really couldn’t say,” the man said. “I’ve never believed the tales about this place.”

“I believe.” A man in a light jacket took a place next to the barrel. He leaned into the fire and lit a joint with it. “I’ve seen them.”

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