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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

Blogtober 2023, Day 4: Blood

Last night upon the stair

I met a man who wasn’t there

He wasn’t here again today

Oh, how I wish he’d go away

Hughes Mearns, Antigonish

Glen warmed his hands over the crackling blaze. He leaned into the fire, letting its heat warm his rosy cheeks. About a half dozen high school students were huddled around their own little barrel fire sharing a bottle of whiskey and listening to Huey Lewis and the News on a boom box. A pair from the other group peeled away from their fire and jogged off toward one of the boarded up buildings. Glen pointed at them.

“They’re going into what used to be Frank’s Grocery,” he said. “They think they’ll see a monster there.”

The young man picked up some twigs he had gathered next to him and tossed them into the barrel. The wood crackled as the flames consumed it.

“I didn’t get your name, friend,” Glen said to him.

“I’m Spencer.” He rejoined his girlfriend’s side. “This is Carrie.”

Glen nodded to the man with the book of poetry. “And you, friend?”

The man didn’t answer. Instead, he let the hand holding his poetry book hang over the arm of his lawn chair. He pulled the collar of his blood red cardigan sweater up to warm his neck.

“You say you know about the monsters of Deer Tick Creek?” he asked Glen. “Did you have an experience?”

“Oh, I had an experience, alright,” Glen said. “I grew up here.”

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