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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

Blogtober 2023, Day 3: Ethereal

And travelers, now, within that valley,

Through the red-litten windows see

Vast forms that move fantastically

To a discordant melody;

Edgar Allan Poe

The Haunted Palace

This new man on the scene took a long drag from his joint. The smoke wafted around his head giving him an ethereal presence; an elder about to impart some ancient legend. He offered the young couple his pot and they took it from him. First, the boy smoked, then his girlfriend. They both produced the kind of comical coughs that come from deep inside you. Their eyes watered and the girl spoke through gasps for air.

“What the hell is that stuff?”

“No kidding, man.” The young man wiped eyes and bent over at the knees. “That is some serious shit.”

“It’s a special blend,” the man said, taking the joint back. “The name’s Glen by the way. Always happy to share my stash.” Glen offered the pot to the man reading the poetry book, who silently but politely declined with a gentle wave of his hand.

“Suit yourself, friend.” Glen took another toke and let it work its magic and looked at the now grinning couple. “See? Feels good, doesn’t it?”

The couple giggled at one another as they stretched and contorted their faces as if they were opening their mouths as far as possible.

“It’ll open your mind to the story I’m about to tell you. About the monsters of Deer Tick Creek.”

The man reading poetry lowered his book.

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