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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

Blogtober 2023, Day 5: Harbinger


Is the night chilly and dark?

The night is chilly but not dark.

The thin gray cloud is spread on high,

It covers but not hides the sky.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Christabel


The man in the cardigan placed the poetry book in his lap and folded his hands on his crossed legs. He studied Glen and watched him drop his joint on the ground and stamp it out. The couple flashed a pout at this.


“You still had some left,” Carrie said. “Why did you waste it?”


“I have plenty,” Glen said. “Let’s not let that be a harbinger of things to come.”


The three members of Glen’s fireside audience stared at one another quizzically.


“I don’t think you’re using that word right,” Spencer said.


“He most definitely is using it incorrectly,” the man in the cardigan announced.

“Am I though?” Glen held his hands close to his chest. “Am I?”


“A harbinger is a person or thing that signals the arrival of another person or thing. You merely stamped out a marijuana cigarette.”


Glen nodded and said nothing as if that said everything when in reality he had said nothing at all.


“Spencer, I’m bored.” Carrie pulled her male companion’s hand to lead him away from the scene. “Let’s go exploring.”


“I wanna hear his story, babe,” Spencer said.


“We can do both.” Glen gestured to the shell of a town. “Let me give you a tour of Deer Tick Creek. We’ll start with my old house.”


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