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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

Blogtober 2023, Day 7: Embellished

See this house, how dark it is

Beneath its vast-bough trees!

Not one trembling leaflet cries

To that Watcher in the skies–

Walter De La Mare, The Empty House


Glen led his tourists, now doubled in size thanks to the recruitment of three other thrill seekers to Deer Tick Creek. The town had become a place of curiosity for those wanting to see if the monsters were real rather than embellished stories meant to titillate people around campfires. Nighttime brought them out because what better time to hunt for the stuff of legends than under a dark sky.

Carrie slid her arm under Spencer’s. She eyed the three new guests with suspicion as the introduced themselves.

“I’m Jake,” said a handsome teenage boy in a letterman jacket.

“I’m Denise,” said a pretty blonde in an over-sized hoodie.

“I’m Liz,” said a cute brunette in a leather jacket.

“I am very pleased to meet you,” said the man in the cardigan in his elegant drawl.

“Your satchel is cool.” Liz pointed at the leather satchel draped over the man’s left shoulder and he thanked her with a warm smile and a nod.

The trio followed Glen close as he walked two blocks over from the remains of downtown to a row of dark empty houses that lined a cracked, weed-riddled street. Carrie and Spencer tagged along next followed by the man clutching the satchel Liz liked. Glen led them halfway down the street to a quaint house and began his tale.

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