Alternate History · Uncategorized

Massachusetts Gothic

  • The early morning fog that rolls through the streets. It’s there every morning, without fail, no matter the weather. Some days it keeps the light from shining until nearly noon. You always breathe a sigh of relief that once again, the sun shines…but every morning, that same cold thought creeps through when you see the fog banks; Maybe this will be the morning the sun fails.
  • The tourists always come to take photos of the trees, every fall. They eat the pumpkin pies, the apple pies, pick their own apples…no one knows where they stay or where they go. No one knows where these strangers came from, or why they smile so widely with too-white teeth. No one knows why they know your name, or how they knew the right roads to drive in your tiny, farmland hometown.
  • Spirits seem to loom, unbidden, unquestioned, in every town and city. Cemeteries dot downtown like macabre Halloween decorations left up year round. No one ever verbalizes it, but they can feel a ghostly hand upon their shoulders as they walk by.
  • Only Boston has busy enough streets that you can be certain the person you pass is real. Everyone anywhere else? A ghost, a memory, a person more imagined than physical. But still, you never test this theory. You keep your eyes on the faded, gum-stained sidewalk, glancing up only long enough for crossing signals, street signs, and traffic.
  • They always warn you about the big cities. It’s dangerous, they say. People will stare at you, they say. But they never warn you about the hills, where you feel centuries of silent eyes watching you, angry that you’re alive and they? They are not. And if you pay just the right (or wrong) amount of attention…you can see them, staring. Hate so strong, they turn the woods black and red, barely stopped by running water. And if you aren’t careful…
  • There’s the rustle of wind in dying leaves, and you swear it’s calling your name, warning you of what’s just around the corner.
  • Crows speak in tongues so familiar yet foreign. Their cries are stories they know, of things yet to come. They know you can speak it, if you would only try. Just…try…

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