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Wednesday, November 26

Jack Frost: Prologue

The hills flattened out, slowly, gradually, and the forest thinned to either side. Then, ahead, came a yellow glow blinking in the air, the strobe of an ordinary streetlight to signal caution. Other lamps shined beyond it, silvery-pink and constant, illuminating the shop fronts of a handful of two-story buildings. The post office was easily the finest structure, with sculpted concrete pillars of a Classical design that seemed ostentatious among the simple businesses of Willis. Christmas lights blinked cheerfully in red and green in several windows and the limbs of trees.

Slowing for the blinking cautionary light, silhouettes were visible within a building near the road ("Hank's House," proclaimed the shingle). The shadows of men and women gathered for a nightcap, perhaps, before they joined their families.

At least they seemed to be patrons; but perhaps that was a trick of the light, to make shadows look like the men and women one would expect. There was no movement to be seen, not in Hank's House, not in the streets, nowhere but for the swaying yellow light. But there, ahead, on the covered sidewalk leading to Hank's, someone was waiting.

Closer …

It was a man, perhaps 50 years old and heavy-jowled in worn denim overalls and a thick fleece coat. He seemed to be waiting; certainly he was not moving.

Closer…

No fog of breath billowed in the shadows from his opened mouth. His eyes stared, watching, empty, dry, and a strand of ice hung unattended from his mouth. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:13 AM


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