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The dried-up well on Front Street was full of soil, and tiny spring flowers had already begun to sprout from the rich dark earth. Three old men in padded jackets and floppy Gilligan-style hats decorated with bright coloured lures sat in folding chairs around it, fishing rods out. The glittering steel of heavy-duty fishing line caught the sun, humming with tension as something unseen pulled at baited hooks buried deep down in the well shaft.

Crouched behind a nearby bus shelter, Marshall held his breath as one of the old men rummaged in a mud-streaked tackle box set at his feet.

“This is it, Simon,” he hissed to his most trusted companion. “Today’s the day we find out for sure what those old guys are up to.”

“I’m pretty sure they’re just fishing for mud snakes,” said Simon. “You’d never get a mud shark or a chthonic deity up through the mouth of the well in one piece.”

Marshall gave him a look. Simon shrugged.

“It’s not that big of a deal, Mars,” he said. “Lake cryptids go mad for mud snakes, and the mark-up at the Eerie Baitshop and Sushi Bar is insane.”

“Oh,” said Marshall.

“Sorry,” said Simon.

Read the rest of the Trusted Associates verse here )

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Eerie Indiana

September 2017

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