The town

There has been talk around here that something dreadful is about to happen. The rumour has gone on for weeks, but what it is, not many know. The folks carry with them bits of news that they pass on under their breaths, hoping to exchange for new information that could place them in a less ignorant position.

They apply themselves to idle talk that you can barely make out, but you know it from the way their eyes shift. In fact, at this very moment, the pig farmer had devoted his vigilance to this purpose, leaving his precious litter to their feed, unattended.

Inch in a little closer, stranger, and watch their smiles crack like hardened mud baked for too long under the afternoon sun. Catch it in the blink of an eye, or it will be gone, replaced by a casual greeting uttered for the sake of acknowledging your presence, unwanted it may be. And before you know it, the crowd will disperse and the day falls back to normalcy, but there is a colossal silence that you cannot displace.

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