First published October 2020
Reprinted for Fandango’s Flashback Friday
Winter Stroud could tell you what the days in Starview are like-
she could tell you about two of the little cottages on Main Street that have curtains hanging in the windows even though there is no glass in the window frames and about the Post Office in the back of the General Store .
The cashier’s counter in the store is still near the wall, though wood rot has eaten away at most of it and that spinner rack that used to hold comic books and romance magazines still stands next to it, though it is a little rusty and tilts to the left.
The Post Office has a bank of mail slots behind it’s own counter and Winter Stroud could tell you how six of them hold letters that have been waiting patiently in their dusty cubbies since 1940.
She could tell you about the diner next door with the tables and booths and untouched by the elements and time and how not a single stick of furniture has been moved since 1940- except for dust. It’s covered everything – but dust is bold and fearless and it goes where it wants to go.
Winter Stroud could also tell you that at night Starview Heights comes back to life like clockwork- the shelves at the store fill with goods and the soda pop machine hums on and starts to chill the dusty empty bottles like it supposed to do.
Next to the two cottages, houses and buildings all around town claw and tear themselves up from the ground and after the dirt falls away and settles on the grass, the lights turn on and you can smell dinner cooking and hear doors and windows opening and closing too.
Winter Stroud could tell you all of these things because when Starview Heights was just a patch of land covered with trees she was already there, she was there in 1940 when all but a few buildings and the sign advertising Mallo Cups disappeared into the earth. She was standing in the middle of Main Street when the woods took away the only roads into town with everyone on it who was trying to leave-
you could ask Winter Stroud.
You’ll probably find her in the diner at the counter reading a comic book from the General Store.
She will be there, a lonely though content spectre passing the time in Starview Heights.