Weird

My mama and papa and I lived here all our lives. We knew every grain of sand on the beach, every wave that lapped against the rocks. Our neighbors were just like us, locals whose families had lived here for years and years and years. The younger folks would work in the day, and the older folks would stay inside. Sure, some of the buildings were a bit worse for wear, and the port was empty most all the time, but it was home.
Mama worked at the general store with that guy from the city: Arkem, I think he called it. Papa was a fisher, and a good one too. A lot of the town were spooked a few years back when a lot of the neighbors died of disease, but papa wasn’t spooked: he said they deserved it, the lot of ‘em. They’d refused to listen to the word o’ the church after Old Mister Obed was taken away.
The southerners would come by now and again; never for long, though. They would always squint their eyes and tap their chins at us, like we were odd. We weren’t the weird ones: they were always squinting, their noses were like hooks, and their heads were wide and round like a ball. Some would say they were investigating some sap who got lost up here, but they always left eventually.
I think they were more confused by what we said than how we looked. When we said our little town survived on fishing, they would always scrunch up their faces and keep asking more questions. Some tried to ask Old Man Allen about it, but unless he were deep in his cups he wouldn’t say much to ‘em.
‘Course, there were some weird things, sometimes. People would leave town, no warning or nothing, and I’d never see ‘em after. Mama and papa always said they’d explain when I was older, but I didn’t mind. People left all the time, especially when they weren’t from around.
Then that one fella came here, looking around at the buildings and neighbors. He kept talking about “superstichins” and stuff like that, and I knew he’d  be just as squinty and over-curious as any other southerner.
But as he kept asking questions, mama and papa and the neighbors started getting worried. He talked to Old Man Allen, and started snooping around more. He laughed at the church, askin’ who Dagon was and such. An’ even worse, he thought we were the weird ones, just like all the others! That night the whole town was called out when he tried to run from the police, but one o’ the neighbors came up from the shore to help! We didn’t find him, but it’s always nice to know the neighbors care. They’re more like us, you see: round eyes, always smiling, not all bulky and ball-like like the southerners. I don’t know where Old Man Allen disappeared to, though. Probably left to join the neighbors in the shore.
But the fella got away, and we never saw him again. He seemed familiar, though: almost like the neighbors from the shore, or maybe just the ones down the street. Good riddance either way. We got a good life here in town, and we won’t take any outsider stoppin’ us from living life how we like.
We aren’t the weird ones. The neighbors from the Deep tell us that. I believe ‘em.






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