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Down South

It was only the fifth of April and the temperature had already hit 82 degrees Fahrenheit. A week ago, the last few tendrils of winter had made desperate attempts to remain. But now, with spring arriving, Memphis had sped from one extreme to the other. Within a month, the heat would reach past 90. Spring had somehow morphed into Summer with its ever humid days. The humidity was like a silent companion of of the season. When the humidity was high the temperature was higher. Or so it seemed. Some people pretended not to notice the heat. "We're southerners, its something we get used to" but the sweat that lined their faces and covered their backs in a slimy coat was a dead giveaway of their lies. Even if an outsider was fooled, the trees never lied. They were bent over submissively to the heat. Their leaves drooping melancholically like white flags. It was as if Hell had somehow managed to break free of its supernatural boundaries and decided to make an appearance on Earth.

These were the long days, the sweltering days, the steamy days that milked all moisture from you. These were the days when every movement of your body felt like you were moving a two ton block of stone. The sunshine was oppressive, not cheery. The shade of the oak trees and the cool trickle of water going down your throat were the only comforts in reach. However, if this blazing concrete world was Hell, then going inside someone's home must lead to an oasis.

When you walk through the doorway of my house, it’s like you ran into an icy wall. Shivers replace sweat, and you think your teeth might begin to chatter. It’s not just the air conditioning that seems to ooze winter winds. It’s the people with their cool gazes and sour frowns. Their eyes are a chilling gray of storming clouds. It’s not natural you think. Of course not. The devil lives here.

You can see him pace. His steps are deliberate. His eyes look back and forth. He demands silence, but even the silence is not quiet enough for him. Tapping his fingers against his arm, he ponders for a moment, turns, and saunters back to his den.

You should go while you have the chance. Leave or else you can never escape. When I first met Satan, I never would have guessed he was all that malicious. He was cordial, even bowed to me. He took my hand and gave it a gentle kiss. “What a lovely girl” he said to himself. His visits were brief but frequent. I saw him most days. he would bring me gifts, diamonds, chocolate, flowers. He was a most patient man. And a most manipulative one too.

One day he announced that he wanted to stay with me forever. I wouldn’t have to move, he would merely relocate. And I foolishly told him, I would be honored. Where was my head? I think i was too enraptured with him. What an enigma! He was mine to solve and to fix. I never stopped to realize that the devil is not a broken man. He breaks others.

And so my journey began.



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