By Randy Morgan
As the winds wisp through the willowy woods on one warm November night, our worrisome subject eyes a wooden orifice far into the night.
The crunch of leaves and pine-straw accompany his stroll through the midnight Mississippi forest. Spanish moss waves through the wind as Deacon, or as he is affectionately known by his friends, Deac, moves ever so closer to this new object. It is the source of his visit to this mundane backwood land that appears otherworldly to Deac. A cabin in the woods is where Deacon is making his trek to visit his girlfriend’s family.
“They could’ve told me that I couldn’t drive to the cabin,” Deacon mumbled to himself as he battled the brisk, hard blast of the breeze in the barren woodland. Deacon reaches the door of the lonely cabin that sits in the woods like a wart on a frog, away from the civilization that raised it.
The door creaks into the long night as Deacon’s skinny hand grabs at the bronze door handle. He greets his girlfriend, Annabelle, and her mother and father, Ainsley and Jack. Deacon offers his trembling hand as a token of welcome to Jack. He reaches with his other hand to slowly guide the only barrier to the violent outdoors closed. “Hello!” exclaimed Ainsley as Deacon enters the dwelling. Deacon offers a certain warm, “Hi, how are you?” to answer his future mother-in-law’s declaration. A hiss echoes through the chambers of the hall as Jack enters the room with a warm cup of coffee for Deacon.
“Here ya go, son,” Jack lets out in a loud whisper as he hands Deac the cup of brew from a metal kettle. As Deacon throws back a swig of the dark cup of ground beans and steaming water, it awakens and warms his body at the same time. While not usually a coffee drinker, he accepts the cup, knowing it will help the night go smoother over dinner.
“Come, sit down and have some supper, I know you’re hankering for some food after your trip” the bright-eyed and silver-maned lady who had expelled his future wife into the world 23 years ago said as she laid a warm plate of wafting cured ham, mashed potatoes and green peas. The rest of the family takes a seat with their steaming plates.
As the small talk that attends a family dinner drones on throughout the corners of the softly lit residence, the energy drains from Deacon’s eyes and body as he performs a magical maneuver and makes the food disappear from his plate in haste. He finishes his pleasant helping of food before the rest of the family. He now watches Annabelle, the woman whom he loves yet continues to cheat on. His mind wanders off into the night as he watches her delicate hands finish the jagged piece of pork, wondering how his mistress, Madison, was making it back at home without the classified, loving embrace of his arms.
As the family finishes their supper, Ainsley offers Deacon a piece of pecan pie, a sweet and crunchy dessert dish that many serve at Thanksgiving, a day right around the corner for Deacon and his virtual family. “No, thank you, I should rather get off to bed, as I have to help Jack with the firewood in the morning,” answered Deacon.
Jack starts off down the hallway with Deacon in tow behind him as they headed for the guest room, which was essentially a shed outside of the cabin for Deacon to reside in during his stay. As the two men stepped out into the oddly warm autumn night and headed toward the small area where Deacon would lie for six hours, Deacon notices the lack of a lunar companion.
“Here is your blanket, pillow, and the light is over there,” Jack says as he directs Deacon’s vision toward the small room. “Goodnight,” Jack shouts back as he closes Deacon off into the silent night. As he looks around his new place of sleep, Deacon notices two large portraits of a man and an older woman looking straight into space, one on each side of the small room. It appears as if someone painted their parents and left them in the cabin to accompany guests.
As the autumn wind continues to beat against the door of the room, Deacon lies down on the creaking bed to warm himself before sleep. Despite his efforts to keep his eyes breached, he succumbs to sleep and rests. The sound of a crow awakens our immoral companion from his stupor. As he rubs his eyes free of crust, he looks around the room in an alert state of fear as he slowly realizes, the portraits he had admired the night before had been replaced with windows, windows to the outside world that he was protecting himself from with the door Jack had closed the night before.
As the winds wisp through the willowy woods on one warm November morning, our worrisome subject eyes a wooden orifice.