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Old Gold & Black


Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

For The Kids!
Madison Bush, Contributing writer • November 28, 2023
Knowledge Perk: Spartanburg’s Central Perk
Cameron Carsten, Managing Editor • November 28, 2023

“Futuro Cercano”

Madeline Brewer’s spooky tale wins the OG & B’s Halloween writing contest 

Futuro Cercano 

The Violettes were a family split in the cosmos, from present to eternity. Francis was somewhat a curmudgeon, an adolescent boy trapped in the aching, archaic body of a greyed man. His wife, Imogene, was near a decade younger and continued to grace the halls of their humble abode as a patch of sunlight, dressing only in light and flowing pastels. 

Their sons, on the other hand, were each their own unique piles of garbage. Lance was eighteen, and Blake sixteen. Both possessed scraggly attempts at beards, and dressed only in black jackets over black clothing, the only splash of color being bright red caps on their heads. They perhaps smoked and drank; the parents did not know. All they knew was the boys rarely spoke, especially to their parents. 

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There was a chilly autumn day that Francis and Imogene took a drive around the neighborhood. At the next block over, they came across their neighbor Magdala holding a garage sale. She spoke almost exclusively Spanish, but could form some English words well enough to convey meaning. The couple exited their car and peeked inside the garage. Most of it was cluttered with dull junk, but in the corner stood a mirror. “Espejo del Futuro Cercano,” read the sticker on its back. 

“What does this mean, Magdala?” asked Imogene, feeling along its frame. 

Magdala set down the magazine she had been reading and glanced up. “Mirror of the… uh…” She thought for a moment. 

“Future, isn’t it? Futuro?” Francis interrupted. 

“Sí; however, be cautious with it. It is… not normal,” Magdala said, stumbling over the words. 

“We’ll take it. It could be very interesting,” Imogene squealed, hugging Francis. They paid and fit the mirror into their backseat, trying hard not to break it. They beamed all the way home, excited to provide themselves some excitement in their relatively doldrum lives. 

In their bedroom, they set the mirror against the wall and gazed into it. To their surprise, no reflections gazed back. They tried stepping out of view and back in many times, but no reflections appeared. 

“Oh, phooey! We must’ve broken it getting it into the car!” Imogene wailed. Francis shook his head. 

“Let’s take it to the dump tomorrow.” 

A car pulled into the driveway; it was the boys, home from school. They silently entered the house and went to their respective rooms. Francis sighed. “Those damn boys.” He slipped into his office and shut the door. Imogene walked to the kitchen and began preparing dinner. 

After setting the oven to its preheat temperature, she wandered back to the bedroom and stopped in the doorway. Lance and Blake were in the room, picking at the price sticker of the mirror and observing its frame. They stepped in front of it, and there finally shone a reflection. The reflections stood stonily in orange jumpsuits, and the bedroom behind the boys had become a cell. Imogene wanted to cry out, but she silenced herself and ran back to the kitchen. 

Within minutes, the boys came quietly through the kitchen and out the door. 

“Where do you think you boys are going?” Imogene demanded. 

“To buy some ammo. We think we will take up hunting,” said Lance. He grinned and left with Blake. 

As their car pulled out of the driveway, Imogene tiptoed into Lance’s room. She poked and prodded around for a bit, and, after nearly quitting, pushed aside some clothing in his closet to reveal a handgun. 

Francis noticed his wife in the room and asked why she was there. 

“Lance said he and Blake will take up hunting, and I found a handgun here.” 

“Those boys are dumb, I tell you. What they need is a rifle,” Francis said, and he left to check on dinner. 

Imogene stood, feeling a deep ache welling inside her. She recalled the times Francis had berated them, and how she’d nod along. 

The boys returned home, and Blake slid the chain lock closed. He then placed a chair in front of the door, too heavy for frail arms to move. 

Written by Madeline Brewer ‘23 

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