The last train of the day pulled into Springvale just as dark fell over the town. The Salesman and his companion stepped off the train.
The Salesman was withered and sucked dry as if he had been cured, his teeth yellow and rotten. He wore a tattered overcoat and carried a small bag of wares.
His companion was stout, his skin the color of a dead mans. He did not speak a word, but stood besides the salesman, clutching a large bunch of balloons. In the darkness the balloons shone out red and bright.
The wind dropped and in the bush the strange pair made their way towards the town of Springvale.
They came for the children of Springvale. It was Harvest Time again. They visited schools and parks seeking out the children.
Each child was offered a balloon from the bunch and mesmerized by their glow, were stolen away in a thick overcoat of fog.
As a bunch of red balloons grew smaller, the salesman grew younger.
A flush returned to his companions’ cheeks as he became childlike.
Dusk fell over Springvale and carts full of corn rolled back from the fields to find the town silent and still. The children of Springvale were gone forever.
Running to schedule, the 8 o’clock train rolled in and in the fog the two strangers boarded the train: a handsome gentleman, carrying a large heavy carpetbag, tall and upright and smartly dressed, a wicked smile upon his face. By his side a young boy, mesmerized by a single red balloon
Photography and Story by Sophia Al-Irimi
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