Welcome to the town of Twilight.
As you travel toward the center of town, with night falling, notice how the fading light accents Riverfront Park. Beautiful is it not?
The Riverfront once was a thriving area. Warehouses and factories built early in the 20th century once serviced the docks along the river. These connected Twilight’s cotton industry of the 1800s to the outside world. Cotton may not have been the only thing sold and shipped. Trafficking requires workers after all.
The area declined in the 1950s when the industry died. Thereafter, the rich businessmen who built the small town left. They abandoned it in favor of other locales, taking with them the money earned from hard labor of sweated brow and broken backs. In doing so, they abandoned Twilight as well, but left behind memories as dark as pitch.
In recent years, the students of nearby Serling University halted the dilapidated district’s demise. They argued that the Riverfront was worth saving. In time, the Board of regents, the state education department, and the dying town of Twilight agreed. The state purchased the entire area for the school. The entire area is now transformed into a sustainable park and living area for the university. Old factories now house restaurants, nightclubs, and small shops. One large interior came to be an open-air auditorium. Throughout the year, it houses student sponsored music festivals. The Templeton Building was once a cotton sorting facility. Now it sports apartment dormitories for Serling students. Still, it maintains its now unused smokestacks to preserve some of its history. And some say that voices of its past echo and it trembles from beneath.
Following this area is the historic housing district. It consists of well-maintained older homes. They line up in neat rows separated by small, neat lawns. Here, neighbors greeted each other with friendly gestures and polite remarks. Children ride bikes along well-maintained streets well into the fading light of each day. Couples walk their dogs and pushed strollers as they chat. And weekend agendas always included grilling out and block parties. The friendly neighborhoods of Twilight are the essence of a Rockwell painting sprung to life. In a word, it is ‘picturesque’. It seems too good to be true. Perhaps it is.
The following downtown business district consists of historic two, three, and four story buildings. Some stand erect on straight, still brick laid streets. These map out the core of center. From that center, one could look down the long streets leading west out toward distant mountains or east toward the water. Or to the darkness that lies further down the line.
On whole, the town is a small, quiet, clean, and respectable. Even in its revitalization and rebirth, modernity eludes Twilight. It clings to its past. Holds onto it remembrance of things long since buried. But like the time of day for which it is so named, the area has a less visible side. A darker side. Twilight, it seems, is a town illuminated by shadows.