Chapter 1:

Episode 1

Scorchburg the Unseen Nights

John's journey to Scorchburg was a mix of apprehension and relief. Relief because, finally, he had a job that promised financial stability, and apprehension due to the unknown nature of this new town. With his university studies in Parapsychology often raising eyebrows, this role as an assistant town mayor seemed like a serendipitous escape from the judgmental glances and the pressing concerns about his parents' well-being.

The drive to Scorchburg took him through winding roads, flanked by dense forests that seemed to stretch endlessly. As he neared the town, the forests gave way to open fields and rolling hills. The town itself was nestled in a valley, its quaint houses and shops painted in soft, pastel hues, giving it a picture-postcard appearance.

Upon arrival, John was greeted by Mr. Thompson, the town mayor, a portly man with a warm smile and a firm handshake. "Welcome to Scorchburg, John! We're mighty glad to have you here," he beamed, leading John on a brief tour of the small town hall, which doubled as an administrative center and community gathering spot.

The townspeople were few but friendly, each going out of their way to welcome John. There was Mrs. Baker, who ran the local bakery, her hands always dusted with flour; Mr. Green, the elderly librarian, whose eyes twinkled behind thick glasses; and Sarah, a young teacher at the town's only school, her enthusiasm for her work infectious.

John's first day passed in a whirl of introductions and familiarization. The job itself seemed straightforward – assisting with town paperwork, attending to community concerns, and occasionally helping organize town events.

As evening approached, John decided to take a stroll around the town. The streets, lined with old-fashioned lampposts, cast a soft glow as the sun set, painting the sky in hues of orange and purple. The town's charm was undeniable, yet as the light faded, a subtle change in the air became noticeable.

The bustling activities of the day slowed to a hushed quiet. The streets, lively just hours before, now lay deserted. A faint mist began to roll in from the surrounding hills, shrouding the town in a ghostly veil. John felt a slight chill run down his spine – an instinctive reaction, he told himself, to the dropping temperature.

As he walked, he couldn't shake off the feeling of being watched. He turned around a couple of times, half-expecting to see someone, but the streets were empty. The rustle of leaves and the distant hoot of an owl were the only sounds that accompanied him.

Returning to his temporary residence, a small but cozy apartment provided by the town, John's mind wrestled with the day's experiences. The town was charming, the people welcoming, yet something about the night felt unsettlingly different. He attributed it to the new environment and the exhaustion of the day.

Lying in bed, John's thoughts drifted to his parents. He hoped that his letters home, filled with descriptions of Scorchburg's daytime charm, would bring them some joy. As sleep finally claimed him, the peculiarities of the night lingered at the back of his mind, an enigma waiting to be explored.

What will John's next step be as he settles into Scorchburg?

1. Embrace the new day, focusing on his administrative duties.

2. Reflect more on the previous night's peculiarities.

3. Introduce himself more formally to the townspeople.

4. Visit the library to learn about the town's history.

5. Make his new apartment feel more like home.

6. Write a detailed letter to his parents, sharing his first impressions.

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