Stupid assignment.

The microfilm reader whirred as Joshua flipped to another page. Nothing.

Was it his fault that his history teacher was a dried-out old fossil? That she wouldn’t accept a source for his term paper from the computer? And yet there he was, in the Deerton Public Library on a Saturday, flipping through the creaky old reels of micro-whatever the old librarian had set him up with, looking for local history.

Was it his fault that nothing ever happened in Deerton that was worthy of the word “history?”

He’d already gone through the Deerton Herald, giving up after three reels of pointlessness, before moving onto the Cascadia Post. Even then, he’d gotten as far back as 1984 without finding so much as a peep about Deerton, not even on the sports page (where he’d at least expected regular mentions of the annual whipping Deerton High got on behalf of Cascadia Consolidated).

That’s when he came across the Tecumseh County Centennial Insert in the April 29, 1984 Sunday edition, which had an entry for Deerton. “Finally,” Joshua huffed.

“The last major logging season was in 1924, and soon the railroad was dismantled and the town of Deerton disappeared. The site has been abandoned for sixty years.”

Joshua stared blankly at the screen.

He’d lived in Deerton for thirteen years.