From the forthcoming novella, Calamities.
The townfolk were a superstitious lot. At the height of the Dust Bowl, when dust devils were as common as devils themselves - at least in this particular podunk - the Dells accidentally drove their way into the heart of the quiet community of Trebble Town. Elwood and Hazel Dell, newlyweds and proud of it, thought to settle down far from parents and big city pressures. They were eager to stumble on a quaint and quiet place to call home. Enamored by the whitewashed picket fences, which bespoke 'simple but honest living,' Elwood claimed, the Dells' lunch-time stop at the local five-and-dime lengthened to a forty-year stay. Quickly vested in small town life, they eventually admitted to a kind of unease, 'a spiritual broiling' one preacher called it, that pervaded the community; and they whispered many a time in private that they should have left before that noonday meal was ever served.