2022 October Contest: Winner Announcement

time lapse photography of road tunnel at night

We are excited to announce the winner of the October 2022 Chattanooga Writers’ Guild Monthly Contest is Laura Miller with the submission “The Black Track Ghost of Soddy.”

Laura Miller is a local writer and poet who studied creative writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. A long-time teacher and community volunteer, she presently works as a legal assistant.

The Black Track Ghost of Soddy

Gather ‘round, Children, 
Miss Walker would say 
and share some tales  

of our coal mining past  
with cave-in disasters and a few  
ghosts, the most notorious one
along Black Track—today’s Durham Street— that 
was named for coal chunks fallen from railcars  
rumbling from the mines to Big Soddy Creek.
The story began with a love triangle: 
an unfaithful bride, a town clerk,  
and a coal miner— 

then, a murder  
a fugitive couple 
and a mysterious drowning 

of the runaway bride 
whose wet specter wanders  
the black track  

as a silent companion 
with no breaths of condensation  
clouds on a frigid night 

Some claim she foreshadows 
a dear one’s death. So 
beware of solitary strangers 

we were warned, 
and look out for tumbled 
coal by the wayside. 

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