Dalton Chance, all of fifteen years old, has been imprisoned for murder. He spends his days making shadow puppets on the wall -- a trick he learned from his depressed, unemployed father -- and ignoring the bitter taunts of his jailer. Just a few months in the past, Dalton freely roamed the bleak rural landscape around his tiny town, in the fascinating wake of Pace Creagan, a tough, charismatic girl several years his senior, who roped Dalton into her greatest obsession: running the trestle that spans the dried-up Pope Lick Creek, playing chicken with the 7:10 train that already claimed the life of a friend. In a town wasted by the economic depression, in which neither Dalton’s nor Pace’s parents can offer them any hope for the future, there is nothing for them to do but court death in order to feel alive. Pace postures below the trestle, telling tales, both bullying and flirting with a cautious but curious Dalton, who expects a more conventional romantic encounter between them than Pace has planned. Meanwhile, Dalton’s father Dray sits at home, in miserable silence, feeling empty and purposeless after losing his job, and his mother Gin contemplates joining fellow townspeople in a communist action: re-opening an old, disused glass factory, in order to provide jobs for themselves. As The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek unrolls it’s spare, bleak beauty, timelines converge and the living and dead collide in this rough, poetic drama which explores intergenerational devastation, economically hopeless circumstances, emerging sexuality, and the wondrous abilities of the human imagination.
The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek guide sections