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Where is Everyone?

I was born and raised as a country boy in the rural Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. I love the art of writing..


Johnny was driving alone, hoping to get home on the east coast in the next few days. It was hot driving through the western part of Arizona. It was a long stretch of road where he saw no one, Finally off in the distance he saw a few lights shining just as darkness was taking over. The land was flat making it nearly an hour before he pulled into town.

He saw lights off in the distance and soon came to a small town. The first thing pulling into town was a gas station. It was old and the gas pumps look like they were at least fifty years old. He went inside and called out for someone. No one answered. He went outside and walked around the building. No one was in sight. Going back inside he looked behind the counter and saw an old hound dog lying under the cash register.

Johnny said, "Is this your place or do you work here?" The old hound opened one eye and looked at Johnny. Johnny said, "Oh well, I will pump the gas and leave money on the counter." He went outside, pumped his gas and then went inside and laid thirty dollars by the cash register. "There you go old red," he said looking down at the dog.

Johnny saw some lights in the distance. Pulling into a parking lot he looked up at the sign, Far Out Diner. Johnny walked inside hoping to get a nice breakfast. He looked around and saw no one. He called out and no one came. There was a cup of coffee sitting on the counter. He reached over and felt it. It was hot like the coffee had just been poured. Strange, very strange, Johnny thought to himself.

He went behind the counter and saw another large dog lying there. "Is that your brother at the gas station?" The dog never lifted his head, it just opened one eye and took a look at Johnny.

Johnny went and poured a cup of coffee and cut himself a nice piece of apple pie. He sat down at the counter, drank his coffee and eat his pie. No one came in the diner and it had an eerie silence to it. Finishing up he laid money down on the counter and knelt down to pet the dog. It was a nice looking old dog. Johnny loved dogs so much.

He walked outside and looked both ways. He saw no one. Johnny wondered where everyone could be. It wasn't that late yet, so Johnny thought it was strange no one was walking around. He got in his car and sat there for a few minutes, before he started it.. He looked at the gas gauge and was glad he now had a full tank. He pulled out of town and ,looked in the rear view mirror, the lights were fading in the distance.

In about an hour he came to another town. It was closing in on midnight. There was a diner so he pulled in and really wanted a hearty breakfast or late night meal, whichever way you looked at it. Walking inside he saw a few people sitting at booths and a couple of more at the counter.

He took a seat at the counter, soon a middle aged woman came to him and said, "Hello, may I help you?"

"Yes," said Johnny. "I would like three scrambled eggs, a nice slice of ham, two pieces of white toast, and a cup of coffee."

"I will get that for you right away."

Johnny looked around and saw that it was a nice looking large diner.

Soon his food came and he really enjoyed getting more in his stomach. That piece of pie that he had back at the other town just wasn't enough. Finishing up, the waitress came back and asked if he wanted another cup of coffee.

"Yes, please," said Johnny.

He sat there just relaxing as he finished his coffee. He got up to pay and told the waitress that it was delicious. Johnny told her that he had a coffee and a piece of pie at that little town about an hour back.

The waitress looked at him and said, "Mister, I don't know what you've been smoking, but there is not another town for a hundred and seventy miles."

Johnny said, "Honestly, I filled up my gas tank and then had pie and coffee."

She just looked at him and shook her head. "Impossible!"

Johnny didn't know what to make of it. He asked her if there was a motel nearby.

"Yes, about a quarter mile on the right side."

"Thank you!"

He got to the motel and he was dead tired. He had to get some sleep. He barely laid down on the bed and was fast asleep. He woke up about 10 am feeling a lot better, but he couldn't get that strange little town out of his mind.

He just had to go back to that town, so he got in his car and drove the way he had come. An hour later he got out of his car and looked around. Nothing as far as he could see. I don't believe it, he thought to himself. He got in his car and drove for another twenty miles. No town, there was no town.

He got such a strange, eerie feeling come over him. He knew he had entered a small town, last night. He pumped his own gas. How did his gas tank get full if there was no town there? How did he have a hot coffee and a piece of pie if there was no town there?

Johnny just stood there looking around. Wondering what was going on. He turned back around again. Driving back another twenty miles, he saw two old dogs sitting by the side of the road. He got out and walked up to pet them. They had a strange look in their eyes. About five feet from them they immediately turned into hawks and flew away. Johnny just stood there staring at them as they soared overhead.

Johnny got in his car and drove as fast as he could. He went through the town where he has spent the night and drove on and on. He had seen enough of this part of Arizona.

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