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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.


Larry W Fish (author) from Raleigh on August 12, 2018:

Thank you for your comment, Paula. I do like to write things that will kind of give people a jolt. I do like to think about the unusual, the unknown, the what if. Again, I am glad you enjoyed it.

Suzie from Carson City on August 12, 2018:

Larry.....An experience like this, would be a bit too mysterious for most people to deal with, I would say. I expected the end of your tale would be that it was all a dream. When this wasn't the case, I give Johnny credit for driving back to investigate. My reaction would have been to get as far away as possible!! LOL

This story shook me wide awake this morning, Larry. Enjoy your Sunday. Paula

Larry W Fish (author) from Raleigh on August 11, 2018:

Liz and Jo, I am glad that you both enjoyed the story. Nothing is more rewarding to a writer than good comments.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on August 11, 2018:

Great story, Larry. I see the beginning of a longer story here.

Liz Westwood from UK on August 10, 2018:

This is an interesting tale.

Larry W Fish (author) from Raleigh on August 10, 2018:

Thank you, Linda. It is good to be back writing again.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 10, 2018:

What an interesting story! I loved the strange aspects of the plot.

Larry W Fish (author) from Raleigh on August 10, 2018:

Thanks Dora, Glad you enjoyed the story.

That photo was listed as free to use, but I will check that out.Thanks for the heads up.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on August 10, 2018:

Larry, another good story! You adequately explained "strange."

May I give you a Heads Up on the picture you used? Are you aware that the "dreamstime" label stamped all over it means that is illegal to copy it, unless you buy it? HubPages does not sanction that. Just a friendly reminder.

Larry W Fish (author) from Raleigh on August 09, 2018:

I am glad you enjoyed the story, Patty and thank you for your kind words about Cookie.

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on August 09, 2018:

This reminds me of the Russian doctor who went in search of her ancestry to Siberia and stayed several days in a town she found later did not exist at all. Some type of time portal or such.

I like those dogs and I'm sorry Cookie is departed.

Larry W Fish (author) from Raleigh on August 09, 2018:

I am glad you enjoyed it, Flourish. Funny with the dogs. That is the first story I wrote since I had to put my Cookie to sleep on June 19.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 09, 2018:

I don’t know what to make of those dogs. I suspect they knew. Good storytelling here.

Larry W Fish (author) from Raleigh on August 09, 2018:

Glad you enjoyed it, Eric. Sometimes we have to let our minds wander and wonder just want is the unknown

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 09, 2018:

Carlos Casteneda would be proud. And Old Hank would like it two; "The Ride".

I think the waitress knew all about it. I wonder how much was about Johnny and how much just about the vortex. Thanks.

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