Appointment in a Small Town: A Very Short Story from The Maya

He drove the red car to the edge of town. All the buildings were painted a perfect white.

He’d been given a rose and a note attached to the rose had told him to drive the car until he came to the town.

The car was a an old fashioned convertible, a sleek red beast of a machine, and he had the top down, so when he parked at the northern end of the town and shut the engine off, he could hear singing. It was coming from a fair distance, but he could hear it well. It was a woman’s voice, strong and loud, projecting over all.

In the big rock candy mountain

There’s a land that’s fair and bright

He got out of the car, left it right there on the side of the road. His nice shoes crunched on the dry dirt, making noises that were very comforting, the sound of the earth itself. There was a dirt street running north/south down the center of the small town. He walked down the dirt street. He was dressed in a white suit and a sword hung off his belt.

There were all sorts of people walking all over the porches and the store fronts, and they saw everyone was dressed in all sorts different clothes from different time periods of American history during The Long Surrender, or the period between World War 2 and The Passing of the Veil. There were people dressed like they were from the fifties and sixties and seventies and eighties and nineties all the way up to The Passing of the Veil. They all saw him coming, waved and smiled at him.

“You will always resent those that have more than you,” he said to himself as he nodded and smiled back. “And you will always resent those that have less than you. Equilibrium. Accept it.”

where the handouts grow on bushes

and you sleep out every night

The singing was coming from the southern end of town, all the way down by a grove of trees near a large church. It echoed over the green grass and the dirt road and the roofs of the houses and stores, and that’s where he was heading.

There were many square white houses with large green yards on hills and all the people dressed in the various outfits from different decades all hung out and talked. It was warm out, a fair spring day.

“The only true love there is, is the love you find within yourself,” he thought. “Equilibrium. Accept it.”

where the boxcars all are empty

and the sun shines every day

He walked. Everyone was friendly, all smiling at him and waving. They were expecting him. He walked past a general store. He walked past a blacksmith. He walked past more houses. He walked past a field with cows and children and a low picket fence.

“The only thing that makes something popular is other people liking it,” he thought. “It is a paradox — in order for something to be popular on a mass scale, it must first be liked by many. And in order for something to be liked by many, it must first be popular. Equilibrium. Accept it.”

On the birds and the bees

And the cigarette trees

The lemonade springs

where the bluebird sings

in the big rock candy mountains

He reached the square where the singing was coming from. The street opened up to a large circular field, on which there was a crowd gathered on a bunch of risers that faced a short stage. The great white church was nearby at the apex of the circle.

“Game recognizes game,” he thought. “Power recognizes power. Equilibrium. Accept it.”

In the big rock candy mountains

all the cops have wooden legs

He climbed the stairs at the back of the risers. He stopped at the very top row.

“I am real,” he thought. “Equilibrium. Accept it.”

All the bulldogs have rubber teeth

and the hens lay soft boiled eggs

He looked down, and there was the Siren on the stage, singing for everyone.

“She is real,” he thought. “Equilibrium. Accept it.”

The farmers trees are full of fruit

and the barns are full of hay

The Siren had no accompaniment, it was just her voice. She had red hair and a beautiful southern accent and big dimples in her cheeks whenever she smiled. She wore a red corset with rubies at her breasts and throat. Her voice was loud and clear, as though amplified, though there was no microphone and no PA system.

“There is never anything to be afraid of,” he thought. “Equilibrium. Accept it.”

Oh I’m bound to go

where there ain’t no snow

He looked down and saw a little girl sitting a row below him, turned around and on her knees and looking up toward him. She gave a little smile and a wave. She was dressed in a little Sunday get-up with a straw hat and ribbons.

He smiled and waved back.

Where the rain don’t fall

and the wind don’t blow

in the big rock candy mountains

The Siren finished and smiled. Everyone was quiet.

“Looks like my appointment is here,” said the Siren, looking up at him. He smiled down at her. She was beautiful.

The crowd burst into applause.

Everything is a work in progress.