Small towns have always had a certain charm about them, whether it is the camaraderie of local townspeople or the feeling of being set aside from everyday life. The town of Dunnsville was no different. Set in the lush countryside of Colorado, it was adorned with towering pine trees and rich foliage which all helped to encapsulate it into one unique territory. The town was twenty miles off of the main highway and as soon as the large red and gold welcome sign was visible, the dirt road into town began. All the roads were dirt, left unpaved as if to further dissect them from the modern world. One main road, aptly named Main Street, split the town in two; shops and miscellaneous stores lined either side. Off of Main Street, smaller roads branched out leading into the more residential area of town, but in the end looping back around and rejoining the main road. Lake Midas, a small body of water with stunning blue green water and golden sand, lay at the end of Main Street. This lake was the focal point of the town, and was often the meeting place for the various events and as the refuge from the hot summer sun. In the summer there would be gatherings of all the locals in the form of picnics, parades - even pot luck dinners. Even in today's more isolated world of technology, Dunnsville somehow retained its status of seclusion from the outside world. Bakerton was the nearest large city, which was located roughly forty miles outside of town. On occasion, wayward travelers would stop by Dunnsville - some lost, some just looking to get away from big city life. The town felt surreal in its nature, where everyone knew each others name and anything that went on would normally be acknowledge by someone in the town. Dunnsville was a break in the clouds that society calls cities, and whose charming atmosphere made it almost fairy-tale in nature. This is where I, Brian Connor, begin my story.
I awoke to the sound of my alarm blaring, letting me know it was time to leave the security of my bed and begin my day. I tossed the covers off of my body and rolled over, placing my feet on the cold hardwood floor. Looking at the alarm, six o'clock am flashed in bright red light, the sun was not even up yet. I reached over and silenced the alarm and took a moment to rub my eyes and try to cast the sleep out of my system. I stood up slowly and began walking across the hall into the bathroom. I flicked on the light, which pierced my eyes like a sharp dagger. My bathroom was very reflective of my personality. The walls were plain white with white borders, my shower curtain with dolphins and various other sea life, matched the rug and lotion dispenser my mother had so thoughtfully sent me. Gazing into the medicine cabinet mirror, I took a moment to admire myself. I was good looking damn it. My blue eyes were bright and almost over exaggerated, and my wavy black hair never seemed to fall out of place. Yet somehow I remain a bachelor. Growing up I was always made fun of for being the ugly kid, not very well accepted either. Look at me now I think, time does change people. It is almost impossible to look at yourself and not pose - especially when no one is around. I flexed and twisted, trying to define every muscle in my chest until I had seen enough. My body has come a long way since my days of varsity wrestling - overall I am very muscular but now there is the beginning of a wonderful beer belly. Oh well, I turn away and begin to undress for a shower.
After my shower I returned to my room and opened my closet door. It had been a while since I did laundry, so I rummaged through to find something remotely clean to wear. Pulling out a plain red t-shirt, and faded blue jeans, I put them on and decided they would do. I entered the kitchen and popped open the door to the refrigerator, to my dismay there wasn't much in there. Closing the door, I searched through the cabinets above my counter and luckily found the last Pop-Tart in the house. This will have to do I thought. I hurriedly threw on my jacket and stepped out the front door, retrieving my keys from the pocket and locking the door. Outside, the sun was just coming up, and many of the neighbors were already doing yard work, or miscellaneous tasks in their yards. I moved to this neighborhood a few days short of a month ago, and I still really can't understand the people of this town. Friendly, they are, but they seem so regimented in their everyday activities. I guess this must be part of the generation gap that people talk about in idle conversation. Vincent Adams, a short, fat man, was across the street on his ride-on lawn mower. His head was balding, and with his figure I had always depicted him as a rodeo clown. This is my own sick humor. Next door to him was Gladys Westinghouse - an elderly woman with thick glasses who always seemed to have pastries handy for the neighborhood children. She was busy tending to her garden - which she spent much of her day doing. Both people acknowledge me as I walked down my driveway towards my car; I waved to them and went on my way. My car was an old Black 1993 Toyota Camry, it had far too many miles on it and not one panel of the car was without rust. I jiggled the handle, and the door finally popped open, entering I kicked soda cans on the floor out of the way. I had no respect for my car, so I just assumed fill the junk I drive, with junk. After I sat down, I buckled my seat belt, adjusted the one mirror I had - the side mirrors were both missing, and put the key in the ignition. After a few attempts the car turned over, and I back down my driveway onto Lotus Avenue, where I reside.
I moved to Dunnsville about a month ago from Las Vegas to get away from my hometown, and people that I no longer wished to see. Back home some of my former friends became involved with drugs and illicit activities. I didn't want to be around that, and I also wanted to be somewhere new where I could start over fresh. Being twenty six years old, I knew that my time was now - before I became settled in and couldn't uproot myself. It wasn't easy starting over, with a new setting, new neighbors and a new job. I got a job through a website search engine, as a member of the town's grounds department. I enjoy my work so far, being outside and working with my hands. Most of the time I am raking leaves, mowing lawns and picking up the nominal amounts of garbage that may litter the streets. This job pays well also, thirteen dollars an hour - enough to get by and have some fun on my days off. I clicked the transmission into drive, the car jerked, and I drove off. Lotus Avenue was like any other street in this town, all the houses were almost identical - with the same white picket fence, twin garbage cans and oversized black mailbox. Individuality as it appeared was not a hot topic in this one horse town. I came to the stop sign at the four-way intersection of Lotus and Main Street. I turned right down Main and continued along towards the lake, seeing only two cars on the road other than myself. Even being on the main strip of the town, with shops and post office - there was never much activity at all. It's not that there aren't many residents, just that they all seem to be very lackadaisical in nature, without much worry about time. Nearing the lake, I veered right at a large wooden sign that read - " DunnsVille Town Offices". This was where the parks department was located. The building itself was small, no larger than my house to be exact. The exterior was covered in red "shingles" as I called them, all tarnished with dirt and moss. A large wooden door with a circular window was the only source of entry and external light. An ominous building it was, but it was also my refuge, and source of income. I parked my car and walked up the gravel path to the door and opened it.
Inside the office, four shop lights hung from the ceiling - illuminating the interior to a less than desirable degree. The room itself was simply four walls, all covered in a forest green wallpaper, and four metal desks - none of which were mine. A narrow doorway was in the back left corner, it lead to the kitchen and bathroom - the luxuries we have are amazing. All the desks were cluttered with papers and coffee-stained mugs. The walls were decorated with antlers of various animals, along with a shotgun mounted above the door. A sign above the gun read "We don't call the police". Charming. I walked to the desk in the far right corner, it belonged to my boss, Aaron, who I assumed would be in late as usual. There was a corkboard on the wall which held a piece of paper, impaled by a pink thumb tack. "Brian" was written in barely legible script, Aaron's hand writing was that of a doctor's, while his intellect was that of a young child's. Grabbing the paper, I removed it and unfolded it - there was a list which was my daily tasks to be completed. Most of them looked routine; mowing lawns, patching concrete, and all the general malaise of my career in custodial arts. One item caught my eye, and that was to investigate the cause of a foul odor around the lake shore nearest town hall. Interesting I thought, not only am I a grounds keeper - but a part time blood hound. I folded the paper back up and shoved it into my pocket,