Nothing ever happens on this street. This is the dead-end-est of all the dead-end streets in the world. Nobody is ever born, and nobody ever dies. Everything stays the same for years, and decades, and centuries. I am Cindy and I am twelve. Always have been and always will be. Every morning is the same except for the weather.
Nobody comes here, and nobody leaves here. My grandpa says it has been like this as long as anyone can remember.
He told me that it will always be this way until the spell is broken. But nobody even knows what kind of spell it is, or why it was put upon this street. We have identical looking houses, painted white with red trim, red doors, and yellow roofs. We know that we are abnormal because we have TVs and phones. We stay up-to-date and find out all the world news but we can't send messages out and we can't get any messages in. We can walk down our street and look out upon the bustling world, but we can only go so far until some invisible force prevents us from moving out of our zone.
This particular morning, I took my grandfather's hand, as I always do, and we go for a walk. We walk to the end of the dead-end street, turn around and walk the other way for the length of the block until we hit the invisible boundary.
"Cindy, you need to be the one to break this spell," he says. He says this every single morning.
As always, I ask him, "But how?"
And he says, "Technology is always improving, and it's for you, the younger generation to crack the spell and release us. My head is getting so tired. I remember things that happened since the beginning of time, and my brain keeps getting fuller and fuller. Your brain, on the other hand, has not seen as much stuff as I have, so your brain has the capacity to think of something." Grandpa always says this.
"Do you remember Adam and Eve?"
"Yes, I do. And before that, the dinosaurs."
"If only there were a way to get us out of here. You would be famous, and you could correct a lot of wrongs. On the other side, nobody knows the truth about so many things."
"If the spell were broken, I would shrivel up and become dust. Not that I'd mind. At this rate I'll never get to heaven either."
"How will we find the way?"
"Watch the news carefully, as we have always done. One of these days, there will be a breakthrough, and I only hope we don't miss seeing it."
"I don't know. Some technology, some missing piece of the puzzle. Come, Cindy, it's time for breakfast."
We go home, where my mother is serving porridge, as she has done every morning since forever. My father is already shaven and showered and ready to go to work. My little brother sits in his highchair banging his spoon, demanding food. We eat. My father gets up, and grabs his coat and his briefcase and leaves. We all know he will just stand there, trapped on our side of the barrier until five o'clock, and then he'll come home.