The Town That Once Was

There is a little town, in a little place far off into the west, where the people once roamed and where life once existed. In this old place, devastated by time, only one old man resided. He told marvelous stories of how the town used to be, he seemed to be live there only to chronicle these tales. If you were to find this deserted town you will know you have found yourself within an uncertain fate, for only the lost find their way here. The streets that were once filled with the cheers of people and brilliant lights, now were empty, the lights have gone out long ago. The buildings seemed to serve as a crude image of how busy the streets were, everything seemed to have its place amongst the chaos of the town. The only thing that still lives in the home of the old storyteller, the brightly colored house lit up all day long. A small wooden rocking chair sat outside where the storyteller would guide the lost souls on their journey with a tale of old.

One day, in the late winter, a man came wandering through the town, lost and alone. He feared for his life as he had no memories of how he had found himself in such a predicament. The streets seemed to be filled with a heavy fog, the mere sight of which made the man’s heart sink as if he were looking at a great evil. Before he could gather his thoughts he heard the sound of creaking coming from his right and, as he turned to it, he saw the tale-teller. The old man sat in his chair, staring directly at the lost soul, wearing an old tuxedo that seemed to be covered in scratches. The lost man approached him and asked the tale-teller why he was wearing that. The old man smiled and began his story. “There was once a man who loved a woman so dearly he would do anything for her. The man was utterly smitten by her beauty and her charm. He decided one day that the two of them must be married if they were to ever be happy. But alas, the man never got the chance to propose.” When the man finished his story, the lost traveler reached into his pocket, fishing out a small object and he gave it to the tale-teller as thanks for his story before he turned and walked away. The old man took the engagement ring with a sigh and returned to his house.

Again, another lost soul found their way to the town, a young girl who was frantically looking for her mother. The brightness of the town was blinding as she searched high and low, before coming to an old house that looked on the verge of breaking. An old man came out, wearing a blue shirt with black pants and put a hand on the little girl's shoulder. “My dear, let me tell you a story.” His voice was so soft and so kind, that it brought a tear to the little girls' eyes. The man brought her inside and grabbed an old book off the shelf and sat beside her. He read her the old bedtime story, the one she had been accustomed to. Through all the years of being told stories, this was by far her favorite. The words seemed to hold new meaning as the man spoke with great emphasis as if he were trying to transport her to another world. A grand smile was on her face as the little girl hugged the man, thanked him for her story and went on her way. The old man looked out his window at the road and saw the tracks of a car had screeched to a hard stop.

The man continued his storytelling to all those who would find themselves lost on his doorstep, and all would give him something to remember them by before leaving. One day, however, was different. A young woman, perhaps no older than sixteen found herself wandering the streets. Confused and feeling alone she searched for someone to help her. When she came upon the old man’s house he fulfilled his duty of telling her a tale, but instead of her leaving right away, something peculiar happened. The girl sat in front of the man and asked him where she was, a look of surprise on the old man’s face as she did so. “I am not certain myself.” He said with a sigh as he looked around solemnly. “But what I do know is that I must guide those that are lost here.” Before the man could utter another word, the girl surprised him again saying, “Can I help?” The man smiled genuinely to the young woman and nodded in agreement as they heard another person coming into town.


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