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I used to think our little town, tucked away in the mountains of West Virginia and buried in the backwoods, was the most boring spot on the planet. This was the place where nothing exciting happened and nothing was ever going to change. The place felt like it was a movie set from the 1950s. Each morning, as the sun began to peek over the ridge of the valley, you would hear the old milk truck shuddering down the back alley as he made his delivery just like it had been done for over 75 years. People liked tradition, and change was not easily welcomed.

As the sun would reach the crest of the ridge, people would be up and about, which was irritating for the teens in our town. My Grandma Tucker always said, Be thankful for another day, you never know when it might be your last, so don’t miss a second of it, which was usually followed with, Get your butt out of bed! People were early risers, and by the time I was out of the house the old women would be sitting on their front porches, slowly rocking with a steaming cup of coffee clutched in their hands, watching everything that happened.

Our little town was great for kids, because we were allowed to run wild. No one worried about someone snatching a child like they did in the big cities. In our little town, everyone knew each other, and kept an eye out.  While we were allowed our freedom, there was a price.  If you did anything wrong, it beat you home, and there was an butt-whupping waiting for you.  My granny was an expert with a hickory switch…

Our little town had a rhythm. Mondays were back to work or school; Tuesday was laundry day; Wednesday evening was church; Thursday was for doing the grocery shopping at the Shop ’N Save, the only grocery store in town; Friday was for football; Saturday you did your chores; and Sunday was for church and family.

This little town held us in the palm of its hand, and it knew everything about us; the good, the bad, every sin, every secret, and everything was known about each and every resident.  Most people were from here. You could trace family trees back many generations to the Founders. Only a few ever left, and if they did, you never saw them again. My secret desire was to be one of the few. I wanted to be a writer, and to do that I needed to experience life outside our little town.

Our quiet little town was about to change, and all because I put an ad on Craigslist.

While normal folk cut their grass, or made out at the overpass, my imagination was taking flight. Some would say I was a genius, while others would accuse me of being the Devil himself. What they all agreed upon was that I was justified in what I’d done.