I am so excited to share with you my short story, "The Road That Takes You There." Here's a quick excerpt, which you can listen to me read via the audio above -- or read for yourself below. I would really appreciate hearing your thoughts on it in the comments! Happy reading, and thank you as always for your support. - JS
My God, her face…
What happened to her face?
The road stretched out before him in miles of endlessness. It was an old country road, one he had driven countless times before and surely would drive countless times again. He had driven it in his youth as he drove it now as an old man, the road that took him into the city for work each day and the very one that would bring him home again each night. Stalks of corn, also seemingly without end, flanked both sides of the road, mile after mile. He smiled to look upon them, remembering a simpler time when he was knee-high to a grasshopper, when the stalks had seemed to tower over him. Days when he would run through the rows, hide in them, breathing in the sweetness while taking momentary shelter from the sun.
It came as a great shock to George Tinker, the day he saw a break in those vast stretches of yellow and green. A brief reprieve that he was certain had not been there before. The fields seemed to part, as the Red Sea had parted for Moses, that great magician of ancient days, and in its place rested what would come to be the sum of all George Tinker’s fears – a tiny church with a graveyard tucked neatly behind it.
“That wasn’t there yesterday, Martha,” George said, slowing his car at the sight. The passenger seat next to him was empty. “Must be new,” he concluded. George often spoke, out loud, to his late wife Martha. He preferred to pretend she was still with him.
Merrily George rolled along, passing it by, without thinking much of it at first. It was only later, passing it again on his way home, that the first of many questions would arrive.
Who built it? he wondered.
In all his years, the road had not changed, and for that, George was grateful. Now, there was something new. Something unfamiliar.
“That thing doesn’t belong there!” George Tinker shouted out his car window at the church the next morning. Had anyone seen him, bald but for the brush of gray around his ears, they might have laughed at what looked in that moment like the very definition of a grumpy old man. But no one had seen him. No one was there. No one ever was.
“Doesn’t belong,” he hmphed to himself, as if to underline the point. He continued his muttering rant as he tooled on down the road. “Now Martha, you were right when you said there’s a place for everything, and everything in it's place. And that thing… is out. of. place. Meh! The whole world is upside down today.”
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