Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Town of Unusual Middling

The Town of Unusual Middling
David Stout

You know in my life I’ve seen plenty of people come and go through this town. Merchants, settlers, soldiers; just about everyone has come through this town and have left something behind. That’s kind of the point to this town; it’s more or less a stopping point for most while for others it feels more like home than the very place they’ve grown up in. All kinds of people from just about every kind of place and every walk of life live here and at first you’d think we were a city but that’s not exactly how this place works. For those that have lived here the longest, they tell that the town shifts every now and then, as if to keep certain groups together, but every once in a while newer people from other points will come and visit. There are even specific buildings that are focal points, like the grocery store, the bar, and the local bookstore. I have friends like Jared the Centaur who follows a strange religion that the closest I could compare it to is a combination of Hinduism and Jewish mysticism, then there is Farlen, the wolf man who is a devote catholic, and Minerva, the actual goddess from mythology. She doesn’t believe in any higher power than herself, but that’s to be expected of an ancient being like her. Funny thing though is that none of them have a problem with the other’s faiths, mostly because they chose to live in this town. It’s more a less a safe haven for those who are open minded enough to find their way here, but that doesn’t mean that everyone gets along. Again just because the town shifts so that people can meet, that doesn’t mean this place is going to bring the most easy going people together; we’ve had our fair share of spats and they’ve all left their marks here. I’ve even been in a few of these scraps, though I’ve been lucky in making amends quickly and gaining a few friends. If you’re wondering how time works in this place well don’t worry because it seems it works normally, though people seem to be off by five minutes each time. You could imagine how annoying this is for those that already have a bad habit at being five minutes early or being five minutes late; though in truth everyone always seems to arrive on time regardless; unless you leave later than five minutes. Then you’ll be five minutes of one or the other, depending on how your feeling.

 Again some of the older members of the town had gotten together to try and make things easier for the residents by mapping the areas and how exactly they work. It’s also for any visitors that seem to come by; what is great is that everyone can read it if you speak at least one of the five most common languages: English, Klingon, Elvish, Infant, or Plant. Yes “Plant” is a language and you’d be surprised how common it is in other places. I don’t exactly speak it myself but my friend Joe the Elder Tree says it’s not hard to learn if you have a couple of centuries to spend.  He’s an expert in various languages actually, could tell you how to sit down in Gaelic, Spanish, Draconic, Quibble, and even Time Lord. He prefers English, but that’s just how it works. Don’t worry though if you can’t read it, there is always someone who can translate it for you. It’s the town’s way of being helpful and for introducing you to some of the colorful characters that live here. Ah my manners your probably wondering who I am and what the name of the town is since you’ve probably been curious of ever coming here. Well I can tell you my name, but the name of the town is something that goes unspoken of unless you plan on staying here permanently, it’s one of those “power within a name” kind of thing. For those that want to live here but aren’t here, you won’t find this town as it won’t want to be found if you know it’s name. Trust me, this is a town you’ll want to find when it wants to be found by you. Oh right I was going to tell you my name and how I got here.

My name is Joseph Sterling, and I came here a long time ago, I was actually looking for a new place to live but also wanted to travel abroad for a time. My head was full of ideas for stories but I wanted to garner some experience for myself, mostly to help influence my work and to of course be able to regale some of my travels to friends and family. I was traveling through the Midwestern states of America and was slowly making my way down south to the more desert regions to find some native artwork. I didn’t have much money left, and I was looking for a place to work for a while like a farm or a small shop, of course this was me being naïve due to lack of proper nourishment and having decent luck with people. Honestly had I been wiser I would have dragged one or two friends along with me just to keep the journeying from getting too out of hand, but I was a little too eager to start my trip and I had only been traveling for about half a year. I wasn’t exactly sure which state I was in, somewhere between Nevada and Arizona. I’m not great at geography in truth, so really in a sense I was meant to find this town and maybe you are too. I had both stumbled upon and literally stumbled into a diner, where I was greeted by what I thought at first was a hostess in costume. She looked like a witch, and I would find out later that she was indeed a witch. However I thought the diner was having a special theme day and it seemed like everyone was enjoying being in a costume. Then I got my first hint that all was not right when I met a centaur, someone who would become one of my first friends of the town: Jared. At first he and the others assumed I was from another part of the town and had just crossed a rift, and that I was making jokes about their appearances. Until I had caught the eye of a very open minded octopus and had caused a scene when I noticed that it wasn't a costume but actual flesh. That was my wake up call and after a quick mental break down, I had asked where exactly I was and if I was either dreaming or dead. From there you could guess how exactly I came to live here.

You are probably wondering if I miss my family, well that’s the nice thing about this place. You can still keep in contact with your home world, dimension, time, etc. and even visit whenever you want. After all, the town isn’t greedy and knows that if you like it here that you’ll be coming back in no time. Traveling to other peoples realms is a bit trickier but it’s not impossible, especially if you have someone from that place to guide you through. Some realms are more accepting of other beings, while others will see most species as a sign of invading forces, so really there is a list of what places to avoid or who to bring with you when you want to go on vacation.

Well it’s getting late and I really must be going but thank you for the time spent and for hearing me out. I hope you make your way to where I now live and hopefully we’ll see each other there soon. Have a pleasant evening.

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