It’s a nice little town.

Sun shines brightly down narrow streets. Buildings all small, all stone, as they were in the old days. Fuseboxes and lightbulbs are clear retrofits in a place that cried out for gas lighting.

It’s a nice little town.

The road there is long and winding and narrow, cut off by geography from the land while admirably placed by geography next to the sea. Fishing boats still set out every morning and return at dusk. pastries are still made in the old ways, and the children still wear uniforms to the one small school.

It’s a nice little town.

If you were to walk the main road at three o’clock, when the children are out of school, you’d see the fruits of a simpler life. Technology doesn’t work so well out on the headland, so heads are buried in books instead of phones. The small bake shop and mom and pop restaurants are bussing instead of the local superstore or franchise.

It’s a nice little town.

And if, as the cook kneels over a steaming pot in the mom and pop grasy spoon, you happen to see that it is full of worms with single unblinking eyes? Chalk it up to local tastes. Stranger foods than that are on dinner tables across the world, and that’s assuming you saw it right. Bowls ladeled from the steaming pot are greedily gulped down, aren’t they?

It’s a nice little town.

When the light is just right on the manager of the bakery, he seems to have no eyes, no lips, only three gaping holes quietly oozing amber fluid. A trick of the sun combined with the honest spatters of old honey on the inside of the window. And so what if the pies and treats doled out to the eager children in exchange for their scrimped and saved lunch money seems to be softly moving, quietly gurgling? It’s the young stomachs before them like as not.

It’s a nice little town.

Out from school, many with sweets in their pockets or books in their hands, the young ones trot and skip down the street toward home. The light and shadow are tricksy, making that little boy look like he hasn’t a nose, making that little girl’s legs look chitinous and jointed beneath her dancing skirt for a moment. Children are strange at the best of times, full of strange games and stranger notions.

It’s a nice little town.

And if they who live there should beckon you, arms wide and faces open, to dine with them that eve? If the cook at the greasy spoon should lean out with a misting ladle, fresh-scooped? If the baker should thrust a glistening treat at you, no charge, thank you very much? If that little boy invites you to the inn his parents run, or the little girl invites you to hopscotch in the park with her friends?

It’s a nice little town.

Perhaps you should stay.

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