The other day, I came up with a really good idea for a story, or collection of short stories. It’s interesting because all I have is the title, and the title won’t have anything to do with the story. What I mean is that the title is simply a metaphor, and if I decide to turn this into a novel or book of short stories, they will all be related to the idea behind the title. Do you like when books do this? I know the idea isn’t original, but it would be the first time I’d do something like that. I’d go further into detail, but I just came up with the idea a little while ago so everything still needs to be worked out. All I know is that I do want to pursue it at some point.
Now, for this post, I’m using a prompt I found online: Memory Lane: What’s it look like? How’d you get there? Hope you enjoy.
The sun never goes down, but it frequently hides behind the clouds, sometimes for long stretches of time. But it’s always shining, even through the clouds. On days where the clouds are too overwhelming, rain falls, the wind blows, lightning strikes–all hope seems lost. The sun always finds its way.
The road itself is filled with twists and turns. There are lots of side streets, too, that lead back to the main road. Occasionally, there are streets that lead to dead ends. No signs are around to tell you you made a wrong turn, but the streets are wide and empty, no cars on either side, making it easy to turn around.
There’s a small town a couple miles down the road with one stop light. Empty, run-down houses can be found on both sides. Small restaurants and cafes are half filled with people. A park down by the river is filled with children and their mother’s. Next to the park is a library, where everyone is on their computer. It’s easy to get lost in town. It’s always quiet, the people are friendly, despite their conservative beliefs, and the view of the mountains on the horizon are mind-blowing. But you don’t wish to stay the rest of your life. You can picture yourself staying for a week, but no more. The feeling something’s missing is always stuck in the back of your mind.
If you keep going past the town, the road becomes a little bumpy. It hasn’t been looked after in quite a while. The people in town say that one day, they’ll fix the road, but they never really fix it. Only if it’s an election year will they haphazardly fill in some of the bigger potholes. It only takes a winter for them to return. There are no guard rails, either, with ditches on the side so the road doesn’t get flooded. But every once in a while, you’ll hear about someone–“just passing through”–go sliding off the road and into the ditch. The airbags are never enough. At best, you end up crippled for the rest of your life.
You can even see the mark where you slid off the road two years ago. Your arm and neck still hurt from the crash, and when you see it, you sometimes wonder if you really were lucky enough to make it out alive. You laugh at yourself and drive on, with two hands on the wheel this time.
Further on, the road is no longer a road. Just dirt. Totally neglected. You want to stop to say something, to ask why nothing is changing, but you go on. It’s not up to you. The road goes on like this for longer than you’d like. You’re in the mountains at this point, and in the back of your mind, you hope you the road doesn’t drop off a cliff.
It never does, though. You reach the top and the road is actually a road. You see it twist down the mountain and through the valley on the other side, corn fields on both sides with sunflowers bordering the road. You can clearly see everything for miles and miles. Everything’s tiny from this high up, but you know everything gets better the further you travel down the road.