John ran down
Bikers Avenue… Fad Diets Cul-de-sac… Religious
Where was it?
He ran on. And then-
Cutting through the crowds, he picked up his pace and made a sharp left. His breath catching in his throat in the excitement, he dashed down the narrow street and skidded to a stop, throwing up a cloud of dust, almost obscuring the sign in front of him.
“Welcome to Scribosphere Alley!”
John grinned widely. He’d arrived!
“Hey, everyone! I’ve started a blog too!!. Weh-hey!!”
He punched the air excitedly and waited for the high-fives from friends old and new from across cyberspace.
But nothing came.
John's grin faded. He stared down the street as the dust began to settle. In the distance he spotted something. A tumbleweed.
He turned around slowly, looking up and down Scribosphere alley.
Where was everyone?
No-one. It was deserted. Nothing but an eerie silence. Except for… There was a kind of low whistle. Something… He couldn’t quite put his finger it.
What was that?
And then he recognised it.
The Winds of Disinterest.
Dejected, John turned away and headed back down the street, shoulders heavy.
That’s when he saw him.
A solitary figure, sitting on his porch, lazily swaying back and forth on an old rocking chair. John made his way down the street towards him, and saw that the man had a battered old fedora pulled down over his eyes, and, closer still, he could see the never-ending circling of his jaw as he chewed on… tabacc-ey. Or grits. Or….something.
John stopped in front of him and waited, not knowing whether to interrupt him or not. He was about to speak when...
The rocking stopped.
The man spat. From under his hat. A wet gob landed at John’s feet.
So that's what they chewed around these parts.
“You wantin’ somthin’?”
John jumped. “Oh… right. Sorry. Yeah.”
“So…?” There was contempt. John could definitely hear contempt. Or was it distain? Hard to tell the difference sometimes…
“Well, I was just wondering… I mean… Where is everyone... from the… scribosphere.”
And the old man laughed. He threw back his head (although, strangely, his hat stayed in place) and he laughed, a great hacking cough of a laugh that caught in his throat, no doubt brought on by years of hardcore Hubba-bubba chewing.
“Yeah, ok. I know it’s a stupid name. But… they’re supposed to be here… and…”
The man slapped his leg and took his time letting his laughter wind down. When he’d finally had enough he let out a long sigh. And then seemed to completely forget that John was even there.
John cleared his throat. “So?”
“They’ve all gone….”
“Gone? Gone where?”
The old man gazed down Scribosphere Alley and beyond
“Is no-one out there?”