Down Interstate 77 from out of Virginia and on to Highway 52 toward Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the scenery became rustic and simple. Farms dotted and surrounded by acres of untamed woodlands flashed by from roadside through one's car windows. As motorists drove toward Mayberry, they started to realized they were in a special place in the country barely touched by the invasion of the world beyond it. A trio of young men carried fishing poles down toward the fishing hole by following the creek that ran under the highway. A farmer quickly hiding his jug of illegal mountain whiskey waved from a tractor to the motorists driving by his property. On the front porch of one house, three gossiping ladies waved hello as well to the strangers entering the city limits. Eventually more houses started popping up as Highway 52 became Main Street in town, but those who lived here in town called it Maple Street. The mayor's house was on the right just down the block from pretty Nurse Peggy and another block over was Mrs. Mendlebright's Boarding House. The motherly old matriarch was being courted by another gentleman. At the town square, strangers in town could turn east out of town or west and left again past the courthouse. Sheriff Andy Taylor was coming from Floyd's barbershop again and scratching at his tiny hairs escaping down his back. He waved across the street to Howard Sprague and Sam Jones and then noticed people he didn't know admiring the display in Walker's Drugstore. The traffic was picking up a little as Howard and Sam continued for the Town Hall. Still brushing the thick auburn mop on his head, Andy noticed it wasn't quite so bushy after Floyd had clipped it. Briefly passing his hand over a front pillar of the courthouse, Andy thought he noticed something different. The Bluebird Diner off the square seemed to have changed hands. It was now calling itself Monk's Diner. He wondered about it a second and the gawky mop-topped stranger entering the place and then passed it out of his mind. Things changed around here, but it seemed he was just in there yesterday and he had heard nothing about it going to be sold.
Pressing on, Andy opened the door of the courthouse and swung it shut as he stepped through. He motioned for his desk and then realized that some things never changed. Just out of eyesight, his deputy was locked in the cell and using the broom to reach the keys left on the short wall separating the cells from the rest of the room. He grimaced a bit amused, rubbed his chin chuckling under breath and strided over the the beleaguered and embarrassed lawman in the cell.
"I locked myself in." Deputy Barney Fife stated the obvious.
"Looks like it..." Andy continued chuckling. There was a lot of humor in this incident, but he wasn't about to pick at Barney this time. He took the keys and unlocked the cell door for him. Accidents happened of course.
"Did you fix the stop sign over on Elm Street? It fell off again." Andy continued and hung the keys on the hook.
"It's on my list." Barney continued sweeping from the cells.
"Well," Andy turned to his desk as the phone rang. "Do me a favor and take it off your list." He turned to pick up the old bell and handle phone and instead noticed a black modern rotary phone on his desk. He looked at it with surprise and looked back to Barney.
"When we get the new phone?"
"I didn't notice." Barney answered as Andy answered the phone.
"Sheriff's office." Andy replied picking up the phone.
"Hello, sheriff..." It was a woman calling the courthouse. "My name is Gladys Kravitz and I think you ought to check out the Stephens House right now. There's some very strange things going on over there!"
"Well," Andy thought he knew everyone in town, but he sure didn't recall anyone named Kravitz. "What kind of strange things?"
"People vanishing and reappearing, things moving through the air..." She argued briefly with someone named Abner in the background. "Look, I pay taxes and I think you ought to know what's going on over there." Her voice turned very crass and snide as if she had a bone to pick with these certain neighbors.
"We'll get right on it, ma'am." Andy promised. "What's the address?"
"I live at 1163 Morning Glory Circle. Maybe you can just get to the bottom of what's going over there!"
"Yes, ma'am, I'll try to get on it." Andy rolled his eyes at this odd request. Barney had come over and stood over the desk with his hands on his belt. He picked up the address and wondered about it. Consciously, he had never heard of that road before, but unconsciously, it sounded familiar. Wasn't that the road that crossed Maple Drive eight houses down from Andy's house? He thought that was Elm Street, but right now, it seemed his memories were stirring up with thoughts and memories being updated against each other.
"Morning Glory..." Barney thought a second. "Ain't no such road in Mayberry..."
"I know..." Andy rose from the desk to check it out.
"Then where are we going?" Barney was a few steps behind as if he knew what was going on, but instead of acting rationally, Andy found himself acting instinctively as if he just happened to recall where the street was. With Barney getting into the patrol car with him, he drove around and between Walker's Drugstore and the Post Office and past the Old Oak Tree in the Town Square and down Maple street toward his house. His son, Opie Taylor, waved to him excitedly from the front yard of his house as he drove by. Instead of stopping, Andy stayed in sheriff mode and drove and down to where Maple and Elm intersected and looked to the street signs. It looked as though Elm had been renamed as Morning Glory Circle, but that was impossible. If it had, he was sure the mayor and city council would have talked and discussed it. He would have known about it. Turning left, he continued past houses and structures he knew he'd never seen before but again seemed oddly familiar. He knew he'd never been here before, but something about these strange houses poked through his memories as if they were being altered by forces he didn't understand.
Barney stepped out on to the street from the passenger side of the car first. He and Andy exchanged a look and tried to refamiliarize themselves with this strange new part of Mayberry and started to cross the street for what was 1163 Morning Glory Circle. It was a nice one story home with a perfect green yard and square manicured bushes. The bluish-gray clapboard house had a very suburban look and feel to it unlike the other houses in this small Southern town.
The sound of a motorcycle coming down the street attracted Barney's attention. He just happened to glance up, but as he saw the motorcyclist, he started reaching for his gun. It looked a a young greaser in a leather jacket from an old Fifties film he had seen with Thelma Lou. The leather-jacket clad young man just drove by along his way, but Barney knew with that type came trouble in the form of hoods and street gangs. Eager to arrest the leather clad motorcyclist, he struggled to pull out his gun, but Andy put his hand on it and stopped him.
"Barney..." Andy chided him. "He's probably just passing through. If we arrest everyone who was a little different, we'd be arresting just bout everyone."
"Oh yeah..." Barney was sometimes overeager in his police duties. "Well, they never did get all of Dillinger's men!" Andy just humored Barney for the minute and pressed his finger to the doorbell. A buzzing noise sounded within and a short, slightly over weight lady appeared to the door. Her face was round with two cherubic brown eyes and her dark brown hair was styled short. She turned up a suspicious eye to Andy and Barney and held on to the door to preserve her privacy.
"Yes, ma'am..." Andy started. "You said you was being bothered."
"Not just bothered, but I'm afraid for my life... From her!" She pointed across the street. "Ever since Samantha Stephens moved into the neighborhood, this street has not been safe. Houses and people appear and disappear, objects fly through the air, strange things occur... almost as if by... magic."
Andy and Barney slowly gave each other a look as they realized maybe this Mrs. Kravitz was completely all there herself. Her husband had poked up his look for his newspaper on the sofa and rolled his eyes in a very beleaguered and over-wrought demeanor. He had lived through these crazy accusations on the neighbors several times, and Mrs. Stephens got the worst of it. His sigh and eye roll spoke volumes to a experienced lawman like Andy.
"Uh-huh..." Andy exhaled obviously them looked to his deputy. "Barney, why don't you go have a talk with Mrs. Stephens across the street while I get a statement from Mrs. Kravitz."
"Right, sheriff..." Barney saluted and turned away. Gladys Kravitz was just happy to have someone listening to her for a change instead of her husband, Abner, who often poured her nerve medicine down her throat to try killing her persistent hallucinations. Whether or not they were hallucinations was now for Barney to decide. Looking for more Fifties motorcycle-riding hoods in the street, he crossed over to the two-story wood frame house and strided up across the driveway behind a blue convertible and up the walkway. Even with the sun in his face, he panned over the yard and looked over it to admire it then turned with a cocksure step to the front porch and rang the bell. A melodious tune played and a vacuum cleaner turned off inside the resident. Barney looked briefly back to this perfect yard and glanced up to a new church on the corner across from the street. The sign outside it read United Methodist Church. He knew there was one here in Mayberry, but he thought it was on the other side of town. Down the street from it was a large bus parked in the driveway of another home. Who owned a bus painted like that?
"Yes?" Samantha Stephens appeared at the door in the form a beautiful woman and swept Barney off his feet. She was nothing like what he was expecting. She had long blonde hair swept back from her face and her blue eyes had a regal mystical presence to them as if she could see more than just objects and people before her. Dressed in a black sweater and violet Capri pants, her shapely figure turned on the romantic in Barney Fife and he flashed on his grin to try charming her in return.
"Well, hello there..." He beamed neighborly. "You must be new to Mayberry. May I just say welcome to our little town."
"I've been living here or seven years." Samantha answered. "But thank you very much and... excuse me, what's a mayberry?"
"Mayberry, the town we're in..." Barney started then noticed the imposing petite red-haired woman who appeared from no where behind Samantha. She hadn't walked up or crossed the room, she had just popped in to the room where no one had been before. Garbed in a long green and blue gown, the woman had spectral red hair designed and adorned over her head as if she was more at home in another century.
"Where did you come from?" Barney reacted spooked.
"The source of the Nile." She gestured and the door slammed shut on Deputy Barney Fife. Samantha Stephens groaned at the spectacle of her mother using her witchcraft before mortals. Well versed in the practice of concealing and explaining away her own mystical powers, Samantha turned to her mother upset and frustrated.
"Mother! What are you doing?"
"What am I doing?" Endora rose her voice to her adult child. "What are you doing? Did you think moving your house to this tiny little town would keep me from finding you? What were you thinking?"
"Mother," Samantha folded her arms before her modest bust size. "What are you talking about?'
"You don't know?" Endora looked at her daughter and realized she really wasn't kidding. She really didn't know. "Samantha, your house is now located in a tiny little town called Mayberry, North Carolina and it's not the only one..." She dramatically wandered out into the living room. "Did I say tiny little town? Not for long... There are dozens of houses and businesses popping in all over the place around here from over time and space, and because of it, reality and the past is being altered and the memories of these mortals with it. Now, as witches we are immune, but for Durwood..." Endora always called Samantha's husband by a condescending name. "... and other mortals, they won't know the difference."
"Mother, are you making this up?"
"Well, see for yourself..." Endora materialized the local newspaper and handed it to Samantha. It looked normal, but instead of the Westport News, it was the Mayberry Gazette. An article described how the wealthy Collins Family had donated money to the Mayberry Library and how the city was going to tear down the old Rose Red Mansion outside of town. Bandleader Ricky Ricardo's wife was in the news for terrorizing the park while trying to get an autograph from actress Ginger Grant. Mel's Diner on the other side of town was running a raffle to drum up business. Captain Jim Brass was asking the locals for information in the murder of one Laura Palmer.
"How about Darren?" Samantha was worried her husband was still in New York City and return to Westport looking for the house.
"McMann and Tate also got moved with several other businesses into nearby Raleigh." Endora stopped and turned around to Samantha. "I don't know what's going on round here, but I think things are going to get very interesting around here.