Eerie, Indiana- my home, sweet home. Prior to my life here I had a life in New Jersey. But Eerie makes Jersey seem like Wholesomeville. What am I talking about you ask?
I'm sure you've seen Eerie's clean streets, ice-cream vans in every park, lemonade stands on the greenest front lawns, and friendly pedestrians waving at you. But it's all an illusion of the dark undercurrent that long ago made this town the center of weirdness for the entire planet.
Take the World o' Stuff for example: nothing can be bought from Eerie's corner store without weirdness stalking you home and biting you on the butt.
The World O' Stuff had the most distinctive smell of chocolate malts mixed with old library pages; I liked it.
My friend Simon Holmes and I were in there one bright afternoon. As the sun set through the store windows, we riffled through the comic book shelf in the vain hope of finding a new and exciting comic worth spending our pocket money on.
Simon had a curfew of sunset to be home and sitting at the homework table, that also doubled for a torture table when he wasn't home by sunset. So Simon gave up the comic search, said 'see you later' and left the store.
"Having trouble making up your mind, Marshall?" Storeowner, Mr. Radford, asked me from behind the long wooden bar counter.
"You really need to get some better comics in here, Mr. Radford." I pleaded.
He scratched his mustache with his index finger. "You know what? I believe you're right. Besides you and Simon, no other kids go anywhere near the comic shelf."
Mr. Radford then pointed out the corner door to the silhouette of a few kids from school, guys and girls, just standing and chatting. "They just hang out front, talking about nothing."
"You can hear them?" I asked, picking up a comic from the bottom row.
"I can when I go down to the basement and stand by the drain pipe." Radford admitted.
"That's eavesdropping, Mr. Radford." I said before curiosity got the better of me. "What do they talk about?"
Mr. Radford then held his palms out and parted the air with them, "nothing!"
I knew I had to be getting home soon. I grabbed the random comic I was holding as it was only a buck and took it over to the counter, taking a seat on one of the many stools.
As I handed over a wrinkled dollar from my pocket, Mr. Radford asked, "Marshall, why aren't you out there talking to the girls about nothing with the other boys your age?"
Without thinking I answered, "Because this town would fall apart if I started to ignore the darkness that leaks through every so often, and instead talked about the news and weather." Then, with my comic, I left the World O' Stuff and as I passed the kids from school outside, I could have sworn they were all muttering, "nothing," repeatedly.
Don't get me wrong; Eerie is a beautiful place on the surface. As I rode my bike home that evening, the fresh spring air reminded me of that beauty and as each streetlight almost magically switched on as I peddled by, I couldn't think of a nicer, more American town to live in. Had Eerie finally worn me down? Don't worry, I was about to get a wakeup call placed by mega voodoo weirdness.