Loveville, fiction by Timothy Gager

Loveville is a free-wheel­ing town you enter with­out a seat­belt at 100 miles per hour down the Main Street; going so fast, a clock can’t tick. When you spin off the road you are thrown onto the grass near a sign­post. Look up and read it: “Wel­come to Loveville-Pop­u­la­tion: Every­one else in the Uni­verse. “Is this what you want?” you ask your­self.
You want this: You want love in Loveville. You take some­one to town but you don’t want to be with her after you arrive. When did this place become so uncom­fort­able? Don’t come in here!” the sta­tie yells as he pulled you up off the ground. “Hey, you’renot sup­posed to move the vic­tim,” you tell him imme­di­ate­ly. “Don’t talk back,” he says. “I’m not employed by Loveville.”
Loveville takes you on a walk since you have no car. It’s a famous walk. You start in your home­town and don’t stop. You walk fifty miles per day and in less than four months you have crossed the coun­try. Loveville does not exist on the oth­er coast because it is not your home. You walk in the oppo­site direc­tion.
There are times after you return you set­tle back into Loveville and are actu­al­ly com­fort­able there. There are meals and evenings on the couch with your arms a future there. When you kiss, Loveville kiss­es back. The clock ticks loud enough so you can hear it and then it’s all that you can hear. It forces you to get out again and you sprint.

Tim­o­thy Gager is the author of nine books of short fic­tion and poet­ry. He has host­ed the suc­cess­ful Dire Lit­er­ary Series in Cam­bridge, Mass­a­chu­setts every month for the past eleven years and is the co-founder of Somerville News Writ­ers Fes­ti­val. His work been pub­lished over 250 times since 2007 with nine nom­i­na­tions for the Push­cart Prize. His work has been read on Nation­al Pub­lic Radio.
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