By Allie Gove

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People never come here knowing. They just see the little town when they stay out at Mickey’s. They walk out on the beach there and that’s when they see it. When they peer just around the bay and see a few houses in the lips of the next cove. But they don’t get it. They trickle through lemon trees on the edges of the town as if it were some open bazaar, buying little pieces of us as they walk by. Stare right at us with quarters for eyelids. Blinking, staring, picking us up off the shelves, stuffing houses and children and the warm rose succulents right under their eyelids. They drag the whole town through the dirt by the knots in their shoe laces.

And then they walk into that market and don’t pay any attention to the jagged lines in the old yellow paint, don’t even notice the threshold of sucker plants potted on each side of the door, swelling when they walk by. They walk inside and maybe pick up an apple. And the Keep will do the good thing. He will look them out of their wallets and he will pull it from their hands and take a big bite out of it. He will chew into their faces. He will spit some onto the ground, spuckering those shoe laces with spit and whiteapple and walk away, ripping chunks of it into trails back out of town for the stranger to follow. And whoever that stranger is will walk again through the suckering threshold and follow the Keep and his trail of broken fruit back out to Mickey’s, dropping fossils of our town along the way.

– Allie Gove