Oftentimes, the strangest things happen when we least expect it. When everything appears to be normal, suddenly, out of the blue, a drastic change can occur, sending our world spiraling out of control. But nothing like this had happened in such a long time, especially in Crownhill. The town of Crownhill was, in general, a peaceful place. With a whopping population of 2500 people, the occupants of this town spent their leisure days participating in community events, such as bowling on Saturdays, and bingo every Sunday morning. And sometimes, just sometimes, when they were feeling especially venturous, they went on an excursion down the treacherously thin roads that led from their small town to the outside world, and visited the local theater in the nearby Big City, as they called it.
For Milo, living here had always felt natural to him. He didn’t care for the outside world, it was too busy, and crowded, and clustered. The fact of the matter was that ambitions of any kind had never even occurred to him. He had never had a lofty goal in life or a dream to follow. He merely enjoyed the comfort of his rented home, and working at The Crown Diner (the prominent local diner) as a waiter. His life had fell into a routine that was almost never broken – and he couldn’t have been happier about it.
Every Monday morning, he woke up at 8:00 (give or take how long it took him to convince himself to get out of bed), got ready, ate a bagel with a glass of milk, and was at work by 9:00. When he arrived at work, he prepared for the opening at 10:00. He made sure that everything was in order, swept the floors, wrote the daily specials in chalk on the menu, and did any other odd job that his manager needed help with. As soon as the diner had opened, the people of Crownhill began to trickle in, like everything in their town – slowly, but methodically. This was one of the only two diners in town, and it was the marginally more popular one, seeing as it had been there longer, and the locals liked consistency. After work, Milo would walk home, enjoying the evening air. When he arrived back at his apartment, he would spend the rest of the evening reading a book from his what he called his “collection” (a small shelf filled with books he had deemed worthy of keeping, set into the wall by his bed). Once he began to grow tired, he would set down his book, turn off the lamp, which sat on the stand by his bed, and go to sleep. On the weekends, Milo would attend the community events, as well as spend time walking through the gorgeous and well-maintained Crownhill park (which the sleepy little town had been spending a majority of their budget on, seeing as they had nothing else to upkeep).
One Friday, when Milo was preparing to set down his book and go to sleep, he felt a sudden lurch in his stomach. Had he forgotten something? He wondered. His stomach stayed in “lurch mode” for at least 30 seconds, before slowly fading back to it’s original content and full state. This puzzled Milo. He usually never forgot anything too important. There weren’t even many important things that he had to remember. He went over his checklist several times in his head (”Are the diner doors locked? Are the apartment doors locked? Did I forget to collect my tips…”) before dismissing this feeling as ludicrous and turning his attention back to falling asleep. As he drifted off to sleep, somewhere in Milo’s mind he was aware of this feeling slowly returning.