Imagine that tomorrow morning you wake up,
and it’s a beautiful day, probably one of the last days like this before
winter returns to Chicago. You pack a lunch, get on your bike, and start
traveling down the main street in your neighborhood, away from the noise and
bustle. The day is so beautiful and you’re feeling so good that you keep
going and going…. And going…. Pretty soon, you’ve left the city behind. You
know you’re not in the city anymore because the grey and black paved streets
have turned to dusty, gravely, tree-lined roads. The gravel bits crunch
when your tires turn over them. When you take a deep breath, your lungs
fill with clean, fresh air. It’s getting warmer and the sun looks like a
giant tangerine. The black sweatshirt you tossed on this morning covers
your skin like an oven, so you take it off and tie it around your waist. In
the distance, off to the right-hand-side of the road, you spot some sort of
building—it looks like an abandoned farmhouse. You decide to check it out.
You turn off the road. Tall, green weeds swish past you. There are no
sounds of machines or other cars. There are no human voices. All you hear
is the gurgle of running water—maybe a creek—and the high pitched caw of a
crow. You are moving slowly because the treads of your tires are getting
stuck in the chocolate-colored mud. Finally, you make it. You get off your
bike, stepping onto what must have been an old, gravel driveway. You’re
standing outside the farmhouse, looking up the six, rickety, worn, wooden
stairs that go up to the front porch. The white paint on the house is
weathered, cracked, and peeling off. You climb each stair one at a time.
You reach the front porch...