The entire town could be seen from the 4 way stop in front of the post office. No matter which direction your turned, you would see the houses of your neighbors, then the countryside beyond. Wright’s Corner was home to 327 people at last count. The running joke was that the census taker could go house to house and be finished by lunchtime. Then he would eat at the Burger Haven on Lincoln Avenue [which was anything BUT an avenue], go on his merry way and never even know he had been to Wright’s Corner. The other town joke was that if you drove through and blinked, you would never know you had been there. The older folks who lived there were very protective of their privacy and their small town, but the younger people just put in their time until they can leave for any town that is big enough to have a Walmart or a McDonalds.
Then there were those who were between the two. In Wright’s Corner, that middle group consisted of exactly 16 people, 12 of whom were married couples. The remaining 4 singles were tied to the town and would never leave. Andrew Xander had the only auto repair shop. The only gas pump sat out front and did a fair business for those who didn’t fill up in the larger nearby town of Brownsville. Jody Simmons had a very small market that specialized in locally grown produce. Esteban Molina was the area’s fix it man and was always busy. He had a small workshop but he spent the majority of his time fixing and installing whatever was needed in the small town. And in this tiny little village, there was a newspaper. The Wright Word was written, edited, produced and distributed by Lana Thomas. Lana had been away from Wright’s Corner for college where she gained her degree in journalism. She had been planning to find work with a major newspaper in a major city but when her father was diagnosed with cancer, Lana went home. Her father had died 5 months later and Lana stayed.
On this particular morning, Lana stood looking out the window of her small newspaper office at the 4 way stop. Mr. Heinzmann was sitting there in his old blue pick up while Mrs. Weaver tried to decide if she was going to turn right or left. Mr. Heinzmann, as well as everyone else, was accustomed to Mrs. Weaver’s driving habits and all took it in stride. Lana took a long drink of her cocoa and chuckled to herself. She automatically looked to her right down the street in time to see Esteban head from his workshop across the street to the market where, she knew, he would purchase a bag of apples that he would carry back to his workshop and munch on as he worked. After all, it was Thursday. Lana chuckled again. It occured to her that she was buried in routine and would never crawl out.
Lana’s routine was about to be tuned completely upside down.