Chasing the Muse: Fiction by Melvyn Chase

City people lead private lives, Lucas thought. Their eyes tell you nothing. Cities keep secrets.

In towns like Pennington, every life intersects every other life. Everyone knows more about you than they would ever say. You are never a stranger. For Lucas, Pennington was perfect. He would stop here for a while.

He drove to a brick-and-aluminum diner near the center of town. When he got out of his car, he hesitated. Without a trace of warmth, his deep-set, frosted gray eyes followed the careless drift of powdery clouds. He listened intently to the faint murmur of insects and distant traffic.

Taking several deep breaths, as if he were on the starting line of race, he ran his fingers through his thick, gray, close-cropped hair.

The first day. Watch. Listen. It begins...