A storm began to roll in while I was too far out from any known settlement, so I thought about making camp for the night as I turned down a dirt road. To my surprise, I saw lights in the distance and decided to check them out. I thought at first that it might just be a ranch, as they're often known to be spread out far and wide in these parts, but the closer I got the more I realized there was far more than just one building; it was a whole town! I passed a sign which read, "Welcome to Sanity, South Dakota: Population 1,001" as I rolled down the center of town. It was strange though, as I didn't see a soul despite the lights on in every building; was anybody actually home? The storm started to pick up as I noticed a saloon, to which I parked my bike under its overhang, and quickly made my way inside.
Like something out of a movie, I walked into the building to find all eyes on me from the dozens of patrons who were mulling about. I felt like a rabbit who'd stumbled into a den of wolves, and got the sense that the people of this town didn't take too kindly to strangers. I've been in this situation before, as small towns are often like that, so I just shook the feeling off as I walked towards the bar to inquire about a possible room. The bartender was quite friendly, compared to the rest of the people around me, and offered me a free dinner and drink to go with my room.
Unfortunately there was no where to sit but, as if a switch had been hit, the townsfolk around me became quite friendly and inviting as they offered me to sit at their tables. I chose one at random and spent the night eating, drinking, and talking with everyone in the saloon as they each warmed up to me one after the other in their own unique way before I eventually blacked out. I woke up the next morning with a massive headache and the sudden realization that I was now laying on the ground, in the middle of nowhere, with the sun beaming down on me.
I quickly looked around and saw that everything was there including my backpack and bike, but the town was gone. At first I assumed that the people of Sanity, for whatever reason, had dumped me outside of their town. However, as I hopped on my bike and made my way back to Highway 34, I noticed that the landscape had not changed from the other day. The town just simply wasn't there where it was before; did I dream it all? As I made my way from town to town along Highway 34, I inquired within each one about Sanity but no one had any clue as to what I was even talking about and thought me crazy, drunk, or both. Even I thought so.
However, I did research at libraries along the way as well but only found myself at further dead ends. Even the internet had no answers. That's when I began to hear the voices of the townsfolk of whom I had met that one fateful night in Sanity. I even began to see them at times. They were all begging me, imploring me, to tell their stories. They swore that they were real, that they had just somehow been forgotten, and that I needed to help keep their memories alive. The truth of Sanity needed to be known to the world, so I began to listen and then write; that's why I decided to start this website in turn. I needed to know how I was connected...
I can be contacted via thetempleofsanity [at] gmail.com