ZACK WAS TALL, six feet three inches, well built, muscular, and weighed two hundred and twenty-five pounds, with light brown hair and green eyes. He had just turned thirty-three. Women that knew him described him as very handsome, all except his ex-wife. His former wife preferred money to policemen and left him for a man that owned four jewelry stores. The owner of the jewelry stores was the antithesis of Zack: five feet nine inches tall, out of shape and wore a toupee, but he was rich.
He was a policeman in Los Angeles, but his mother moved to Reno when his father passed away; to live with her sister. Both women liked the excitement of Reno, but what they really loved was bingo; and they were in the bingo capital of Northern Nevada. He was driving north out of Reno after visiting his mother, who wouldn’t let him leave until he promised to visit on her next birthday, if not sooner.
He had heard about the Burning Man Celebration and decided to go north and see if it was all it was made out to be. He would have preferred a female companion to accompany him, but he had gone alone to visit his mother and ended up staying too late and was driving at night. Rather than the well-travelled road to Black Rock, he now on a less-travelled two-lane road that the map said would take him to the desert location of the Burning Man Celebration.
Around three in the morning he ran into a thick fog bank. He mused, “This is impossible. You can’t have fog in the desert.” Yet he was driving in the thickest fog he had ever encountered. He had filled up in Reno and assumed he had no fuel concerns. He was driving his new Ford Mustang GT and it got good mileage outside the city. Glancing at the gas gage, he frowned. The gage showed less than an eighth of a tank remaining.
Driving in a viciously thick fog, with his lights on low beams, short on gas, he had not seen another car in over an hour. He muttered, “I must have a leak in the gas tank.” While he looked at the gas gage, the fog kept him from seeing the fork in the road. Unwittingly, he took the left fork. After thirty minutes, he felt the change in the roadway. He pulled to the side of the road. His GPS did not show a dirt road and his map did not show a dirt road, but he was on a dirt road. His choices were limited, turn around and hope he had enough fuel to get to a gas station or forge ahead in the fog and hopefully come to a town. Suddenly the impossible happened again. His GPS no longer showed the road he was travelling on and the road was no longer on his map. Zack was neither overly religious, nor prone to believing in the paranormal, but something had emptied his gas tank, disrupted his GPS and altered his map. He knew there had to be an explanation, but at the moment, had no idea what it was.
He finally decided to continue along on the dirt road, shrouded in thick fog, and hope for a gas station. Another freak occurrence, his odometer stopped working, so he had no idea how far he had travelled on the dirt road. The gas gage now displayed empty, but he knew there was one gallon left, even when the gage registered empty. He could tell it was morning because of the change in the fog.
He could feel his engine fighting the lack of fuel and it was now just a matter of time. He finally ran out of gas, just as the fog was lifting. He blinked, hoping his eyes were not deceiving him. Ahead of him, about a quarter of a mile away, was a small town, and no matter how small the town; they would have fuel. Zack silently cursed his decision to take backroads to Black Rock, but knew that crying over spilt milk would not put gas in his tank.
He got out, locked his car, tucked his 9mm Taurus pistol into his belt and headed for the small town. The first thing he encountered was a sign which read CONSEQUENCE population 698. The previous population number, 702, had been crossed out and replaced by 698. He muttered, “When I said small, I didn’t mean that small.” The closer he got to the edge of town it became evident it was not a town at all, but a movie being shot on location.
When he reached the first buildings, it appeared as if the movie would not only be authentic, but expensive. The buildings had a weathered look, not like new construction. The people he could see walking were wearing clothing circa 1875 or 1880, just as authentic looking as the buildings. He came upon a young woman crossing the dirt street. She was incredibly beautiful, with a long blonde ponytail. Even the period clothing could not hide amazing breasts. She was about five feet six inches tall and when he got closer he discovered she had powder blue eyes and delicate features. She appeared to be somewhere around twenty-five or twenty-six.
It was obvious that she was the female lead in this Western movie. If she were not, she would be in the next one. He called out, “Could you help me.”
She stopped and looked him over closely. Finally, she said, “If I can.”
He moved closer and she became even more beautiful. “Is the director available?”
She looked puzzled, “You mean the mayor?” Her voice was as lovely as she was.