Allen understood Rory. Once they had argued about the merits of psychology as a science that only illuminated how Rory and Allen walked a similar paths of spiritual searching. Both had studied other beliefs, but both came back to their Christian upbringing for the kind of strength to keep them going in these absurd times.

Rory had been holed up on the peanut farm for too long and Allen went to see him. He had a job that needed to be done and Rory was the one who needed to do the job.

“Rory, I need you for a week or so. I’ve got this job for the goats out at Carter’s Grove. All you have to do is keep an eye on the goats and camp out until I come back.”

Rory thought about it for a minute and then said, “I’ve got to eat and I won’t go to that 7-11. Can you drop off bags of bacon for the protein every couple of days? I’ll pick them up at the gate.”

“No problem.”

“Drain the grease first.”


The two wanderers let the goats into the wide open space of Carter’s Grove. Rory tossed his smart phone to Allen, “Unplugging, dude. Going on a walkabout.”

Allen shook his head and drove off. Rory was happy. The goats were happy. The property had not changed much since Rory lived there as a kid. He started walking and the found the old paths even though they were a bit overgrown. The old pump house was still in the woods and Rory decided he would camp there. He dug around and found an old pocket watch with a train engraved on the case. Inside were the numbers 34, 8, 22. He went inside the battered building and found a door secured with a combination lock.

“Wouldn’t it be funny if the watch had the code for the lock?” Rory thought.

He spun the dial and the lock popped open. The room was nothing more than a large closet with a table and chair. A wine bottle and a menu from the King’s Arm’s Tavern rested on the table. The menu had a drawing of the train and instructions for operating the watch written on it. The directions said:

1. Pop the cork and take a large drink. It’s going to hurt.
2. Close the watch and wind it five times. No more, no less.
3. Open the watch raise to the sky.
4. Take another swig. It won’t hurt this time.
5. Offer your gratitude for the coming advantage.

Rory did as the menu said. “Thank you for your favor.” With that Rory entered a sweepstakes that unlocked potentials he thought impossible. The goats gathered around Rory who sat in the musty room smiling as unseen dimensions unfolded before him.

Allen found Rory and the goats a week later. Everything was done and fresh tobacco was growing where once there had been weeds and burned out corn stalks.