'Some say it's towns like these, these little one horse backwater villages, that are the backbone of America. These little places barely the size of a suburban neighborhood. Places where the main road is inevitably, without fail, named 'Main Street', and the barber shop is still the dad's private social club. Where you go to the same school all your educational career, if you even bother to graduate and don't drop out to work in the factory.

'The Factory. That's what Elizabeth, this particular town is built around. The Factory in Clinton, Colorado. They may say it's in Clinton, but we all know it's our factory. It's about five miles away at the end of main street. Clinton? It's thirty miles across a cracked, dusty, dried up lake bed that seems as far off as the days when it was a real lake. A lifetime, maybe two. Maybe more. Clinton's the nearest big city though, though by big I mean big enough to rate a miniature dot on a map. By big I mean a Walmart and two gas stations. Us? We have the general store, which is just about the only place to shop around here, and the lone gas pump which sits out front.

'Some of us dream of leaving here, something the adults call 'Getting out'. Like, 'Clyde got out last year with that football scholarship.' That pretty much the only way you're going to get out, football or the army. Like most small towns, life is centered around friday night, and the Elizabeth High football games. If they're home you can expect the entire town to be there. Except me and a few of my group, but even the smallest town has it's weirdoes

'Us. Me, Kate, James, Ali, and Steve. The fantastic five, or so we call ourselves. Most of our peers grace us with such titles as 'weirdoes,' or 'those kids'. The adults just shake their heads. By the way, when I say some of us think of getting out, I meant us mostly. My teacher's say we're the smart people. The type of person that ends up as managers at the Factory. Clearly God-blessed.

'Places like this are traps. Your hopes dreams and desires get sucked in, drenched in the metaphorical gasoline of hopelessness and set to a proverbial blaze by the manifest match of despair. The very soul of the town finds those wishes and rips them out of you like a page from a notebook, reads them laughingly, then throws them back in your face, crumpled and torn for you to mourn for the rest of your life. You are born to Factory worker parents, go to school until you're old enough to work for the Factory, then take a job at the Factory. You get married to another Factory worker, have kids at the Factory employed doctor, retire from the Factory, and then are cared for till you die by your retirement funds from the Factory, at which time you are buried in the church's cemetery. Did I mention the Factory owns the church?

'The adults yell if you insult the Factory. It provides for us after all. Everything except a real reason to keep breathing.

'Oh yea, the Factory's fumes make the air putrid.'

A/N-This is full of symbolism, one of my favorite works so far. I'm still not 100 on the setting, should I set it modern day, or in the late 60's-early 70's? Any opinions?