“Hey Dan, where’s Larry?”
“Not here. Looks like he cleared out.”
“Wow. I never expected Larry to go. I tell you though I don’t mind too much. He never was much of a conversationalists. ‘So Larry how are you?’ ‘Fine.’ So Larry hows Sue?’ ‘Fine.’ ‘So Larry how do you feel about a plague of locus?’ ‘Fine.’ I mean the guy was a post.”
“Still though doesn’t seem odd to you that he would just up and leave?”
“I don’t know Dan. He seemed pretty odd to me."
"But to just leave in the middle of the night?"
"You might be right. I mean I would be a little surprised if he did anything at all, much less something so spontaneous like that.”
“Either way, you must admit, this place isn’t near as crowed.”
“I know that’s one of the things that worries me. I mean Larry is one of nine of our neighbors that have just up and left in the last few months. Doesn't that seem odd? Most of them left with little or no warning. Bill that's nine neighbors in less than a month.”
“Dan, I hope your not counting Harrison!”
“I know you two got on each others nerve, but yes Bill, I’m counting him. I mean I wasn’t sorry to see him leave, but still it was still pretty strange.”
“Maybe it’s been this recent weather.”
“Yeah, I guess it has been a bit erratic.”
“Think about it Dan, those heavy fogging mists at mid-morning that seemed to stick with you all day. And I don't know if it is just me but it has seemed much windier lately."
"I does feel more brisk."
"Additionally there are some days it feels like the sun never comes out at all or that it disappears halfway through the day."
"I suppose your right."
"Dan, you don’t seem convinced.”
“Well I agree with you Bill, all those things are weird. I mean I don’t remember having weather like this since I was a kid, but I wonder if maybe there’s something else.”
“Well like uh, something else."
"You know, some other...explanation."
"No Dan I don't have a clue! What in the world are you talking about? Do you want to play charades or something? 'two syllables...uh...sounds like nose grease.' Will you please just tell me!"
"I’m talking about the sweep Bill.”
“Nevermind. Forget I asked."
"What if it's real?"
"Dan please! I hope your not getting drawn into all the stories Tall Tale Ted has been peddling! The sweep is a rumor. A fairy tale. A hoax. Plus it's really stupid!”
“I don’t know Bill it just all fits. All these neighbors gone missing and this place getting less and less crowded. I heard tell in that this isn’t just something we're experiencing, I mean nearby districts are all reporting a certain thinning out.”
“Okay fine, things are changing. Neighbors are moving. I can admit that Dan, but the sweep. I mean you have to admit the stories are pretty ludicrous. I mean come on, do you really believe it? A gigantic black object shaped like a fence sweeping through town early in the morning and grabbing up folks up and sweeping them away. It sounds pretty wild to--”
“---AH!! Bill!! Do you see what I see! ”
“I see it Dan! It’s the sweep! Hold on!”
“Yes dear, what is it?”
“Another dozen hairs just came out with my comb! I think my bald spot is getting worse.”
“I’m sorry dear. I know how that upsets you. Just wear your hat today.
“I can’t find it. I’m going to use your hairspray.”
“That’s fine dear. You know I love you regardless how much hair you have.”
“[sigh] I know. I just wish I could slow it down. I mean there are a lot in the comb today. ”
“I’m sorry. Just wash then down the drain and try to stop worrying about it.”
“Bye little guys. I’ll miss you.”