I found myself trapped in a town that was impossible to leave. It wasn’t one thing that kept me from leaving. There were several different impediments, depending on which edge of the town I tried to escape from, and depending on exactly which road I was taking. One road circled back on itself. I left town on one side, and I found myself re-entering it on the other. It just went round and round in an endless loop. I passed the same store front three times before I finally figured it out. A crooked sign in the window tipped me off.
Another road ran directly into the bay door of a rusted blue warehouse. I pulled off and watched car after car drive in through the door, none of them ever emerging from the other side. High up on the building there was a loft door that stood open with a cable line running out from it, suspended in the air. Hooks moved along this cable, and there were people hanging from the hooks, limp and lifeless. The cable was carrying them high over a field of overgrown grass to another building with smoke stacks. These smoke stacks didn’t smoke continuously, but rather they emitted a single white puff now and then. The puff settled among the other clouds over the town. It all dawned on me. This was where they actually made the clouds!
I eventually discovered that there was only one way out of the town. One of the clouds hadn’t been formed properly. It settled too close to the ground, and it was too wispy and insubstantial. It wound through the streets like a long thin stream. Sometimes it would flow towards the edge of town, and it would be blocked and impeded just as we all were. I watched it gather, as though against an invisible wall, and just as it was about to gather into the white fluffy cloud that it was meant to be, and just as I thought it might ascend into the sky where it belonged, a black Pontiac suddenly flew out of the smoke, clearing the invisible boundary and fleeing the town with a hard squeal of its tires as soon as it hit the ground. So that was how you did it. I just had to find a way into that cloud stream.