The hot glue gun sat cooling beside his hand. A quick inspection of the board, a wiggle here or tap there, showed nothing loose or out of place. It was finally finished. How long had it taken him to figure out the right materials for those mossy roofs? He couldn’t even remember. It hadn’t mattered, really; the model had to be perfect.
He wasn’t sure why, exactly. He had woken one morning with an overwhelming need to build it. A town he had never seen, but he knew every detail. He’d looked it up one day, trying to convince himself it was just imagination and didn’t have to be so precise. There it was, a tiny town somewhere in the mountains clear across the world. How it could even be recorded on the internet he didn’t understand. After that he gave up fighting the urge; he never repeated his search or dug any deeper either. He had been too afraid of the reasons to want to know them.
Now, as he stood over his work, tiny lights flickered in the windows. He blinked, but they didn’t vanish. Music drifted faintly from the treeline on the far side of the model, and the tops of brightly-colored trees around the houses quivered as if a gentle breeze tickled them. The laughter of children rose from the house nearest him. He didn’t wait for more but stumbled to the door on legs that felt like jello. In his terrified hurry he forgot to shut the door.