Publisher & Category:
EXCERPT: There is, in central Colorado, a mountain pass flanked by forested, rocky mountains on one side and low wooded ridges on the other. The highway that climbs the gentle grade from the east veers sharply to the right below the crest of the pass and, after less than a mile, swings left and dives west toward a vast, rolling mountain valley. Distant snowy mountain peaks peer over the horizons like timeless sentinels watching for unwelcome encroachments upon the peaceful valley.
The sentinels could not halt progress, as evidenced by the numerous roads that crisscross the valley and a solitary cluster of small buildings that passed for a tiny town. Nor could the sentinels halt the progress of city-folk building vacation homes or locating double-wide trailers among the rolling, rocky fields on either side of the road as it plunged out of the pass. Soon enough the area would become another suburban blight plopped down among the natural beauty of Mother Earth, like a spreading scar.
It was on a warm sunny afternoon that Diana, an afternoon hiker from a city located between the Front Range and the Colorado prairies, sat on a large flat rock and contemplated the beauty of the valley below. Her flesh was bronze in color like the mountain slopes glimpsed through the forests, and her eyes were as blue as the skies overhead. Her long hair was as black as night, except for reddish highlights, like the fading rays of the setting sun.
A screen of quaking aspen trees hid her from the nearby road on the western slope below the pass. There was another grove behind her with numerous winding lines of trees, like the tributaries of a mighty river, which wound past her down the grassy slopes on her left, down to the valley floor below.
Diana was so enthralled by the peaceful beauty below that she didn’t notice the first rain drops that splashed her. When she felt the wet drops she was puzzled, for the sun was just as bright as before. Then she noticed low, thin rain clouds drifting above the pass above her. Weaving curtains of rain dangled from the low clouds and flowed through the trees like the lacy trail of a bridal gown…