Carnivale Promised

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Title:
Carnivale Promised (Inspired by Cydney)
Publisher & Category:
Naked Snake Online

EXCERPT: The setting sun painted the sky shades of purple, orange and yellow above a high mountain pass west of the Arkansas River, encircled by the brownish-gray snow capped ridges and mountains of Colorado’s Sawatch Range. Thin green fingers of pine forests reached up the dark granite slopes and streaks of snowfields clung to the higher gray peaks.

The stocky man smelled the crisp, cool wind that flowed through the tall dark pines. He admired the brownish snowbanks in the shadows of the pines, and the large gray boulders half hidden among stunted bushes among dull gray fallen trees that looked like petrified wood.

Though he loved and considered the area sacred, he tossed a cigarette butt on the ground and returned to his car. With a last look at the switchback of the asphalt road behind him, he drove down the narrow dirt road into the dark forest simply to see where it led.

The road curved down gentle slopes, across small meadows, then wound upward among fields of gray rocks and boulders, left the sheltering pines and entered a tunnel of large, bright yellow aspens.

He paused when the aspens opened onto a wide, fast moving river lined with thick brush, spanned by a stone bridge guarded by crouching stone gargoyles. In the Middle Ages the savage looking creatures were considered protectors and good luck. He looked up at the surrounding gray ridges, like high crenellated castle walls against a dark swirling fiery sky, down which the early evening mist flowed, then crossed the bridge and continued down the narrow winding road that hugged the steep bouldered slopes.

He was surprised when he spotted small homes clinging precariously to the forested slopes and bewildered when the dirt road turned to cobblestone. Around a bend he slowed as he passed a donkey drawn wooden cart piled high with brush and driven by an old man in Middle Ages type clothing who ignored him. He entered a small stone and timber village with narrow cobblestone streets among the tall pines and aspens. In the center of the village was an island park, reached by narrow arched wooden bridges, around which a fast flowing river ran.

Even more puzzling, if such a thing was possible, was the lack of people…

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