Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pale gold

The dirt and stone path used to be a road that cut upward, between the two hills overlooking the town. Now it was unused except by those bouldering over cobble and geometric rock for a better look at the volcanic forests that dotted the base of every mountain in this region.

"Where are you?" I shouted.

Just off the road grass grew wild, up to my eyes and so strong it grabbed you for a moment as you tried to push through it. My wife was ahead of me, somewhere beyond a narrow trail of matted stalks that jutted from the road and was littered with coffee and soda cans from the vending machine a half-mile back the way we had come.

I pushed along. Sharp reeds snagged in my hair and caught on my arms. Then the way opened, and I found her standing in a circular pocket no more than six feet across, facing away from me.

"Found you," I said.

She turned and smiled back, but said nothing, instead pointing a finger forward. The grass at our backs was tall, but ahead it dropped off significantly, like a flowing river of pale gold, nearly white, running down to the backs of houses at the edge of town. The sun had already set, and the sky over the distant hills was shot through with crimson lines that splashed down onto the field. The wind picked up and tasted like wheat and freshly cut flowers.

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