"Billybuc Photo Challenge Prompt: Installment 1" Travelers
Off Script Here
I thought I should add to this. I was there. My sisters were there. this is embellished but a correct accounting of where and when. I did in fact travel to a place above Lucerne that was like this. Maybe I kind of fibbed on this. But I did wake up on top of a grave and my sister did do a rub that was blank.
The three were traveling Europe on 5$ a day some time ago. On this particular night the train, after a 4 hour ride. Stopped in a backwater German township. Of course they carried sleeping gear. Not an inn was open in town so the trio went to look for a camping area in the dead of night. Across the tracks and up a bit was a large area with no lights and so no one to roust them. The clearing was perfect to camp and they did. Upon sunrise it became quite spooky as the mist seemed to rule the area. While two got ready to head out quick, the third grabbed paper and pencil and did some tracing.
Really? Doing a tracing of a head stone on which grave she just slept through the night. But the serenity soon over took them and it was time to move on and find the town.
Alright a small country road which would surely lead to the town. But which way would lead there or away from there. Standard protocol was followed. One stayed put while the others went in different directions for 100 meters or so and then to return. The sister who went left started hollering that she could see the town. Of course all she saw was a tall steeple. Generally you can count on a steepled church where folks are, meaning a town. They stayed the course of the road. It wound up and down and all around. After a kilometer or so they started looking at each with an uncomfortable feeling.
Good as anywhere to break out the sausage and bread and cheese for breakfast. The silence was broken by the sister who saw the steeple. Along the way they had seen endless hay fields untended to and with only rusty old equipment. “I was just thinking, which I know is dangerous” said the brother. “Did anyone notice that we were the only ones who got off the train last night?” “Have you noticed there has not been any sound, not even a bird?” “How about you two sit here and I scurry up to the top of that ridge to look down for that steeple?” The strangest thing happened as he trudged up the forest route. He could not hear the twigs breaking under the weight of his boots as he landed on them. So he gave it a shot and started whistling as he climbed. He could hear that just fine.
Where is Everyone
But at the top he could see a run down old farm house and a house of some sort with smoke coming out of a chimney that was shaped like a steeple. Out with the compass to get proper direction. Now that was strange his trusted compass did not work at all no matter what direction he pointed it, it always read south. OK the buildings were down about half a Kilometer from where the stopped on the road and there was smoke from that strange chimney and so a hard right down the next lane headed toward the place, whatever it may be.
When he reached the sisters they were really looking a bit puckish. Seems the tracing of the tombstone was blank. How sad I thought that there was a tombstone where probably the family too poor to pay for the engraving. The chatter picked up between them as they could hear each other, as that was some solace. Sure enough a lane headed toward the “farm”. And after a bit stood the buildings of course hollering hello and getting no response. They went to the house door to knock but it was quite wide open. A look inside and there was the fire in the fireplace. More hollering with no response. Then there was the rocking chair rocking in front of the fireplace.
The brother said “shush, do you smell that?” Both sisters said no. In just a second all eyes got real wide with the realization that they could not hear or smell things in this area, from this area. It seemed like they could see and feel here. They entered and everything was tidy with the only two things missing, someone and what was rocking that chair. To be blunt it was time to get the hell out of there. Thank goodness the lane continued on and looked used.
Clearly a Bad Dream. Or....
Far out! Down a bit and there was a fully normal looking very large home. A swing set in the yard and toys all about and a car, vintage but looked like it was used recently. A sense of relief with reservations. No indication of farming here so that would mean the bread winner probably worked in a town near by. The eldest sister marched right up and pounded on the front door. Not a sound from within. Of course they were now used to that. They carefully opened the front door. No fire in the fireplace and no rocking chair but a record player with needle about in the middle of a 78 record going round and round.
The trio would have run, but where too? OK there was a creek within sight. Good villages are built where the water flows so follow this creek down and we will find a village in a valley. Wonderful! A great foot path along the banks. Looked like it had been used for a century or more. But the danged creek ended in a large pond or small lake that had no outlet.
That place was as beautiful as could be so in hopes of changing their luck the brother through a large rock into the pond. No splash and no ripple. The three sat on a perfect bench log and agreed this called for them to open that bottle of wine and maybe try to relax and figure this out. They had carried this bottle after having it blessed in Venice of all places. Though not really religious the three of them had hope it would cure their predicament.
Then the elder sister started kicking the brother. And saying “isn’t this the perfect place?” As the fog cleared and the brother woke up he saw that indeed they had found a perfect campground with showers and all for a buck a piece. Like a camping hostel. What great luck. And what a crazy ass dream.
An old man sauntered up and said “you look white as a ghost son”. “Have you been down to that farm and family house?” “You know the ones down below the cemetery?” “I used to live there” he said as he kind of just disappeared into the woods.”