Friday, July 24, 2015

suncatch pass | part 1 & 2

[I went ahead and glued these together. I figure it's easier that way. Plus, there was some rewriting to do on the first half anyways... Enjoy.]

“I reckoned on brandy but I s’pose rum’ll do well enough. Might need a peck more though…

“You’re a’wanting to know about the Suncatch? Not a wise road, Master, but it’s your piece of eight.

“Well now, that bottle’s kissed the inside of a barrel…”

The one-eyed old coot sighed. A satisfied grin radiated deep wrinkles across his leathery mug.

“I s’pose you’ll be wanting to get on with it.

“As ye wish good Master:

“Travel west of Bonedust as far as the ridges’ll let ya. The lay of the land ought to put you south enough to find it.

“There, you’ll spy a ridge, too straight and too sharp, running too close to true north. It’s like some great stone knife cutting free from the green earth. On the knife’s edge, near center, there’s notch.

“When the sun sets, it sets through that notch. Doesn’t matter how far north nor south, how close nor distant nor high nor low. If you can see that break in the ridge, the sun’ll set right through it.

“Now, I want to warn ye, good Master,” he said between belts. “It’s there: the Sunset road and the Golden City. I seen when I had two good eyes, but it ain’t worth it, Master.”
His smile had died. The old man shifted uneasily inside a long pause. Rubbing his game left leg, he leaned wearily back.

“Winding stairs with steps too wide, only there when the sun hangs low. You got to walk ‘em one by one.  Path only exists while the sun sets.

 “Not even the Indians’ll walk anywhere near, Master. Note even them as run naked and unafraid through the wilds, not even them’ll take that road, Master. You’ll find their warnings all over the near countryside.”

Slowly at first, but ending in a fit, he ripped the patch from his voided left eye.

“Guide had told us we could trade, stone for stone, pound for pound, a piece of ourselves for gold. He weren’t lying. He said we’d see many wondrous sights; he weren’t lying about that neither, and we only just made it to the gate!

“I took a nugget, size of my thumb, ready to lose one. I still remember when them shining things plucked my eye straight from my skull. I can still wake up to the sound of my own screams and that wretched damned pop.

“Though, my partner, he went mad with all that gold. The things they took from him. Laughter and mercy and near everything that made him a man. He got both eyes but they’re as empty as these bottles.”

The broken old man looked plaintively at his employer; the ghostly memory of a tear fell down his cragged face.

“It ain’t never worth the price on the other side, Master.”

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