Unwelcome Guests

Just wanted to try my luck a writing…………..I take criticism well.

Unwelcome Guests

Traveling through southeastern Europe My wife and I rented an old flat in the heart of a small town where we grew weary of the many tourist buses coming in and out on their way to the more popular sites.  Being the discreet people that we were this did not please us at all. Deciding one evening to escape, we packed a light picnic and headed out the next morning to a trail that the locals told us was abandoned which no cars could travel through because of the difficult dirt road. We started out at sun up and continued to walk the trail until we reached a beautiful stretch of  oak and pine trees. Littering the ground was a jumble of seedlings, pine cones  and the most colorful array of dried leaves. Fallen branches were scattered around the trunks of several trees seemingly from an earlier thunderstorms as we inched our way around the hidden Eden we came upon an enclosed gateway connecting the old trail to a much older and ancient looking trail, which seemed to lead to the epicenter of the hidden valley. The locals rarely spoke of this trail choosing the respect the privacy of the isolated village located there. Sensing a flare of adventure, we followed the old trail. At first, the trail seemed to be heading in one direction but a quarter-mile in, we were going in long zigzags, the trees began to thin out and the sun was beginning to scorch the back of our necks. Just as we were about to give up and go back down the trail we spotted what apparently seemed to be an abandoned village. All was quiet the constant buzzing of insects was the only significant rhythm perceived. The old mud buildings seemed outdated and  unkempt  With hanging ledges and wooded down windows it seemed that this place had been vacant a long time.  My wife located a ripe olive tree which we sprawled under thankful for the lush shade that it provided. As we sat down to our lunch, we suddenly felt like as if we were being watched and true to our intuition, we spied thin shadows belonging to men hidden between the doorways of barely standing huts. Skinny and barley clothed their eyes seemed almost hollow. They wore grim faces and did not respond to our invitations to share a snack with them. Slightly apprehensive than normal I started to wonder where their parents were when unexpected strange women bearing crosses across their necks and wearing bleak colored scarves appeared to be standing behind them. Sharing their shadow making it seem almost normal. They also carried grim features and did not respond to our invitation. Realizing how far we were from our town and how rapid the sun was waning, we packed up. The air seemed to grow suddenly very dense, a strange formation of cloud decided to overtake the sun at that moment, and I grew very nervous. Slightly turning my head, I noted that the shadows seemed to be getting thicker. Hastening our pace the silence continued to haunt our backs, nudging my wife we said our farewells slightly fearful of the answer, which there was none. Apparently, we were not welcome here. we sprinted back to the dirt trail without a backward glance. The sun was rapidly fading at this time and the air was getting cooler and easier to breathe, when we reached the old gate the moon was barely visible throw the immense tree growth. The hidden Eden was now dark and damp and had lost its earlier fascination. Now quickening our pace, we had finally reached the edge of the trail. Releasing a sigh of relief, we now understood why no one traveled that trail.


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