Vision On The Hill
The ascent to the villa was long and arduous. Carrie's father had to stop more than once to catch his breath. "I'm not as young as I used to be" he would pant as the high mountain air got thinner. Finally they could see the outline of the stately mansion nested in a grove of Junipers.
"There it is father!" Carrie exclaimed."The forbidden villa at last". "Let me rest a moment" Carrie's father gasped. It had been years since he had been this far up the mountain.
A soft breeze wafted through the peaks carrying the hushed sound of laughter.
"Do you hear that father? I think I can hear someone laughing" "It's just the wind daughter, nothing more" said Carrie's father, his lost breath returning. Carrie was suddenly distracted by another sound. The sound of rustling wings.
She turned just in time to see a bird,not just any bird but a majestic eagle, land in a tree not far from them. The eagle perched on one of the lower branchs and cocked it's head to one side studying them.
Then as suddenly as it appeared the stately bird swooshed off into a thicket of Mulberrys. Before Carrie had fully realized what she had seen a lone figure stepped out of the thicket.
"Hello Carrie, Hello Hans, I am Endrill" the man said as he removed the hood from his cloak. A wide smile adorned his face, a face surrounded in a mane of flowing red hair.
"Your mother has sent me to fetch you the rest of the way Carrie, You too Hans".
Carrie instantly trusted him although her father was a little more hesitant."Do not fear, come, your mother and wife is waiting." Ednrill's voice reminded Carrie of the little brook that flowed past their home at the base of the mountain.It had that flowing quality. "This way" bade Endrill.
Hans arose and shrugged his shoulders.
"You may leave your bags here if you wish. Someone will come for them later" and with that the trio headed toward the crest of the hill.
In a clearing it sat. The most beautiful villa Carrie had ever seen. It seemed to shine,no it seemed to glow in the late afternoon sun. As they neared the gated entrance Carrie could make out a sound, the sound of joy. Once inside the gate she was amazed at the sights she found there. Flowers flourished and beautiful birds seemed to blossom in every tree.Young men and women sat next to a babbling fountain in the middle of the grounds laughing. It was the most exquisite place Carrie had ever seen in her eighteen years of life.
"Carrie, Hans," a lilting voice murmered. "I'm so glad you came. Happy birthday Carrie". Carrie and her father spun around.
There stood Carries mother, just as beautiful as Carrie remembered. Hans was amazed. She hadn't aged one day in the long years they had been apart.
"Come with me" she said smlling"We have so much to catch up on and I have some explaining to do." Once inside the villa, Bernadette led them into a vast banquet hall. "Are you two hungry or thirsty?" she queried. Before they could answer the air above the table before them began to shimmer and three goblets and a plate of fresh fruit appeared.
Carrie and Hans were dumbstruck.
"H- h- how did that happen" Hans stammered. It's true you are a witch". "It's not witchcraft" expalined Bernadette. It's magic alright but it's the magic of science we use at the villa" "You see, the witchcraft stories were made up to keep the superstitious villagers away. We come from a far away land called Atlantis." "The culture that disappeared into the sea untold centurys ago"? Carrie questioned.
"Yes my daughter" Bernadette said smiling."The one and the same". "My father and mother were the rulers of Atlantis before the great cataclysm" expalined Bernadette."When it dissappeared into the sea we fled to higher ground and after years of searching we ended up here.They have been gone for two years now, dying almost at nearly the same time. My mother first and then my father, He couldn't bear to live without her I suppose". With that a small tear formed in Bernadette's eye and rolled down her cheek. "Anyway I am now the queen of New Atlantis and it has taken me the last two years to convince the others to allow me to bring you here."
"Carrie, I sent the man on the horse and left the locket to remind you of how much I love you. You see he's not real, he's what we here in New Atlantis call a hologram, a projected image". "I always wondered why he never approached" mused Carrie. "With the permission of the others I now ask you two to join me and live with us. The years pass as days here and you will live in complete comfort. There is one thing, you can never go back to your old home. We will send someone down for your personal possessions if you wish. Carrie, there many eligible young men here, handsome and strong. I'm sure you'll find someone to your liking."
Carrie's father turned just in time to see Carries face blush slightly. "Bernadette, I have loved you from the day we met, Of course I'll stay, how could I do otherwise?" Hans could hardly contain his joy.
"And you Carrie? Will you stay? asked Hans. Carrie wasn't listening, she had turned her attention to the handsome, young man she knew as Endrill sitting at the edge of the sparkling fountain and just smiled.