j. l. navarro

The Ancient City

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Some time ago, while I was in La Boca del Diablo, on my way to the Zone of Silence to do some weekend camping, my van ran over some scattered pieces of lumber on the road outside of town, and one of my tires went flat. 


As I was preparing to change it, a tall old man with a long walking pole came by carrying a burlap sack filled with what he said was game he had trapped in the desert.  He was a strange old guy with a stranger way of speaking.  His voice was deep and clear but with an accent I had never heard anywhere in my travels.  It sounded Eastern European to me, but I could not be sure and I didn't bother to ask his origins.  He wore a long wool overcoat with its collar pulled up around the back of his head.  This, along with his wide brim hat, managed to conceal a good part of his face so I could not say what he really looked like.  What was apparent was that his eyes were an unusual shade of green and they seemed to shine in the darkness around us.  This in itself was disquieting.  But while I was busy changing the tire, he beckoned me to look up at the sky.  Across the firmament of stars, a single craft was passing silently with a luminous radiance surrounding its circular shape.  The old man began to comment on it as we watched it glide across the moonlit night. 




This story is included in The Blood Cake Vendor and Other Stories.


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