Hobie Barkley was a first-riser most of his life, and once he was of exploring age, able to go on his own, he toured the mountain like it was newly presented to him, a gift from the God of Mountains. Nobody in the Greater Hills Region of Colorado knew it any better than him. Even some of the old prospectors, their habits and labors cut way back by age, infirmity or a newly-found woman, did not rise to his habits.
Roll up! Roll up! Widen your eyes, suspend your disbelief and step forward to be amazed and enthralled and in thrall you shall be! Such wonders await, such sights will abound! For this is no ordinary journey friends… this is the looking-glass, the time travelling, time unravelling, unparalleled and unrivalled… Monsanto Brothers Circus! And when I say circus ladies and gentlemen boys and girls I’m not just talking about your humdrum everyday bearded mermaid! I’m not just sending you through for a juggler or two… although for the record the mercury spinners in the anti-grav tent have to be seen to be believed! Conjurers aplenty! Strongman automatons! High wire hybrids for your eye-poppery and jaw-droppery!
You sir! Yes you there with the optical implants, what more dare you ask to behold? What’s that? Come now sir, don’t be shy, uncloak your aura for all to see and speak the words the rest of these fine folk are thinking. You’ve all seen him on the holosphere, and I’d take a strong wager – if I happened to be of the betting persuasion – most of you are scanning his bio on your cortex embedded readers as I speak! Well read on lovely people but this must be seen in the flesh and the flesh must be seen…
The rapids collided with rocks in the water and the moss was warm. The logs formed a nest in the river and a piece of bark rushed by. From the treetops the sharp vision of the falcon saw the ant which carried a pine needle, the inside of a falling cone and the white paws of a wood mouse. Three moments later the falcon sailed home with the prey, in the evening sun.
“Now that I’ve got you here, would you…” A stick crunched under my feet. “Would you mind giving me an answer?”