Monday, December 16, 2013


Peaceful Valley is where it happened. Carl flew into the airport and landed there, taking a taxi directly to the heart of town. Bustling and full of energy, the city moved to its own rhythm day and night, with lights glowing even in the dead of winter.

On the outskirts of town, where the buildings ended and the green pastures began, were two places that he visited after he arrived... an energy production plant, pumping out BTU's to the town's host of occupants, and a huge area that served as a city park, which also hosted the organic garden tended by the volunteers of the city. It was at the energy plant where it started by Carl, but it ended at the Peaceful Valley Park, in a well-hidden and secret area that only a couple people knew about.

Carl was an honest man, upright, of good standing, always doing what he felt was right. Yet he was also unassuming, quiet, gentle-natured, but with an inner passion that he rarely let others see. To those that knew him, Carl could also appear, at times, as selfish or unbending in what he wanted.

What Carl secretly wanted was money and power, and he good life that came with it.

What Carl did, however, was purely done because of serendipity.

He swooped into town that day, visiting the energy plant to possibly purchase it, but instead bought the entire town of Peaceful Valley. He did it fast, the entire ordeal lasting only five days from beginning to end. Why? Because he could. Because he wanted it. Because once he made a decision there was no reason to wait. Because what he found there was a treasure to his soul and would bring riches to his life.

"I want to buy the plant now," he told the owner, Solara. She was thrilled since it had been up for sale for two years, and because she knew Carl and knew he would take care of it.

Solara had inherited the plant from her late uncle and she really did not fully know what she had gotten herself into until it was too late. "It's a thorn in my side," she admitted quite surprised at herself for telling her prospective buyer, whom was also her friend, that she didn't want the plant because of all the work involved.

"The only reason I can deal with it is because of the waterfall and hydro plant that is down by the park that is part of this deal. But that is only part of it; there is a secret cave there, you know, and out of it are healing waters," Solara blurted, again astonished at her candor to reveal it so easily to him; but it felt right.

Carl turned from looking at the blueprints he had been observing in her office, "Healing? Do tell." Solara knew she had already said too much, but it was a secret that could not die with her... and what did she care, for as long as she could go there in the future, who would be the wiser if he knew about it too? It was a long standing family secret. It was now hers, however, and her's alone, and she could share the information with anyone she wished.

Solara had known Carl for the entire two-year jaunt she had the plant, and understood his nature. She knew she could trust him, which is why she offered it up to him.

The chances of going in there to find the secret cave were slim for anyone outside of being in the know, and could be a process wrought with danger. The waterfall itself could kill you with its incredible power. Rushing down at great speed and force, one would have to penetrate its force in order to discover the cave behind it. It was an old limestone cave, ancient and carved out by the waters that used to run through it but now ran over it.

Inside the cave was a lake, and point of light that shone from above through the earth in natural holes that were riddled in the limestone from erosion. They looked like stars in a night sky, except that the light shone like a plethora of parallel beams of golden light striking the placid blue-green waters below. Due to this, small plant life grew, mosses and mushrooms, and rare plants. The unique environment blossomed amazing healing qualities within it that penetrated the waters.

The lake itself was deep, and the ceiling of the cave was high. To stand inside, which she had done a million times throughout her life, was something that kept her in awe. To drink of this water could heal you of ailments and sickness, and prolong life.

The energy-producing power plant and rushing waterfall on the outside of the cave always seemed far away, as if in another world. She longed to be in the cave, and to show Carl this secret place of hers.

Solara's thoughts went back on Carl as she watched his face turn from one of near unbelief, to one of desire. She knew she had gotten his interest.

So that is how it happened, how Carl bought the town of Peaceful Valley, which included the park. He did this because after he signed the paperwork to buy the plant from Solara, and she showed him the secret entrance into the cave through the old hollow oak by the base of the waterfall, he realized that the cave was actually on the park property, not the hydro plant that sat next to it.

Carl wanted to own it, and keep it forever. Once he had visited this place, he never wanted to leave.

Now the secret was his and hers to share together, and the still and deep waters inside the cave, along with the busy town nearby, and the main energy plant were his as well.

Solara took him to the lake inside the cave, this otherworldly place, and together they swam in the cool water, drank from the spring pool, and sat upon its bank eating a picnic lunch in the streams of light coming from above. Dimly lit, it was a wonderland, a surreal place of absolute beauty.

Carl now knew the real reason he had come to Peaceful Valley, and why he owned it. It was not really about money or power at all (although he had that in the plant and city), but about healing, peace, beauty, and a long life filled with secret treasures worth more than gold. Yes, he figured he would stay a while with Solara there...

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