The garden path of decaying brick winds in serpentine fashion through a bed of roses so colorfully vibrant that I am incredulous to discover that these fashion plates have no smell. This incongruity of beauty minus the expected trait of floral fragrance puts me off. I am in a zone of altered reality by so simple yet unexpected an unnatural phenomenon. Maybe the old olfactory is out of sorts or my sniffer's simply out of joint.
No, my senses - all of them - remain keen. Something is terribly wrong in the secret garden of this old house so very far off the beaten path. I wandered over here while performing my daily, nocturnal amble from the family home on Hernandez Terrace to what has become the discovery of a property somehow earlier missed. How missed I can't say. I know every boulevard and avenue and street and back alley in town. So I thought.
Perhaps not. Something's missing here. I don't know what it is, but I have a prickly feeling I'm about to find out. Walking so late at night has never before caused me the slightest unease. Suddenly it occurs to me that, despite a near total darkness, I have been perceiving all along a rich tapestry of deeply hued flora.
Tonight ... this night is singular for the strangely still mood of a neighborhood once so familiar to me. There's a dense atmosphere, a palpable heaviness that wafts gently around me, then cuts like a dull knife down my center. I raise my eyes toward a sky that goes from velvety smooth, deep purple to undulating waves of a steadily blackening expanse that is dominated by the staring eyes of a dark moon ...