With profound apologies to Maxfield Parrish's Hilltop (if you acknowledge it, it's a tribute, not plagiarism--right?)
And now we have a submission by Shelly Sullivan. Email Shelly
"You were right, this place is something special," the bard said dreamily. With her chin propped up on an elbow, she looked out over the valley. "When was the last time you were here?"
"A long time ago," replied Xena. She lay on her back, weaponless and unarmoured at last, and let the peace of the place wash over her like sunlight. It was just as she remembered it. Thick forest, gently sloping valley walls, and snowy peaks that sparkled in the light, reaching to the sky. Indifferent to the concerns and petty desires of man that raged in the plains below.
"It's like that place David talked about. He called it Paradise. Perfect and untouched until the first two people walked there."
Xena shifted to sit up, and leaned on her arm, watching the bard soak in the quiet vastness spread out before them.
"Doesn't it feel as if we're the only ones who have ever been here?" Lush grass was thick under her, and Gabrielle filled her lungs with crystal air. She lifted her face to the warmth.
"I think we are," said Xena quietly. "I came across this place by accident, it's not easy to find. You're the only one I've ever shown it to."
"Then it's an extra-special place," the bard said softly. "Thank you for sharing it with me." She turned her head to gaze into eyes that matched the sky.
Neither moved for a moment.
"Gabrielle," Xena began...
X:WP, and all characters are the property of MCA Universal Television, and Renaissance Pictures