A long winding unused road made its way from the village down in the valley up towards the "Sky Dwellers" mountaintop dwelling. In the village of dilapidated wooden structures with timbers warped askew exposing precious little, the inhabitants dragged their beaten lives incrementally towards death. Toiling in fields belonging to the "Sky Dwellers" these leftovers of an intolerant, obtuse realm that had degenerated to this current state of unrelenting pain served without question. Why question the most basic concept of servitude to your masters? Hadn't great-great grandfathers also served without allowing annoying questions to intrude upon their required drudgery?
It was an established fact inscribed in the immense wooden sign posted at the entrance to the village that no one would dare to question. The edict wasn't known anymore since all who existed in the dirt village hadn't been able to read for a very long time. It was comforting to know that a rule beyond inspection guided them placidly along in silent drooling complacency. Custom and fundamental belief in the unknown forces that lay obscured up on the great mountain was spiritually fulfilling.
On clear nights a few times each year the sky would light up in a pageantry of colors above the "Sky Dwellers" mountain castle. During these rare moments the entire village would look upwards in awe at the gallant beauty exhibited for their enjoyment. Joy would fill the hearts of these hard working skeletons of un-distilled disquiet. During the night few could sleep in anticipation of the "Green Glow" that would flow down into the river the next day.
At dawn the clanging would signal that the "Green Glow" was crawling down from its great heights in purity to merge with the clear water of the river. In a secluded clearing next to the river the entire village would wait anxiously for the arrival of this cleansing globular bubbling mass. Upon reaching the exact spot of spirit transfer the power of the "Green Glow" would kill birds resting by the water's edge, fish would come flouting up to the surface, and turtles would lumber laboriously to the shore dropping upside down with legs extended. This was said to be a glorious sign that even these lower creatures recognized the divinity of the "Green Glow" released by the "Sky Dwellers" and readily released their spirits into the hands of their sky top lords. Some villagers would be so overcome with joy that their eyes would water and their mouths would bulge open gasping for air - it was accepted that they'd been chosen specially for the journey to the crystal castle reserved by the "Sky Dwellers" for their passive subjects.
Most sacred of all the holy days was "The Raid" that occurred on the most heat choking day of the year. No one knew what was meant by the words "The Raid" only that some form of advance on the site of the "Sky Dwellers" had taken place since time immortal. Only the healthiest of the young had the opportunity to "reach the sky" and leave behind the back gnawing work in the fields - a release from precious soul enhancing agony. For even though their exertions for their masters benefit was regarded as their highest gift to these supreme cloud 'touchers' it was a mostly unrequited dream except by a few chosen individuals who reached those who loved them. Their folklore was filled with stories of the purity of heart, the passionate love, and careful tending by the "Sky Dwellers" of their world that made the selection of their yearly "Raider" an honor to be enshrined in stone with the "X" of those who were selected over the ages.
Today when the sun had risen directly overhead with full white fury painting the surface in a scorching heat radiating into the dry air their most treasured youth from the loins of the wisest conformist among them was prancing gleefully in front of the rusty gate to the holy road. They waited patiently while their chief folklorist extracted the sacred key from his golden pouch. Each intently fixated on the key as it slid inside the lock and was turned carefully to the right. The gate flung open in an expectant beckoning to the excited youth. On a count of 6 the young man bolted through the gate opening towards his future among their exulted lords the "Sky Dwellers".
In the prime of health the young man ran at a steady pace until he was out of sight somewhere up in the trees of this mysterious mountain. Passing a brightly colored sign off to the right of the dirt road he moved effortlessly by burned out pieces of metal, and skeletons lying askew in contorted positions. After passing many more of these unrecognizable relicts he started to experience feelings of trepidation. Probably the first question in his life started to form the second the bullet passed through his skull. Unknown to this meek, compliant, ignorant follower of passed down folklore was that the brightly colored sign that he passed not far from the entrance to the road stated in worn out letters still clearly visible to those who could read - "All Trespassers Will Be Shot".