In A Cavern In A Canyon
In A Cavern In a Canyon ? (1)
The ledge that I landed on seemed narrow; barely two foot wide. Above me soared a vertical white rock face that shone in the moonlight. Beneath me darkness and the sound of crashing waves and set in the cliff face there was an even darker hole, just big enough to crawl into.
The choice was made for me; as the ledge began to crumble at an alarming rate. I had no memory of falling or even climbing up or down to the lonely precipice. The wind tore at my numbing fingers and I knew the choice was, well Hobson’s and I crawled into the inky black void that was clearly my only hope right now. My feet gave way as I reached for the cave and only the supreme strength of desperate survival tipped the balance in favour of me living just a little longer and hauled my aching limbs to a temporary refuge.
No sooner had I collapsed inside I was aware of something- a presence maybe? Voices that seemed on the edge of silence came in broken whispers. I tried to make them out in the darkened void that held me. They seemed to be repeating something over and over again, but it was impossible to make out. I cried in both fear and anger “who is there? Why don’t you speak up!” As if in curiosity of my cries the voices held their breath, and began again with a sort of drumbeat rhythm, ignoring my plea for understanding.
Perhaps I could shout for help at the cave entrance; it seemed my only choice, but the moonlight entrance was gone. I tried to retrace my movements, but met only with cold, clammy surfaces that seemed to almost vibrate, emitting only a sinister fear that chilled my very soul. I paused again trying to identify the direction of the whispers. If indeed the voices were my tormentors then I had little choice but to seek them, their will or the fate they seemed to be offering.
I held one hand to the cave wall and the other blindly in front of me to fend away any bludgeoning blow from a low ceiling or blank wall. Again and again I called. The whispers paused for a moment before repeating their forbidding mantra.
I stood as if frozen in a moment; trying to recall – well any damn thing! All I could summon was that I was me. Bloody stupid I know, but WHO was me? That evaded me as did any tangible recollections that I could call memory. Without warning a child’s voice screamed in fear, followed by a growl of a voice that actually made sense
“Come, come it’s only your ankle…there now off on your trike…” the voice echoed and faded. I called to it, but no reply.
“Who’s ankle? Answer damn you!”
There was something vaguely familiar about the tone. It made me hope and shiver with fright both at the same time. The fog in my brain began to clear…
“Daddy, Daddy is that you?” despite my sluggish mind it resonated with me and instinct made me call for my father…nothing, just nothing.
A draft began to waft against my face and with it came a ghostly pale light in the corner of my tomb. The breeze was warm and in the light I saw two shadows; unmistakably now the shadows formed to reveal two small boys. I called again, but nothing. They either couldn’t hear me or chose not to. One had brown hair in a sort of scrambled pudding basin cut and was staring intently at the palm of his hand half scared and half in wonder.
“Magic seeds they is! Eat one and you will fly like a bird!” said the other much older boy. I screamed, remembering in an instant.
“No, no DON’T!” I cried
But the little boy, oblivious to my presence bowed his head and ate. No sooner did he swallow, he began to wretch violently and I made out the mocking laugher of the older boy as I passed out again….