Cavern Dweller

I stirred. Something was digging into my back. I heard a low moan, and it took me a moment to realize that it came from me. I tried to open my eyes, but they seemed to be weighed down by lead.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, I pried my eyes open. I registered the crackling of a fire as I saw the glowing orange flames, and heard the gurgling of a small brook. It was dark, the only like emanating from the fire, and a lantern several paces away.

I sat up, surveying my surroundings. The object digging into my back had been a sharp stone. The ground was covered with hundreds like it, most embedded into the landscape of the cavern. 

I rubbed my aching head, wondering how I had gotten into this cave. I was fairly deep into it, resting against a wall, but it went farther back than I could see, and I couldn’t see the entrance from where I sat. 

Two horses had been tied by the underground stream. One was my own white stallion, Cirrus, and the other was a chestnut mare that I didn’t recognize. 

My head snapped up as I heard someone whistling a merry tune. I stood up as fast as I was able, my aching head and throbbing bruises not thanking me for it, and my hand shot to my waist for my dagger. It wasn’t there.

I looked for a substitute weapon, and settled for a sharp rock, loose from the cave floor. I brandished it, standing in the shadow of a larger boulder, waiting for the owner of the song to show their face.

Finally, someone rounded a corner, bearing wood and another lantern. He was no older than me; of average height, brown hair tied back from his face, suntanned skin. His most striking feature was his luminous green eyes, visible even at a distance in the semidarkness.

As he neared, I stepped out of my shadow and brandished my rock at him. “Who are you? How did I get here?”

He looked at me momentarily, pausing, then continued forward, and, setting the lantern down, proceeded to stack the wood in the fire.

“I found you and your horse in a field. You appear to have sustained a rather unfortunate head wound, among a few other, less serious wounds. You were unconscious. I heard a few horses coming back to the field, and I rightly assumed they were coming back for you, surely not to your benefit. I had barely strapped you down and attached a lead to your horse before they came thundering into the clearing. I ran, they gave chase. Fortunately, I lost them and took refuge in this cave, should they decide to come back. We have been here for a day and a half.”

I slowly approached the fire, and sat down. I set down the rock. “Thank you,” I said slowly. “But, who are you?”

The boy smiled softly.

 

*

Alrighty!

So, that’s a singular scene.

As in, it has no context. There is no story that goes with it. There will be no more of that, at least, not in the near future. Sorry/not sorry.

Some background: I went camping. Woo hoo! I have mostly cleansed myself of the terribly clingy smell of campfire.

Anyway, on the way home from said camping trip, we stopped and went spelunking in a super cool cave. (If my brother-in-law gets around to sending us the pictures, I’ll post them here for you. The cave was, like, SUPER cool.)

As we were walking through it, and, by “we” I mean “me,” because I went way ahead of my family, I was struck by the TOTAL SUPER COOLNESS OF IT ALL.

And I was like, in my li’l ol’ head, “Dude, if I were being chased by someone who wanted to kill me, I would totally hide in here. The sharp rocks, a water source from the brook, dark and extensive enough to effectively hide in. It’d be great.”

**lightbulb**

I decided to write this scene based on that TOTALLY SUPER AWESOME cave. Maybe it will become a story, maybe it won’t, all depends, especially since I’m working on research for Novel #2 at the moment. (It’s gonna be historical fiction. Super fun.)

But, I hope you liked it! I’ll see what I can do about getting you some pictures for you to see, so I can share the TOTALLY RAD COOLNESS with you.

I hope I’ve made my opinion on the cave completely clear.


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