Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta cave. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta cave. Mostrar todas las entradas

viernes, 4 de mayo de 2018

Green cave


   The cave was covered in the same slimy kind of substance we had seen in the trail going up the mountain. It was very sticky and had a dark color to it, which we had identified as a very deep green. Someone argued that, maybe, the creatures inside the mountain used that goo to attack predators and be able to escape. Another person said it was very likely that they were the predators and that they used the substance to actively hunt for food. The third opinion was simpler but more confusing: the substance could be blood.

 In trees, sap is green and it acts, in a very basic way, as the blood of a tree. But it never gets that thick or dark. Susan, who was the botanist in the expedition, analyzed a sample and assured everyone that green thing was not sap from any tree she had ever seen or that had ever been recorded by any human being. It did pass some of the tests that Marcus, a biologist, did for several other animals we had found earlier in our journey through the mountains. So it was blood but it was impossible to know why it was all over the place.

 Maybe they did use it as a weapon, like those lizards in the desert that squirt blood in order to scare their enemies. Something like that could be at play with these creatures, which we hadn’t had the opportunity to actually see with our own two eyes. Some of the tribes living around the mountains talked to us about creatures living under the mountains, creatures that would come at night into the town and kidnap children. We didn’t believe that story but it was repeated to us in various occasions.

 Alex and Richard stood at the entrance of the cave. They were geologists and wanted to have time to analyze the mountain itself so they asked to stay there as lookouts if anything went wrong. It wouldn’t have been a very smart idea if we would all enter the cave at the same time. Samantha and Sergei were the last two to enter the cave, just after I get stepped on a rather large mound of the gooey substance. I had to be helped by Sergei and Marcus in order to get my foot out of there. It was very scary for a minute.

 The cave was rather large and our voices seemed to run wild inside, so we decided to stop talking in order not to scare any potential new findings. We had helmets with soft lights on them and all the equipment necessary if we had needed to go down a very dangerous wall or even jump over a crevasse. It was normal for such cavernous systems to have different features that would play as obstacles for groups of people such as ourselves. But, strangely, after walking for twenty minutes, we realized that the cave wasn’t shrinking in any way, rather it was descending gently but steadily.

 I think we all thought the exact same thing at the same time: whatever creatures inhabited this world; they had modeled the cave in order to accommodate them and not the other way around. What that meant was that the creatures had to be able to use tools of some sort and had various abilities to carve stone. They would even be able to do a certain degree of calculations, which was only possible if they’re brain was evolved enough. We weren’t looking for some little creatures in the dark.

 After another twenty minutes, we finally arrived at a larger chamber. The ceiling on it was huge, covered in what seemed to be bats in a deep slumber. We fixed our lights in order not to disturb them and kept on walking until we weren’t able to. The ground stopped dead in the middle of the room to give way to a rather large body of water. The liquid look as gooey as the green substance in the entrance. We actually looked around for it but realized there were no traces of it in that chamber. There had to be a reason why.

 Samantha and Marcus walked and kneeled in front of the body of water, as Susan walked closer to me. It was obvious that, as a botanist, she had not being in such a situation before. She wasn’t hyperventilating or anything, but she was clearly not comfortable being in the underside of a mountain. Sergei stood right behind us, looking at the path we had used to come down to the chamber. It looked like he had heard something but, when I asked, he said it was nothing and tried to seem unperturbed, which he failed at.

Samantha filled three large syringes with water from the pond and Marcus grabbed some in his hands. He first smelled it, very thoroughly, and then drank some, to everyone’s amazement. But none of us said a single word, because we didn’t want to wake up the whole bat infested roof. When Marcus stood up, we asked in a whisper if there was anything wrong with it and he just did a negative movement of his head to answer. We all went back to breathing normally then. For a second, it had been very scary.

 However, we had failed to notice that Sergei was looking at the path we had come down through and there was something wrong with it. Sergei did not answer so I turned him around with one hand. His face was livid, whiter than ever, blood completely drained from his features. He was breathing heavily and it was only when I saw what he had seen that I realized why he was behaving in such a strange way. Out of nowhere, a rock had been put to block the path. We were trapped in the chamber. It was a trap and we had fallen into it without even a glimpse of doubt.
I wanted to tell them what was going on but then the water from the pond started making sounds, as if it was boiling. But that did not make sense. We only had time to look at each other once more before we saw something coming out of the water and then our lights failed and the bats flew over our heads, filling the place with confusion. Then, we felt them and it all went black.

sábado, 19 de noviembre de 2016

Several adventures

   From the entrance of the cave, the storm looked somewhat beautiful. Rain covered every single plant in the forest, as well as every rock, leaf and animal, if they hadn’t found a proper place to wait out the storm. Tony and Gabe had found the cave just in time and had been there for at least three hours. In that time, the rain hadn’t stop falling and it didn’t really seem like it would stop anytime soon. It was as if it was the perpetual state of that corner of the world. Both men decided to take out their sleeping bags and rest, instead of waiting for something that might not come.

 The next morning, sure enough, the storm was still going strong. According to what they had read before going into the forest, it wasn’t that uncommon to have storms that lasted for several hours. According to one book, the record was five straight nights of rainfall. It was simply insane but that’s how nature worked in that place. So both guys decided it was best for them to wait. They didn’t fear the rain or anything like that. The problem was that they could get lost and that was a real problem that they wouldn’t be able to solve easily.

 They had brought food, and sleeping bags and several other things but they had forgotten a simple compass. Besides, their satellite map on their phones didn’t work there, as the forest had no Wi-Fi. So, in a way, they were trapped by rain. The physical map they had borrowed from the park ranger’s office was the only thing they could use to navigate the forest but there was no real way of doing that because the map was not precisely up to date. According to the bottom left corner of it, the design was copied from another map dating from the 1980’s.

 It was best to sit down on their sleeping bags and have a couple of energy bars, which would help them stay alert. Tony and Gabe rarely talked to one another. They were not really friends but they weren’t enemies or anything like that. The reason they were together was that they had originally plan to come with several other friends. The original group had around fifteen people but then the park made them cut off some of them because the limit was eight people. Then some of the ones remaining dropped out and only Tony and Gabe remained.

 They had decided to go together because they didn’t want to miss the opportunity of entering the forest. The government had announced recently that it was going to be closed indefinitely as the passage of people through the park was apparently damaging it. Tony and Gabe were practically the last two people to ever set foot there in, probably, many years. But they were so mad at their friends for not going that they hadn’t really thought about that amazing fact. It was practically a historical event in which they had been caught up.

 The second night in the cave, they decided to play a card game. It was one of the simple ones, nothing too fancy. It was Tony that had proposed to play, as he was getting crazy by just waiting to see if the weather got a little bit better. Gabe was also very disappointed in that trip. He had come because he really wanted to get away from people and things after he had finished the process of divorcing the woman that was supposedly the love of her life. He had found her having sex with another woman in their brand new apartment.

 Tony’s reasons were kind of similar. He wanted to get away from his family. He was an adult that still lived with his parents and had serious money problems. The trip to the forest had been his idea and he had designed it to be a perfect getaway with his best friends. That hadn’t come to pass and it made him rethink his relationship with them because he didn’t really knew anymore if they were really his friends or if they were only close to him because he was good with other people’s problems but no one helped him with his problems.

 The card game went on for several hours, until they had to drop it because one of their flashlights turned itself off. Apparently, the battery had run out. After all, it had been on for several hours a day, being in a cave and everything. They decided to sleep instead but they just couldn’t so they started talking. They first did so about the rain and the forest and how cool the first few days had been, taking pictures of animals and beautiful plants and discovering a whole world they had never even imagined that it existed so close to their homes.

 However, the conversation migrated soon to their problems. First, Gabe got to tell Tony every single detail about his divorce. He even told him exactly what he found his wife and now girlfriend doing in his own bed. Gabe’s voice sounded bitter, so Tony tried to make him fell better by reminding him that it was for the best that he had found out the truth. Gabe didn’t know if that was correct because he had spent a large amount of money in that marriage, from the ring to a holiday he had planned for their first anniversary.

 Tony insisted: at least he hadn’t lived decades a decades in a lie. He had found out in the first year and that meant he had saved himself years of suffering and lies. That was something most people would want to have in a relationship. Most never get to know any of the truths that lie beneath their relationships until it is too late. Gabe began to realize Tony was right and really assimilated the fact that he hadn’t done anything wrong and that he was still young, if he ever wanted to marry again.

 Then, they moved on to Tony. Gabe asked him, rather bluntly, why did he still live with his parents? It was a difficult question to answer but it all came from the fact that Tony didn’t really have any real skills. He had gone to school, he had gotten diplomas and so on, but no company seemed to be interested in hiring him. As he explained to Gabe, companies were not looking for people that had a vast amount of knowledge. They were looking for people to exploit and someone that knew his worth wasn’t going to accept anything like that.

 Besides that, he found jobs that paid him a little money at a time but never enough to actually save anything. In his parents house, he had to pay the electricity bill and had to help with the groceries too, so there was no way he could ever get his own place that why. He lived with his parents not because it was the right thing to do but because it was the safest thing to do. He thought going out into the world blindly was not a solution to anything. Going out from home and then failing fantastically, only to come back, wasn’t really something he looked forward to.

 Gabe told him that, at some point, he was going to have to risk it, in one way or the other. Maybe he did need to take a risk like leaving home for working away from his parents. Or maybe he needed to let a company exploit him, letting them know that what he wanted was experience and that they could pay him whatever they paid others in order to be able to work. Tony was not very convinced by Gabe’s advice but then he said that Tony could also do his own thing; create his own business with all his knowledge at the center of it.

 That seemed to get to Tony because he was silent for a moment and then confessed to Gabe that he had always imagined having some sort of library, where he could help all sorts of people with all sorts of books. It could be in an old house, with a small cafeteria and a certain ambiance that would make it attractive to every single person around. He would offer all kinds of titles, from novels to poetry, from cooking books to big ones filled with artistic pictures and paintings. He knew it was hard and that his dream required a lot of money.


 Gabe told him he liked his idea. Furthermore, out of nowhere, he told Tony he would love to help to get that dream become a reality. After all, he had gotten some money out of the divorce and he had a stable job that gave him more than enough to live comfortably. He could afford investing those earning from his failed marriage. Tony was overwhelmed. They both sat on their sleeping bags and, in silence and with only the rain as witness, they hugged and agreed to become partners in a new adventure.

sábado, 29 de octubre de 2016

The phoenix

   The majestic bird rose above the tea plantation and flew very high into the sky. The people that had been working in the cave where it had been sleeping for thousands of years, ran towards the exit in the hope of catching a glimpse of the animal flying free in the sky. No one really understood why or how the creature had survived living in a cave, apparently, for so long. It wasn’t common for a bird to live in such a place but, then again, it wasn’t no ordinary bird. According to the legend, that red feathered animal was the mythical phoenix.

 As the bird appeared to defy all laws of gravity by flying as fast as a supersonic airplane and as high as a weather balloon, the people below began considering the options: they could try to capture the creature but they had no real way of doing so. If the legend was true, such a fantastic bird would have the strong of a thousand oxen and its screeching sounds could tear down the roughest wood. At least that’s what it said on the many manuscripts kept by the monks in several temples of the region. But should such ancient scriptures be taken into account?

 It was well known that people exaggerated their fear when they felt threatened. They wrote tales of the most horrible things in order to surprise others by saying, “we endured this” or “we vanquished this”. Maybe the phoenix that was now hovering over the plantation was just like any other bird, just much more beautiful and graceful, and also very big and beautifully garnished by nature. In any case, most people agreed that capturing it would not be good at all for anyone. Their gods may punish them for those actions.

 Most of the population of the region consisted of peasants. They grew tea and rice and some other valuable goods that they tried to trade with other regions. But the economy all over was very hard for everyone and competition was rough from places that were much more advances, being able to produce tons more of tea leafs and rice grains. They were too far from any modern science and too close to ancient traditions that prevented them from going too far into the future. It was a very complicated situation indeed.

 The bird descended and landed on top of one of the tea bushes. The workers, who had been there all day, watched the creature with expectation, finding it very odd that such a big bird could pose itself on such a small bush and not fall to the ground. They believed it to be the magic of the phoenix and many of them started praying to it. As the sun sunk in the horizon, the bird’s feathers started glowing with a reddish hue that made look as if it was on fire. No… It was on fire. It became engulfed in it and suddenly it became a pile of ashes on the dark doil.

 The wind carried away the ashes and no one in the vicinity was able to say a word for some time after that. They had been witnessed of something beautiful and also very confusing. The people that had been digging in the nearby cave arrived just as a gust of wind cleaned the soil from any residue of the bird and when they asked what happened, no one could really explained what they had seen. It was only the next day that a young boy told them they had seen the bird burn, as the legend said it could happen at any moment.

 The problem with the people of the cave was that they were not from those parts. They came from the capital, saying they wanted to investigate the cage, which they thought was filled with uranium which they need to build a power plant not very far from there. At least that was what they said once and again, every time someone dared to ask why they had a arrived out of the blue and not years before, when the energy crisis was in its peek. They never really answered in a very straightforward way. There was always something elusive about them.

 After the bird burned, most of them left for the capital. Only one remained behind. He sealed the cave and stood guard there every single day. He lived in a small tent built by the entrance of the cavernous place. Apparently, they wanted no one to go there because they thought it was a place worth protecting but who knew why? Maybe they thought the phoenix had laid eggs or maybe they assumed the bird would be reborn in the same place it had been living for, apparently, a very long period of time. Their reasons were unclear.

 The people of the mountains went back to work as normal, grabbing tea leafs and cultivating their rice in the old fashioned way they had always done it. Some of them had begun to resent the government: it had never made any presence to help them in the past and out of nowhere it had send those people and now they couldn’t even get into their own cave, where they sometimes mined for precious stones that could give a family some more food to feed their children and the elders. Sadly, being farmers didn’t mean they could live at their heart’s content.

 Many of them had not eaten the meat of any animal in a good while and the children had no idea of what a sweet fruit tasted like. The only thing growing around them that could be similar were wild berries but they were always really tangy and many species were poisonous. So their diet was based on rice and tea, accompanied by a handful of vegetables each farmer grew in their private orchard. They were very careful with them because it wasn’t much.

 A year passed when the government, finally, decided to retire the man they had left in front of the cave. They claimed to have been unable to find uranium there so the decision was to let the cave in the hands of the people that had taken care of it for so long. It was a bunch of nice words but they all knew the truth: they had given up on the phoenix making its appearance once again, just as the farmers. No one thought it would come back again but everyone believed the bird still lived somewhere in the vicinity or maybe far in to the higher mountains.

 Children did many drawings of the bird and people started talking more freely about what they had felt when they has seen the bird flying over them. They now could do it because they didn’t feel the pressure of the government on their backs. They could say whatever they wanted, just as they had thought, without any restriction. That was the good thing of living ins such a remote area: those people were actually free, at least in a way most people would find alluring. Besides, they were happy despite everything.

 The celebration of the tea harvest that year was simply over the top. Artists from other regions were invited over and they showed everyone how elegant and hilarious they could be. There were also dances and music and many people wore costumes. The most magnificent thing was the construction of a huge phoenix made out of wood. It had been painted red by the children and built patiently by farmers after the working hours were over. They wanted to thank the creature for such a great year for their crops. They truly believed it was because if it.

 The happiness was contagious. Everyone laughed that night, celebrating with simple joy. They were glad to be who they were and the truth was that they didn’t want to become anything else. Most of the people day would never accept a trip to the capital or changing in any way the lifestyle they had enjoyed for the last hundred years. They respected each other, they took care of one another and they believed in the same core principles that ruled over most aspects of their lives. One of those was the belief that everything was possible.


 Late, when the party was about to end and dawn approached; they saw the bird flying over their crops and above the party, released what seemed like sparks. Everyone saw the bird with delight, thanking it for everything good that year. They would have another great year after that and for many more because they had been blessed by the phoenix, which had finally found the perfect spot on Earth to live in peace and learn from the good things humans had to offer.

sábado, 8 de octubre de 2016

What I saw in the cave

   No matter how much I try, I will never forget what I saw in that cave. The scientists had already done their digging and everything was as organized as it could be. To my surprise, people I had known from the past and from afar, were working with them. I didn’t know why but I never asked anything in detail, it was better if I was in the metaphorical dark. In the cave I was in the real dark, a humid place that appeared to be like a museum, at least in the first area I stepped in. It was a scary thing to do, entering that place, but I did it anyway.

 Then, I saw him. It was very strange: he came up to me and said “Hi” and I answered. We knew each other but, deep in my being, I didn’t know from where or why. He seemed to stare at me to much, making me a bit uncomfortable. I tried not to look at him too much because he made me feel worried somehow. Then, another man appeared, one that was already leaving the cave. That one I knew very fast who he was: I had bought my ticket in from him and I think I don’t really have to explain what that’s supposed to mean.

 We didn’t looked at each other for long, instead pretended to ignore one another. A kind girl I had known back in high school gave me a helmet and some protective goggles. I had to loosen them up a little bit because they were really tight around my head and I was already getting a headache from seeing two guys I had been intimate with in the same place. I suppose that didn’t really spoke very well of my behavior but, to be honest, I don’t really care how others perceive me as long as I’m able to get whatever it is that I want.

 With the girl, I started to descend into the depths of the cave. I was getting more and more nervous because I knew what they had found there, I knew very well why I had come and it was because I wanted every single piece of the truth in my power. I wasn’t going to give up an ounce of the knowledge I had gathered along the years and I certainly wasn’t going to pull back from getting my hands on every piece of information I might need. I think everyone that knows me has that in their mind when they see me and, to be honest, I like it.

 Julia, the girl who takes me deeper and deeper into the ground, doesn’t seem to care about any of that. She had always been so kind and respectful of everyone when we were in school together. She was a little bit like me: never excelled in anything, always been a very average student. However, she had it clear in her mind what she wanted to become: a renowned journalist. She worked her ass off for it and made it. Now she worked with this corporation because she thought she would get the first scoop on the story.

 I got scared for the first time when I stepped on a rock covered in moss and I almost fell right in the hole they had made in the ground. Julia was very agile and managed to grab my hand in the almost dark, pulling me back afterwards in one go. She was stronger than I had imagined and now I understood why they had hired her. Maybe she had being trained, like all those other security guards that I had seen around the compound. They were like huge rocks, impossible to overcome. They weren’t even scary but massive.

 We descended a little bit more until Julia took my hand and told me to let her lead, as there was a doorway built into the wall that lead into the space which I wanted to visit. After walking for a bit, we crossed a plastic curtain and then there was a very potent light. She told me to grab one of the hazmat suits that were hanging on hooks on the side of the tunnel and put it on as fast and as efficiently as I could. I don’t know why, but I started to shake a lot right there.

 When I was done with suiting up, I realized she had been ready for a while. I couldn’t hear her and she couldn’t hear me. I guess the suits prevented even know from getting in or out. I felt strange, not very sure of what I was doing but I was already there and there was no turning back. Julia walked first and I followed her. The tunnel continued for, at least, fifty meters and then it opened up into another chamber in the cave system. Julia had a flashlight and made me realize how massive the space was. A building could have easily rested there.

 Then, she grabbed my hand and indicated with her hands that she was going to be pointing the flashlight downwards. And then she seemed to ask something of me: to remain quiet. I didn’t really understand why she would do that sign. I did moments later when I didn’t obey her advice and screamed at the top of my lungs. It was the most awful thing I had ever seen and the image was now stuck in my head, in my eyes even. She pulled me out as fast as she could and, in what seem seconds later, we were on the entry point of the cave.

 I ripped off my suit and decided not to listen to her orders or to anyone else. I dropped every piece of equipment as I walk straight to his office, to Michael’ office, the guy I had slept with in order to get in there. He wasn’t in the office. I started looking around for him but the small group of trailers that made up the camp next to the cave was not exactly a big one. There were not really many options to where he could have gone. I left the last pieces of the suit there, turning around as if going crazy.

 Then, Alex came and grabbed me tight. He took me to one of the trailers and close the door. He was the guy I thought I knew but didn’t quite remember. When I saw his eyes from a close distance, I remembered him all right: Alex had been one of the guys in my life that I had to convince of things that weren’t real. That was my life and now he was in front of me again and the worst part was that he seemed to still think that everything that happened was true. But I wasn’t up for that, not then.

 I asked him, before he could say anything, if he knew about the cave, if they all knew. He told me only a handful of people had gone down there. He hadn’t and neither had Michael. Only Julia and the group of scientists had been there but the rest of the crew in the camp knew exactly what was down there. I started crying. I couldn’t control myself. I told Alex that it was horrible and that I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I had wanted information and now that I had it, I didn’t know if I wanted it anymore or if I could do anything with it.

He held me in his arms, which were very strong, and I realized how nice it felt. Actually, I remembered how I had lied to him for a long time in order to get to another secret I was seeking. He knew who I was and, instead of trying to arrest me or something, he was hugging me and trying to make me feel better. We looked at each other’s eyes and I realized he was crying but I never got to know why that was. Someone was knocking on the door and Alex opened it. He got out and I got confused for a second and then I saw Michael coming in.

 He closed the door behind him and demanded me to tell him what I had seen in the cave. I told him he knew exactly what I had seen and demanded his thugs to let me out of the camp. Michael smiled in the most awful and disrespectful way and told me that now I was theirs and that I had to work with them as a mean of payment for what I had seen. I told him he was insane if he thought I would tell anyone about what they were keeping underground. I would never be able to reveal such a secret to anyone a live unless I wanted to scare them for life.


 He grabbed me by the arm and reminded me how I had thought I had used him to get inside that camp. Now, he was giving the orders and the most important one was that I wasn’t going to get out of there anytime soon. Then, I felt the most awful look all over my body. His eyes felt like the most awful medical devices, making me feel more than naked, almost violated. He got out of the trailer without even closing the door and I collapsed on my knees. My job, my life choices, had taken their toll on me and now I had become something I had never wanted to be: a prisoner. Basically, they had beaten me at my own game.