THE CAVE a short story
30th, October 29, 2010. Felix was lying in bed sleeping without a care in the world. He was woken up with a start when a slimy tube smashed though his window wetly wrapped around him and with a neck whipping movement snatched him right out of bed and out the window, a bright light and then he lost consciousness. The next morning the police where inspecting the scene and concluded it was kidnapping, they were wrong.
“Hello is anybody there? Where am I? My neck hurts” Felix half shouted cautiously as he looked around his surroundings. He was in a cave, a very big cave, strange green and white luminous pockets glowed in crevasses all around, the air was cool and fresh, a breeze softy glided past. The echoing sounds of dripping water plopped and popped throughout the cavernous atmospheric cave, A large pool of very blue water formed a sort of shimmering bath with droplets of water sailing down constantly, a puffy purple mushroom things was in another corner, it was very soft, sort of firm and velvety but somehow also like lying on a marsh mellow. This is what Felix had thought when he had woken up on it that morning. Or rather he thought it was morning; actually he didn’t know where he was let alone what time it was.
“Hello, is anybody there?” He called out again, his voice bouncing off the slippery cave walls. His feet where cold, his neck felt yanked and he was deeply confused. He walked around his area and realized that it was a series of caves connected to each other by tunnels, they where all similar with high uneven rocky ceilings glowing multi coloured lights and water dripping here and there, in one cave he found a pile of aromatic yellow hard stuff and a sort of congealed glistening brown blob which reflected his wide searching eyes and deeply furrowed brow. Felix found where the breeze was migrating from, the air becoming almost icy, he began to do a shuffling run around a winding tunnel, the lights twinkling on the rocks, the wind howling around the bends ‘This is a funky club which I went to, had too much to drink and passed out on that deliciously soft sofa’ He said to himself cheerfully in his head.
He was right the bright light of morning greeted him around a bend the fresh air slapping him in the face. He squinted and protected his eyes with his arm. He noticed a moving green stick up ahead, it stiffly moved towards him like a broom being pushed along the ground. Felix could not see where the stick ended as it kept lengthening towards him. The green stick was about as thick as my wrist and it reared up like a snake and stood erect in front of Felix. He wonder if maybe he was on some mind bending drug trip, maybe someone slipped him something rummy in the club last night?. “Hello broom, my neck hurts” Felix said trying to relax and embrace the situation as he perceived it with a happy go lucky attitude. When the broom with blinding speed bonked him on the head and a sound or rather a violent shuddering vibration brought Felix to his knees like a sack of potatoes he realized that this wasn’t some trippy thing in his head. He had literally been bonked on the head and he knew it. Felix picked himself up and ran back through the tunnel he had come down over taking the wind and rushing as quickly as he could back to his marshmallow bed sofa thing.
A dark time enveloped poor Felix as his mind tried unsuccessfully to get to grips with the situation. The purple thing did help calm him a lot. Later when he felt comfortable enough he realized that he needed a poo, he found a small round hole which he did his business down and then he washed his hands in the big pool of water, then he took off his PJs and washed himself in it, it wasn’t hot but it wasn’t cold either, it wasn’t quiet water either, it just didn’t convince him as he bobbed up and down in the rich blue substance, its consistency was strange in the way that it wasn’t consistent at all, some parts of the pool where like jelly and others where more like oily air, when he tasted it, it quenched his thirst but it would taste different with every mouthful he took, tastes which were utter new and indescribable.
His thoughts about the broom stick bonking where pushed aside out of necessity other wise he would surly go mad. His whole mind, body and soul knew this so there was no fighting about it, it just disappeared into the vaults of his mind until he knew he was strong enough again. Over the passing time, he didn’t know how long exactly but he kept close to his purple sleeping mushroom and he found that he could eat the yellow hard stuff and the glistening brown stuff he had discovered before also tastes which where alien to him but pleasant enough to put in the mouth and suitable enough to be taken for a visit to the stomach. He achieved the basics of life, he slept, he ate and drank and he went to the loo and kept clean. This Plato reached the broom bonking episode was allowed back into his brain again. The brow furrowed, the eyes squinted and the hand scratched the bonce.
Felix searched the cave for boulders, he found one and broke it against the cave wall, a slither of rock a bit like a spear head came off, and He tore a segment of his PJs off and tided it around like a handle. Summoning up the courage he crept along the winding passage way again, passing the howling wind coming his way. He reached the turning and began cautiously to approach the light, he waited for a moment to adjust his eyes to the light and carried on. His heart lurched into his throat like a salted egg, sticking dryly and uncomfortably just below his tonsils, The stick approached again, sliding along the cave floor toward him, he brandished his sharp rock and when it came close enough he stepped on it and slashed down on the thing, his knife broke and bounced away, the stick whipped violently and removed its self from under Felix’s foot, a great coil convulsed from the light towards him, the thicker end of the stick which was now acting less like a broom handle and more like a mad python, it was dripping with green ooze, several other coils undulated towards the fear stricken Felix, like a living weed. Felix jumped over one and began to run with all his speed towards the light, ducking and weaving in between them all, suddenly a coil swept his feet hard and his legs flew in the air and his head smote the hard stone ground with a nasty crack, a blinding moment of light and pain then darkness took him.
Felix woke up on his marshmallow purple bed; his head felt thick and was swimming with painful stars. “How on earth did I get back here?” He groaned to himself as he clutched his head with both hands. Another indeterminable about of time passed and Felix recovered, the bump on his head slowly shrinking and then disappearing. When he had recovered Felix continued his exploration of the caves, he would bring a large chunk of the golden yellow food with him and crumble it leaving it on the floor so he could find his way back to his bed area. One day when he was almost depleted of the yellow stuff and was contemplating heading back to have a snooze on his purple marshmallow he saw in the dimly lit high roofed cave a black cluster of rocks at the far end. There were many other rocks he had seen but the curious think about these ones is they looked like they were sucking the light away from the pockets of luminous lights on the cave walls, the green, blue and white lights where none existent around the black rock area and the lights nearby where weak and the light seemed to stream like a reel of glowing silk towards the rocks. Felix approached with curiosity. The rocks where giving off a slight heat, which Felix was excited about, although the cave wasn’t cold it wasn’t warm either and he thought about using one of these rocks in his pool to make it a warm bath, he could even keep one near his purple bed to keep him warmer at night. He went to grab one of the smaller stones and as he touched it his hand sunk right through into the hot centre of the thing, he gave a disgusted whoop and retracted his hands from the gooey mess. It was like tar coating his hands, he tried desperately to get it off but it stuck to him warmly, he ran back to his familiar cave and tried washing it off with water, this also didn’t work it looking like an oil based rock thing.
Sitting despondently by his pool wondering if he would be doomed to live with black shiny hands for the rest of his life he gave another whoop half surprise half joy as the black rock slid off both hands in the form of hard rubbery gloves. “There are like plastic” he said as he inspected the gloves, they were still warm as well. They where uneven and thicker in some parts. An idea presented its self and running as fast as his legs could carry him Felix followed the yellow food trail through the blinking lights in the caves and back to the cluster of rocks. He scooped and plastered the hot messy liquid rock all over his lower body, making some trousers, when they had solidified he began lathering the rock on the souls of his feet and on his knees for extra protection. Then he took them off, they retained their shape, then he made himself a top with extra padding around the shoulders and chest area. The stuff was flexible and fitted snugly, but it was also hard on the outside like armor. He fashioned a helmet carefully, padding the chin and the top of the head. He wasn’t interested in anymore head blippings. When he had created a full body suit he put it all on. He felt like a knight in armor, the suit didn’t restrict his movements at all and he was warm. Having an idea he dipped his already gloved hand into the rock again and after the second coat had dried he repeated the process until his right hand was like a club the size of a misshapen bowling ball. Grabbing another small rock which was lying on the ground he then dipped one part of it in the liquid rock and attached it to his hand. A heavy weighted weapon with a rock on the end.
Felix was stoked like a fire, he marched through the maze of tunnels again garbed in his sleek black new suit. He began winding his way back towards the tunnel with the light at the end. Practicing slaying thrusts with his new rock hand. He reached the light and without waiting for his foe he charged head forward renting the tunnel with a battle cry. Almost immediately the ground began to shake like a powerful earth quake. The sort of vibration like being inside a church bell when rung, attacked Felix’s ears and he staggered around trying to balance himself on the tunnels curved walls. His ears and sense of balance confused and ungrounded. An army of green tentacles slithered towards him and with lighting speed they wrapped around his every limb, with an almighty effort Felix managed to brake his club hand free and he crashed it down on one of the tentacles around his right foot, he struck again and again the tentacles loosened its coils. Spasming as it retreated. Pinning another tentacle against the tunnel wall Felix hit straight on with the tip of his rock fist and he punctured the thing, green blood spurted out a heavy metallic smell invaded his green soaked face, the ground shook and took him off his feet. More tentacles came and dragged him into the light.
Felix woke up on his mushroom bed. “OH COME ON!!” he screamed at the top of his voice. He immediately shut up as his throat turned to fire and he coughed up blood. He spat it out angrily got off the purple bed and stamped on the floor. He ran to the pool of water, took off his club glove and helmet and drank from the water. He ran to his hole and vomited down into the blackness. The hole was pitch black and Felix could not see the bottom. He wanted to shout but thought better of it. He wanted to ask who had put him hear, why and what the hell was that tentacles thing?” He had so many questions.
Another period of time passed as Felix recovered again. He began to study and experiment with the black rocks he had found. He found that when he hit them or tried to grab them quickly they would be solid and hard, like belly flopping on water, but when he touched them slowly he could put his hand right into them. He experimented with scooping dollops of the stuff out and dripping them in a line, when they set they were like floppy whips. He also found out that if he left them in his pool of water for a long time they would become completely hard. He found if he left them in the water for a short time they would become springy or whip like. He also found that he could put the rocks into each other or he could put what he had taken out back in. He decided to put all the rocks into one. He was left with a giant bolder who had streams of light traveling towards it from the florescent areas of the cave.
Felix began using the black rock to make sculptures, mainly creating large complicated shapes and only occasionally dedicating his time to making weapons or improving his armor. He just wasn’t up for another fight with the tentacles. Every so obtain the ground would quake and low sounds would sound from the direction bright light tunnel area. At the entrance of the tunnel he set up a row of rocks with black liquid rock shafts pointing towards the light. He didn’t really think that it would stop the green tentacles if they decided to come in further but it gave him piece of mind. More time passed.
Felix ate drank went to the loo, bathed and spent a lot of time on his purple marshmallow bed. It was in its ridiculously comfortable soft undulations that he found his apex of peace. He had crafted a table out of the black rock and some bowls and cups. The yellow and shiny brown food seemed never to diminish in size, in fact sometimes it grew. He didn’t particular like it but he could tell it was good for him. He knew and thought with a snigger how he was much fitter and healthier here than he ever was before in his old life. Although not content he tried not to think about his past life, Suicide just wasn’t in him and until be felt like it again he would not be going back out to battle with the tentacles.
But there was only so much time Felix could spent on his luscious purple marshmallow bed, with its super soft yet supportiveness, with its sleep inducing fragrances, there was only so many spiky sculptures he could mould before he started to think about getting out again. The dripping of the water, the cool breeze the winking colourful lights where charming but unfamiliar and he craved human contact. He wasn’t one for commitment when he had been in his other life but still just wanted to be able to see people, to have a back and forth chat. A powerful gut yearning stopped him from full resignation to his new life. Soon he began to get fit. Running over some forms and strikes he had learnt in Karate when he was a child. He sculpted his battle suit, making extra padding for his ears so he would be partially shielded from the vibrations, he put small rock spikes all over his suit and made a trident and a small shield. He would sit in his bath in full armor to harden his suit. He had found out over time that the rock would become liquid again and begin to turn back into a round rocky former shape, so he needed to keep it hard and in shape with water, he also found that the lights from his cave would be attracted to his suit, he could see the light bending and snaking towards his suit making it warm.
It was time, he was fitter, he had superior armor to last time and most importantly he was focused and ambitious to get out. Removing his rock spikes from the tunnel leading to the light he walked purposefully towards his fight. He crouched and moved thoughtfully and steadily forwards, brandishing his trident in his right hand. When the quakes began to start he stood still until he was steady and then continued to advance. The tentacles arrived shooting at him quickly, he raised his shield and one bounced off it with a splat, he thrust out with his trident and court another one fully impaling it before it snapped back and disappeared into the light. Felix breathed heavily, doggedly advancing, fighting the tentacles as they tried to grab his spiky armor. Then they stopped, as if knowing they could not grab him anymore. They hovered, feeling the air for a moment and then slowly retracted into the light. The cool wind rushed and howled towards Felix as if enticing and heralding the freedom which lay beyond. Felix rained in his impulse to run out of the tunnel and kept his guard up moving forward defensively. The vibrations began again this time it sounded like two different tones almost like two creatures communicating with each other. Felix’s helmet shielded his ears from the shaking. Then silence, Felix held his breath and managed to start blinking when a thing like a dark truck eclipsed the light and hit him like a wall and he lost consciousness.
Felix woke up on his purple bed again, he didn’t get up, he just lay there hurting and tears began to move in little streams down his face. A period of time elapsed and Felix recovered his body again. Years rolled by and Felix made the odd attempt to escape again but to no avail, one day Felix broke his leg and he died slowly on his purple marshmallow bed unable to feed himself anymore.
A creature vast and large, with sight and comprehension exceeding ours greatly was present next to an artificial cave opening; A round glistening whirring device was blowing air into the mouth of the cave. The creature, perceiving with its mind that a life form had left this world communicated wordlessly to its partner “Darling Felix has died”.
His partner replied “well you know those pets are very fragile and if you insist on playing with them so roughly then what do you expect? Don’t worry we can go and pick up another one anytime you want”. The life form contemplated and then dematerialized.
Norbert was sleeping peacefully in his bed when we woke up and saw a giant tube thrashing through his broken window, the slippery thing bunched around his waist and with a neck tugging jolt snatched him out of the window, Norbert saw a bright light and then he lost consciousness and everything went dark.