Good Monday morning to you one and all. I hope you had a good weekend. It was a pretty good, but quiet one here. A spot of holiday shopping before the crowds got heavy and mostly a quiet collapse in the house. Sometimes, those are the best weekends. But now we have a fresh new week facing us, so let’s get it started. It is time for the first prompt of the week. So pens at the ready if you are doing this long hand, fingers poised above the keyboard if you are typing. And let’s begin.
Sometimes I don’t like the timer. Sometimes I feel like I am just getting to the actual story when it dings. Today is one of those days. I fumbled around a bit trying to figure out what this was about. I got there in the end, at least in my head, but I’d need more time with this before I will know how I feel about it. But some days, that is just how it goes.
Monday, November 15th: The cave was enormous.
The cave was enormous. From the outside it looked like a small space, suitable for waiting out the sudden rain storm without too much risk of anything hiding in the dark. Now it didn’t look like such a good idea. Jessica knew she could survive getting wet a lot easier than she could survive a bear attack.
Still the others were crowding in, trying to escape the rain. She decided to stay close to the exit just in case. She was last to enter and wiggled through the narrow entrance scraping her back pack on the side as she did. If the others scraped, they didn’t seem to mind. Since they were much larger than she was, she expected they had, and just didn’t care.
Jessica was finding the group somewhat difficult to deal with. Her opinions about hiking and camping seemed to be shaped by much different forces than theirs were. But the group was majority rule and she was always outnumbered.
Jessica tried not to let it bother her as she had tried not to let it bother her for the entire trip. Her patience was running low, but they were only about halfway through the trip. The time to turn back had long disappeared. She would have to stick it out and then politely decline any further offers that might come her way.
‘Somehow I doubt many will,’ Jessica thought. She tried to shake off the thought. The group was filled with nice people. No one was being mean to her or discouraging. They were welcoming. They were just different. Jessica suspected that many of them didn’t realize how different they were. Jessica shrugged. She didn’t plan on telling them.
The cave was dark, the light from the swiftly fading sun illuminating only a small portion of the space. She heard the rummaging around in backs and a few moments later, battery powered lanterns were snapped on. Jessica turned away and peered out through the cave opening. Clouds were scudding across the sky at a fast pace. They were growing thicker and darker even as she watched.
The first drops pattered down onto the ground and she saw them spot the gray stone in front of the cave with darker splats. The rain arrived. She heard the others moving away and turned. Despite the small entrance the roof of the cave soared overhead. She couldn’t see the top of the cave. Her mind wondered about bats, but the absence of any droppings on the floor meant that if there were any they were few and far between.
‘That’s something at least,’ she thought. The group was moving towards the back of the cave and for a moment Jessica tried to decide if she wanted to join them or allow them some distance.
‘I ought to try and remain sociable,’ she told herself. Even if she refused any more trips, several of those in the group were part of her daily life. She needed to remain on good terms. She slowly followed after them. Ahead their steps seemed to echo as they moved forward. Her steps were light, soft and she felt like a silent shadow as she brought up the rear of the group.
The cave remained large and wide as they pushed further into the space. The floor was no longer smooth and she could see evidence of both stalagmites and stalactites as she looked both up and down. In some places the two met to form waxy looking columns.