Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Microstory 1582: Woman in a Cave

I enter the cave, and find...

...a woman, sitting on a bed. She watches me with a bored look on her face, and moves a little away from me. I ask, “is this you?” She nods yes. I want to sit down next to her, but something tells me not to. So I say, “it’s me, Celeste.” I say, “is this your cave?” She says, “yeah.” I ask her, “is that your cave?” She nods yes. I ask, “is this your body?” She says, “yeah.” I try to sit down next to her, but I’m not strong enough. So I say, “is this your dead husband?” She nods yes, and holds up her dead husband’s cane. I ask, “is that your dog?” She nods yes. I ask, “is this your cat?” She nods yes. I ask, “is this your pony?” She nods yes. I ask, “is that you?” She nods yes. I try to get near enough to kiss her, but can’t. I know how hard it is for a TOTALLY BOY to kiss a GIRL. (That’s how I refer to myself to my own friends). I can get just about ANYTHING ELSE done, much to Celeste’s chagrin, but kissing is the one thing that I just can’t manage. So I back off a little. She...

...getting a little antsy, so I put the photograph of her and her family away, and sit against the opposite wall, so I don’t make her feel uncomfortable. I take outmy notebook, and start going back over the information I’ve gathered about this place. Legend has it that you can bring your loved ones back to life if you bring their body in here. I nev er truly believed it, but I had to hold out hope that I could one day see my son again. I’m willing to try anything, except for sacrificing someone else’s life for him. I found a cult in Alps that claimed they could do it, but someone else would have to take his place in the afterlife, and neither he nor I would want that. I’ve been studying this cave when I have time for the last seven months, and Celeste is the only one who’s ever been brought back. Others have come, and met nothing but failure and disappointment, so I have to figure out what is different about this one person. Once I feel like she’s ready, I start asking her for more information. It’s not all that easy, because she’s only willing to answer yes/no questions. As it turns out, she can’t ever leave the cave, or she’ll die all over again. Her family comes once a week to check on her, which I find quite strange. If this works with my son, then I’ll find a way to live here with him. I’ll never leave his side as long as he’s back. I decide to try it, because it’s my last hope, and if it doesn’t work, then I will have least done everything I could. I steal the body from the morgue, grateful to my friend who works there. He made sure no one tried to bury the remains, or anything. I take my boy back to the cave, and lay him down in the center. Only a few minutes later, he rises as if he had just woken up from a slightly jarring dream. For a week or so, we’re happy, but then he starts becoming more like Celeste. He loses his ability to carry on a normal conversation, all the way to the point where he can only say yes or no. Still, he’s back, and he understands me, so I stay, and we stay together. A few weeks later, though, things start to get worse. I too can only comprehend true or false now, and if I could, I would ask myself, “is this really living?”

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