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(Keep in mind these parts are rough drafts)

Making our way around this larger pond was not too difficult, however, it did prove to be much larger than we thought. You ever notice how water seems to possess this deceptive quality to it. It’s beauty and motion hide it’s true nature. The sun further helps it hide, by reflecting upon the surface with a mesmerizing display of sparkles, that trick the eyes and fool the mind. The only thing you know for certain, is that underneath the surface lies, many mysteries yet to be discovered.

The picturesque viewpoint we witnessed from the hill crest was entirely real though. There was no huge over-growth of any particular plant or bush around the pond. It truly was as if some intelligent being had created and maintained this pond, and waterfall, since the beginning of time. Not having to hack and slash our way to the other side, the machetes were put away, and an odd kind of silence seemed to grip our group. We just seemed to walk on auto-pilot and gaze in wonder at the scene around us.

 When we reached the path, leading up to the cave, Charlie shouted trying to be heard above the roar of the waterfall, ” Gonna need a light, who has one? ” While I unclipped the lantern from my backpack, Stan pulled out a flashlight from his. We proceeded in single file up the extremely narrow cave path. Reaching the top, I lit the lantern and adjusted the wick, while Stan flicked on the flashlight and began sweeping the inside of the cave with it.

The cave opening was only about 15 foot across, however with the first sweep of the flashlight, it was easy to see that it was much deeper than that and it gradually got wider inside. As we slowly made our way further into the cave, I gradually raised the wick on the lantern. Inside the cave opened up to perhaps 25 foot wide. As we got further inside we noticed that symbols, images, and what might be words in some language, had been painted upon the walls. After a brief discussion about whether to investigate the wall paintings, it was decided by majority vote, that we should make sure the cave was empty first. Deeper inside we went until finally the flashlight found the back wall which lied approx. 100 foot away from the entrance. Happy to have found the cave without any occupants but slightly disappointed that the cave was not bigger and in need of much more exploration, we moved on to examining the cave paintings.

 Some of the paintings were fairly clear in their meanings and some were not so. The ones we easily figured out were the ones that consisted mainly of just a drawing, such as the one of person with either lightning or rays coming out of his/her hands. There was also one of a person sitting upon a winged-horse and another one with a person who seemed to be flying without wings, and throwing a round object, to a group of people on the ground. Then there were the less than obvious drawings. One looked like a person with a lion’s head and another one had a lion with a person’s head. These made little sense at all to us. The last group of paintings made even less sense. They consisted of symbols. Some of the symbols seemed to be basic geometric shapes while others were things we had never seen, like stars entangled by circles with beams of light shooting forth from them. Under and around most of the paintings were what seemed to be letters and words of some language nobody knew. Not even Stan had an idea of what language it might be. Seeing all these weird paintings here was unexpected but that was not the strangest part. All of the paintings were painted in monochrome. One color and that color was white. I realize I am not a scientist or anything, but I’ve  seen caving paintings on TV shows and remember that they are usually done with dark colors, presumably because dark colors were likely to last longer. Yet, these paintings were all done in white and seemed to have not faded at all. In fact, they looked as if they could have been painted yesterday. Furthermore, that had a strange glowing quality to them. They seemed to glow more intensely the closer you brought a light. Stan suggested that they might have been painted with some type of glow-in-the-dark paint. Although this notion seemed rather unlikely, nobody else had a better explaination for it.

The last painting we examined was the one on the back wall of the cave, and it seemed to us, to be the most confusing of them all. On this dead-end, solid rock wall, someone had painted an arched doorway. Upon seeing it, my mind flashed back to that movie about hobbits, because of how similiar the painting looked. ” Now if only we had a wise wizard and clever hobbit to help us figure out what this painting meant, we might make some progress “, I thought. While it looked a lot like the one from the movie, this painting we discovered, did have some unique features. It had many symbols and words written around it and those were nothing like the movie one. It also had a pointed top instead a round arch. However, the thing that stood out the most was that around the entire frame, waves were drawn. This was one of the few things we could clearly understand about it. We were all in agreement that waves are a universal symbol for water. However, what exactly a water doorway meant, none could agree. Certainly, we all had our own ideas and we vigoriously debated each one of those. However, I never mentioned how I really felt about all this. I did not tell them of my fear…my unease. I did not tell them the danger I sensed. Knowing what I know now, I would change that, if I could go back in time. Despite the fact that they would probably have, in that moment, laughed at me and dismissed my warnings, I would have said something. Knowing what I know now, I get that saying also. You know the one I am talking about. The one that goes “Hindsight is better than foresight”. Yeah, I really get that now.

to be continued…

© 2011 J.B. Thomas

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