Monday, November 9, 2009

10DOM: Moon

Ten feet separates me from the moon as it moves across the opening of the cave, staring in like an eye at the peephole, to see who is intruding. It might as well be an eternity, because I am going nowhere, my arm pinned beneath, the mountain shifting to sit firmly on my back. I focus on breathing...

Bleach white fish dart through the beam of our flashlights in the cold underground stream, their little red eyes open and glazed. Do they even see the light or were they blind from the darkness? Disappearing under the rocks they swim ever deeper.

Dying slowly starts at the tips of my fingers spreading up my hand as circulation leaves it wanting. Sweat pools at the base of my neck, creating waterfalls around my collar. Stale air rasps from my lungs, unable to expand to fill any space. Slow and shallow, think small, be small...

Climbing the chimney from one cave to the next requires a dancers precision, knowing where to put hand and foot, and when to move them, catching the erratic rhythm of the outcroppings. Ascending dark into dark, still miles below. What is it that calls us back into the womb of the earth?

Pulling with fingers, pushing with toes, we inch into the crevice at the base of a boulder, guided only by the cool breeze and the light of the moon, reborn from the bowels. Moving too quick, my arm slips beneath me, leaving me helpless beneath Atlas' burden...don't panic, it only makes it worse...

My head rests on the soft pillow of stone, the fragrant musk of soil taints every breath.

Someone will find me, someday...I want to give up...to sleep...

One final stretch, my arm burst forth, spilling me from the birth canal into the open air. Glittering stars coo as their brother lay gasping, still covered in afterbirth of mud and exasperation. Father Moon smiles, his waiting complete, he kisses the Earth...

and I just breathe deep.

39 comments:

Tall Kay said...

Wow Brian! That sounds like a story that could only be told by someone who had been there. Incredible writing!

Brian Miller said...

yeah, it was in college...we did a lot of spelunking...and one night around midnite it got stuck coming out the crawl hole on the way out...quite scary actually...crawling back out was always like being born...everything fresh on the outside and so bright....

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

That is incredible! I was cringing as I don't like small spaces like that...glad you got unstuck! ;)

Jill said...

Suspenseful and I really NEEDED this guy (you I take it) to be FREE! I think I am a bit claustrophobic as I felt quite anxious! ;)

Cabo said...

Love your posts. I'm wiping away a tear and catching my breath as I type. But...

Typical UNC fan.

BB season has begun.

This is now Sparta.

-DF

quilly said...

Your prose is clean and fresh and crisp. That was a wonderful read.

Yodood said...

I got stuck once and made everyone following me back out so I could get to enough air for my hyperventilation. I had never felt claustrophobia before, nor have I since, but this story took me right there. It was a full moon then too.

...mmm... said...

Nicely done Brian. Yeah, that's why i won't be spelunking anytime soon I think. :)

Joanna Jenkins said...

That gave me chills!
Awesome.
jj

Meeko Fabulous said...

I felt really short of breath after this one! I had to reach for my inhaler for a minute there. LOL Beautifully descriptive writing as usual! :)

Cinnamon said...

Oh wow Brian, this is fantastic. I like the way the moon is peeping, witnessing. I love the analogy to childbirth (of course, I would). Didn't think you were going to make it out for a moment. It struck me how much dying the moon would witness, if it were a sentient being.

Great theme choice and great post!

Protege said...

I am incredibly claustrophobic. The way you described the atmosphere made me breath faster.
You have a rare talent of making everyone that reads your stories, feel as being part of them.
:)

Candie Bracci said...

WOW,just WOW!Too many WOW in your blog apparently!Which is a good thing of course!:)

Nessa said...

You made it sound very poetic but I ain't doin' it. No way.

Blast from the Past

Lorraine said...

Oh Brian you weave such magic with your words, you sure know how to create a scenario, beautifully...

Alix said...

Oh Jesus! Never do that to me again. I'm claustrophobic enough.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Your writing is riveting Brian. Each word demands that I read the next, and the next . . . It is like you have comandeered my attention by the thrill and suspense of your story. I really do feel as pinned by your plot as your arm was by the stone. I envy your talent.

Wings said...

Hits on a fear I have, and I am sure others do, of being stuck in a too-confining space with no escape... Good writing, Brian!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

It's so interesting, Brian - I was doing a world-building class with my writing students yesterday, and this is such a great example. Could I show them next week?

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Wow, that is a very cool story.

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

"What is it that calls us back into the womb of the earth?"

That ever present quest for connection, nurture, acceptance, those very cords that set us free, and so born again and again and again to the light.

I am with you in every word.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I hope you are writing a book..... you are so talented!

kys said...

Ooooh. I don't like small spaces. Or physical activity. But I like your writing!

Valerie said...

Brian, I was literally holding my breath as I read the story. Incredible writing.

Kate Hanley said...

Nicely done.

enchantedoak said...

Brian, you have all the elements of good storytelling here, dramatic opening, poetic imagery, exciting pace, knowing when to turn away from the trap and show a little more about how it came to pass... You ought to collect these short essays and shop them around to literary journals which publish creative non-fiction.

staceyjwarner said...

THANK GOD! I was worried in a good (writing) not so good (human) way.

much love

Maggie said...

Amazing how I was able to picture every single part of it! And a little bit frightening too.

otin said...

I was thinking that this was fiction! I was riveted thinking about that guy who had to cut his arm off with a pocket knife! I am glad that you made it out!

Ronda Laveen said...

Great re-telling of your story. There are areas around here that are ripe for spelunking. Did it a bit and sometimes you can get caught and fear not getting out.

TechnoBabe said...

At first I thought you were scuba diving. You were pretty gutsy to be spelunking at midnite. The way you describe it in this post made me uncomfortable. I don't think I'm claustrophobic but I would not care to be in this particular situation.

The Retired One said...

yikes, Brian.
I found myself taking half breaths as I read it, so my chest would not expand...
your graphic descriptions are always so real!
I could smell the moss as it tickled my nose...
wonderful writing, as always!!
BTW, thank the moon for me that you survived, would you?

Daniel said...

This is an image that I have seen several times in National Geographic or folks traveling through vast arrays of crevices under the Earth. It scares the be-hooey out of me. Never, never, never. Oh, and by the way, I loved your take on this one. Bravo.

only a movie said...

Wow. Trapped in a cave. I've actually had some experience in caves as a kid. Took me back.

Great post.

Pat said...

Gave me shivers - I don't like tight places - glad you made it out ok!

blueviolet said...

That's pretty scary! I'm glad you were freed. I can not take that feeling of being trapped.

AngelMay said...

Exciting, Brian. Glad I can live it through you because I'm a real wuss and prefer my feet on the ground. Way down there.... on the ground. ;o)

gaelikaa said...

Hmmm! Felt that!

Not For Jellyfish said...

That was awesome! Great imagery and emotion coming through...