I am intruding on someone else’s secrets.
In the spreading warmth of the early summer morning, I retreated into an outcropping’s shadow, only to discover a cave leading into the green hillside. I explored deeper, believing myself the first human to do so. Feeling like an explorer from a distant past, when there were yet wilds to tame.
But the small cave beneath the hill was no frontier wild. Dirt, brought from outside, packed hard to even the surface of the stone floor, so firm that my feet left no footprints. Reclaimed wood, gray from weathering on the side of some shed or barn, now aged to green along the damp bare rock where it formed shelves that stretched from floor to the curving arch of the ceiling overhead.
Light filters green through a natural shaft above, sunlight through trees and grass, finding its way with me. Casting a timid light across the tiny objects that are arranged neatly on the makeshift shelves.
They appear, in that light, to be bronze and emerald. Upon closer inspection, they are plastic. Or fogging glass. Or split, splintering wood. Artifacts from another world. No dust gathers around or on them. Someone cares for this place. Maintains this sacred ambiance.
Footsteps sound in the tunnel behind me.
Author’s Note: These snippets are unedited free-writing exercises that I use as a way to shift my brain into a creative state. I use Lynda Barry’s What It Is YouTube timed exercises (usually 9 minutes worth of writing) for these. They are handwritten in a composition notebook and then typed up here. As I transcribe them, I make minor grammar and spelling corrections, but the overall “clarity” (if you can call it that) of the exercise is left as-is.