Butterfly in a Cavern
The object seemed cylindrical, and protruded from the blackness of the cave. It shimmered with light and yet was not solid. Geoff noticed the wind swirling around him before he noticed it moving the object. The wind had come from nowhere, which seemed incongruous because he was standing at the bottom of a 100 metre deep cavern. There shouldn’t be any wind down here, he thought to himself. Then just as suddenly, it was gone.
Nothing moved in the depths of the cavern. Darkness pervaded everything. He turned his attention back to the object. It seemed to be held by the inky blackness that surrounded it, as though hanging in space. He couldn’t see behind or around it, and he couldn’t see how far back into the cave it stretched. He approached it, his hand outstretched. He was afraid, trembling. Step by step he drew closer. His hand only a few inches away. It moved again, but this time it was not the wind that moved it. What am I doing, he thought, just leave it alone, get out. It moved again. Hardly daring to breath, he drew closer. His thoughts attempted to rationalise the situation. Maybe it was his actions that had caused it to move?
Get Out, Run!
It looked like a butterfly’s wing in texture and seemed to be as light. In the dim glow of its own luminosity he could only just make it out. It was partially hidden inside the cave. Then it moved again. This time he knew it was not the wind, his movements, or his breathing, that had moved it. ‘Step back!’ a voice inside him shouted. ‘Get out, run!’
Like a Huge Chrysalis
Then, like a curtain unfolding, it started to spread out, gradually exposing more and more of its gossamer substance. He jumped back. Alarmed, he saw what had once been cylindrical now slowly unfolding, exposing its true form,. It resembled like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. Continuing to unfurl, it now filled the cave entrance. A brilliant white light emanated from it, illuminating the whole cavern. It had the appearance of a large wing, and, judging from its size, whatever it was attached to must be huge.
Deep, Dark World
The whole of the cavern was bathed in a soft white light. The floor was littered with pieces of rock that had fallen from the roof and walls of the cavern, the same walls he had abseiled down only a few minutes before; they converging into a small window to the sky: his entrance into this deep, dark world, and his exit should he ever get up there.
Inside an Igloo
A breeze beat down upon his ears, a fluttering noise, something beating, heavy, powerful. Just like a bird’s wing flapping. He turned quickly. The wing was huge and towered above him; he covered his eyes. He watched as it covered him. He was terrified, yet at the same time there was a strong sense of peace, protection. There was nowhere to run to. He was trapped. Maybe he could run back to the rope and jumar up to safety. He would never make it. He could do nothing. He was now completely at the mercy of this thing, whatever it is. He felt like he was standing inside an igloo; sunlight shining through walls of ice. The cavern was now filled with a soft bluish-white light.
Don’t be Afraid
He glimpsed movement from the corner of his eye. He turned. A leg, brilliant white, like marble, protruded from behind the wing. Then another. This thing was huge. All he could see were wings and legs, anything else, if there was, was hidden behind huge wings which filled the cavern. The words, ‘Do not be afraid,’ softly resonated through his inner being. Then, in the blink of an eye, the wing became a wispy outline and vanished. A small white moth, or a butterfly, fluttering against the dark cave walls, then it was gone. He was alone again. Silence dropped into the cavern like a blanket. He stood in complete darkness. Only the sound of dripping water broke the silence. Looking up into the daylight, the only source of light, far above, he made his way towards the rope and safety.