Cave of the Prodigal

From a collection of 100-word stories & wonders

A cave painting bears the essence of a human life across thirty millennia. Public domain photo from Pech Merle cave in France suggested by Dean R. Snow, via Wikimedia.


Their shadows danced and darted across cold undulating stone in the advancing halogen glow. Remi fell behind the others. Colleagues speculating while she trembled in secret. Those cave-painted hands, outstretched like Dante’s damned, were anything but groping blindly. Her eyes searched, found the print that mattered. Her hand fit still. Unchanged by eons. Deep memories welled: Sputtering light. Biting smoke. Reek of clanship. And men, their deep-throated chants and hunter hearts throbbing as one. Of them all, the cave had taken to itself her soul’s marrow, kept it safe. It did still. She’d quit asking why long ago.

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