Saturday, March 27, 2010


Cave - 482 words
Mary Ann Loo

I couldn’t believe I had found it, that after twenty years it was still here, exactly the same. The tall timeless trees, the brook passing silently amidst, a familiar stillness in the air that resurrects memories of long ago. I had parked my grey SUV in the recently paved parking lot, and while my brother and his wife headed off with the kids to the camp ground, the wind tugged at my heart, and my feet took me along a path I didn’t recognize at first. But the more they journeyed, the lighter they became; the stirrings of a familiar tune rose within me, and I found myself humming along. And there it was – the rocky base of the mountain, and the dark gaping entrance into yesterday.

It wasn’t a cave, but there was enough room for two nine-year-olds and the treasures they held dear. They’d brought an old quilt for the hard rocky ground, a small blue pillow, and over time the collection grew – her favorite book “Alice in Wonderland”, his dad’s old telescope, her mom’s broken music box, a plastic sword… This was where they were pirates and sailed the seven seas, superheroes in their secret lair; they were anything they’d wanted to be, and nobody could tell them otherwise. This world was theirs alone.

Everyone called him Eddie, and though he hated his name Edward, he didn’t mind when she said it. He had a habit of brushing away his straight brown hair that constantly fell into his dark eyes, even when he just had a haircut. He never failed to make her laugh, typically with silly antics like wetting his hair in the brook just to shake it like a dog to get it dry. She was his opposite, a thinker, not quite the adventurer, but she knew he’d always look out for her. They’d grown up on the same farm, and were the best of friends; their parents were best friends too, until something happened they never quite understood. Her family moved five hundred miles away to Nashville, Tennessee, leaving those memories behind.

I looked into the semidarkness, catching my breath upon seeing the faded squares of the quilt, the narrow end of a telescope, and the shape of a book. I reached into the space, surprised at how much smaller it seemed, and my fingers graced the polished wood of my mother’s old music box. Suddenly I was no longer a recently divorced publishing executive and mom of two, but the quiet nine-year-old dreamer from long ago. A fountain of forgotten tears left me falling to the ground, gasping into the sleeves of my Northface jacket.


Squinting through my tears, I notice a man standing ten feet away from me. He was about six feet tall, and had straight brown hair. I should be terrified, but I wasn’t.

“Edward,” I half-whispered. “Is it really you?”

Yet - Switchfoot

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