Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains... [style: Literary Fiction]

Writing prompt inspired by the title of a Neil Gaiman short story.

I remember that day better than most of my hot, dry summer childhood days sitting on my Grandfather’s porch. The flies were particularly bad that year despite the draught and they alighted on his liver-spotted knuckles as he dozed in the wicker rocking chair. I made a game of catching them and putting them in a jar like you might do with fireflies. I even pretended they were fireflies until my mother found them and made me let them go out by the barn.

But that day, even the fly catching had lost its appeal in the baking heat, and I’d resigned myself to stretching out on the dusty boards of the covered porch try to somehow get away from myself to stay cool. My grandfather had roused then and began rocking like he’d not stopped while he napped. He took a sip of watered down ice tea, its ice cubes having long since melted, and then gazed down at me and cleared his throat.

“The truth,” he began in deep tones like tractor tires over gravel, “is a cave in the black mountains.”

Somehow, even as a small child, I knew that his words would someday be of great import to me, and I listened, rapt, to the secrets that spilled from his withered lips.