General Fiction posted February 21, 2024

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Flash Fiction Club Entry

Boy Scout Troop #1068

by jmdg1954


In a darkened cave, lit only by hand held torches previously dipped in a flammable liquid, Boy Scout Troop #1068 stood in awe, mesmerized by what they saw.

Some months earlier, Scout Leader, Joel Roycestein took his troop on a field trip to the Luray Caverns located in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley which featured some of the largest underground rock formations. Four of the troop members were dazzled by what stood before them. Scout Leader Joel explained that though it was beautiful, it was turned into a tourist attraction. If they wanted, he would take them cave exploring. 

They agreed. Over President’s Day weekend, the four scouts, two of their fathers and Joel, carpooled to a camp sight due south. The purpose of this expedition was two-fold; 

1). Quench their thirst for cave exploration, and 

2). To earn the Exploration Merit Badge required to become an Eagle Scout.

The troop leader was familiar with this cave. As an Eagle scout himself many years before, he explored it with his dad. But there was one path his dad never took him down, saying it was too dangerous. Today, they would conquer that path. 

Before entering the cave he gave brief instructions to his troop …

“Troop, listen up. The goal of today’s caving expedition is to enjoy ourselves while underground and to get in and out of the cave safely”. 

He watched and admired the exuberance in their eyes. 

Some cave explorers have gone in caves that no one has entered for hundreds of years. Ancient footprints have been found on rare occasions. The wind doesn’t blow, the sun doesn’t shine and the rain doesn’t fall leaving the eternal elegance of the cave in tact.

Joel continued, "Respect the cave and pride yourselves on treading gently in this marvelous world and to leave no trace of our visit.”

They all walked together while the troop leader led the way. He knew the cave. He knew its twists and turns. His father taught him well. About 1,200 feet into the cave, Joel halted the troop in front of the allusive path.

“Okay, boys,” Joel started, “I’ve never been down this path. Let’s hope to find and see something never seen by human eyes before today.”

“Yeah. Let’s do it,” shouted the boys.

Fifteen minutes later, the seven explorers stood in awe in front of a rock wall featuring 30 or so images of horses, goats, birds of prey and buffalos above their heads on a five-meter-tall ledge. There torch lights clearly showed the images as they wondered if they were the first to lay eyes upon this wall.

Bewilderment set in when they unfortunately stepped on fast food bags, wrappers, soda cans and half-eaten burgers strewn on the ground. 




Club entry for the "Tampered Fossil" event in "Flash Fiction/Nonfiction".  Locate a writing club.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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