Cave Night by Sean Cazzell27 Mar 2018, Posted by Short Fiction in
Art: j by Tobias Oggenfuss
The Zhejiangopterus Children fly into their cave after a long day. Their cave hole is high on a flat cliff face. Inside it is dark, damp and cold. They squish around in the mud until they find their magical tools.
Do you like Helmet?
I think they are good but I never listen to them.
Me neither. Have you ever met a Helmet fan.
Yeah, me neither. I could become a helmet fan. Then you would have met one.
Or we could convince someone else to like helmet. And get to know them.
Alright, Something to do tomorrow.
Tomorrow. Is there any antifreeze left in the cooler?
I doubt it.
The twin gets up to check. Rats millipedes and other creatures scurry away. One of the rats, black and grimy, vanishes into a crack in the wall running from floor to ceiling that wasn’t there before. The zhejiangopterus child tries to peek its narrow beak inside. Pries it open slightly.
The other twin gets up and makes way towards the other. They push and tug at the crack until it bends open. They walk into the darkness for a few feet. One runs back and grabs a candle. Runs back into the crevice and void. The other twin is waiting and they walk on. The walls are high and the path crooked, narrow and wet. It doesn’t smell like anything.
I wonder where the rat went.
Do you think it was the one that owes you money?
For the Diablo discs? I let that go
Wise choice. Let’s eat.
They picnic in the confined hall. Lettuce with used coffee grounds and dragonfly eggs. Sea urchins live and whole. Licked the walls for whatever nutrients might be available. Finally, some fermented turnip and horse blood. They sat there for a long time with the candle burning. The candle burnt out and they just sat in the darkness. One heard the other lay down and stretch out and soon after miming the sounds but did not actually recline.
Oh, and by the way, chocolate chips in anything are dumb, said the spider in the bear skull melting into the cave floor. She made her web then ate it, then made it again in total darkness. Halfway into her life she smelled an unfamiliar odor.
Zhejiangopterus Child puts some of the maggots squirming forth on a cookie to eat later. More bugs and animals make their way on the forgotten picnic site.
We have to find that rat and convince it to like Helmet.
Is it tomorrow?
Or we could ask one of these creatures here.
I like the rat.
They got up and kept walking. Passed the spider as they entered a large and fully working observatory. The window was open and the telescope pointed out toward the night sky. A pile of bones liquified in slippery rock sat in the observation chair. Empty socket screaming into sightless void.
They tried to maneuver the telescope with their wing tips but it would not budge. More animals and bugs started crawling into the room. A centipede crawled down one of the zhejiangopterus’ overalls.
The twin danced around knocking over chairs and scaring the nosy mice. The other twin toppled over laughing. Eventually the bug worked its way out and made off. They both were laughing in the dark chamber. Stars speckled in the open observation window.
The duo climbed up the chair over the stone dude up the telescope and out the window. Outside was very cold, wind furious this high up. When they crawled back down the seated corpse was gone.
Must’ve been break time.
They shared the seat pressed their thin heads together and looked into the eyepiece. Black.
On the way back the spider asked what they saw.
I can see that here. I was reluctant to look. Glad I didn’t. Darkness far away is no different from the darkness I got all around me.
The Zhejiangopterus ignored the spider and continued on. Further down the picnic site was gone. Just thin shreds of the tablecloth with worms writhing around the knots.
The cave was freezing. Heavy blue shade from the sun rising started filling the room. Silently the twins conjured dirty blankets and were asleep before the spell could hardly finish.
Before the sun was fully up a twin awakens. While peeing on the muddy floor eats the maggot cookie. Crawls back in bed.
About the author:
Sean Cazzell is an artist living in Oregon. He received a BFA in 2015.
Art: j by Tobias Oggenfuss
In the artist’s words:
Tobias Oggenfuss is an artist in movement, metaphorically as well as physically, as he explores the kinetics of the world around himself. In effect, Oggenfuss is an integral part of the overall perpetual motion of atoms and electrons, the not so linear photons that reveal our world and universe.
His images seemingly capture Earth’s rotation and that of the cosmos in a surrealist fashion, the deconstruction of our perceived environment and the challenging of our visual perception.
Oggenfuss challenges the banal, thrusts the viewer into a warped reality that actually exists within our experiential comprehension and experiences; he questions and exposes our limitations: he reveals the known. But with the added questioning of the existing kinetics of known and non-charged particles, Oggenfuss simply creates reality-based representations of the ever-present surrealism that escapes us due to cultural experiences and precepts.