#166 – The Tale of a Life Underground – Part 2 of 2

In case you missed it, you can read Part 1 by CLICKING HERE!

Christopher sat cross-legged on the edge of the deceptively bumpy rock that would lead him to the entrance of the cave. He wasn’t avoiding going in, he knew in his heart that he would make his way underground when he was ready. Given the heft of the situation, however, taking a quiet moment to reflect on the beauty and the evils of the world didn’t strike him as being too much of an unreasonable activity. He reflected on the stories of his favourite comics, particularly the ones so well written that the emotions they evoked stayed with him long after putting the comic down on his bedside table. Christopher pondered on the idea that, for every superhero in comic-book-world there was an equally ambitious and dedicated villain, who, through both explicit and implicit motivations, worked tirelessly with a view of destroying the hero, granting the villain access to the unlimited power they felt as though they deserved. 

Christopher saw himself as the villain, the one who didn’t quite fit in with the happiness of the real world. It wasn’t due to a lack of empathy, he knew when people were enjoying themselves, and he didn’t go out of his way to sabotage their enjoyment. The thought stemmed from the belief that he could see through the good times and project the hidden, darker motivations over the top of everyone’s behaviours interactions. He reasoned that he was too young to present these feelings in a way that anyone else would understand, so he thought it best that he make his way underground, where he could live without the pressures of justification.

The cave beckoned Christopher, so he rose to his feet, providing his legs a moment to catch up to the motivations of his mind. He closed his eyes in appreciation of the poetic sounds of the waves merging to double their impact as they crashed below. The sound of a seagull warning others to keep away from his meal forced Christopher to open his eyes. He smiled ever so slightly as he turned to enter the cave, leaving his belongings by the edge of the rock. 

Christoper treated each step with care on his way towards the cave while working up the courage to peek beside the entrance to make sure that Billy had lived up to his end of the deal. He smiled when he spotted the white-handled shovel leaning against the rocks and picked it up, its weight making him feel unexpectedly powerful. He tapped the shovel on the edge of the cliff twice before walking into the cave and out of the sunlight forever. 

“You know, I can’t decide if you’re crazy or a genius.” 

Christopher’s heart skipped a beat, and he froze. Billy Coates emerged from the shadows of the shallow cave, standing in just enough light for Christopher to make out his shape while waiting for his eyes to adjust to the dark.

“Don’t freak out,” Billy said as he walked along the opposite edge of the cave, running his finger along the lines of its walls. Christopher could make out some of the details of the Cave’s far wall where he wanted to dig.

“I’m gonna let you do whatever freaky stuff you’ve come here to do. In fact, you can think of me as your number one fan,” Billy said sarcastically as he chuckled at the delivery of his own joke. “Anyone who has the guts to get out of this town has my blessings that’s for sure.” 

Christopher remained silent and stared at Billy, the curl of his lip betraying his anger at BIlly’s nerve in encroaching on this moment. 

“Like I said, don’t freak out digger boy. I’ll leave you be.”

Billy whistled a familiar lullaby as he left the cave, its echo remaining long after he disappeared out of view. Christopher closed his eyes and took a deep breath. What happens when the villain has an arch nemesis of his own? In one swift movement, Christopher lifted the shovel above his head and drove its sharp edge into the wall of the cave, the sound of crumbling rock bringing a smile to his face. One that was going to be hard to get rid of for as long as he kept on digging.

My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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