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The Spelunker

He was twenty-six. For five years now he had wandered the hazy caverns. For five years he had perceived only the hazy caverns of doubt and dismay, the caverns that encompassed everything he was, everything that he wasn’t, everything he desired with all his soul; buried deep inside, bound by innumerable threads, obscuring threads, of a black spider, the poison of which lingered on every thread; traversing the great hollow space, breaking the cob-webs, which latched onto his body, the threads which whispered in his ear; voices he must respond to; sweet aural curses he had to sample as he spiraled toward the soul, lost long ago to the web of confusion spun by the arachnid, the eight-legged monstrosity he could never face inside the cavern alone. Outsiders were given frequent audience to the mysteries of the cave, strangers found the cave an unpleasant and uncomfortable abode, ones such accustomed to brilliant light, light that crystallized everything, luminescence that comforted and washed away indecision; spawned from long and twisting subterranean passages, passages the spelunker was so accustomed to pacing, pacing so often his eyes saw little else; walkways he knew better than himself, paths void of the warming light, the radiance that seemingly enlightened all beings’ mode, method of life; existence that he could never share, too long had his mouth conversed with no one only to hear the same reply, too long had his ears heard only his ripostes; redundancies which prodded at him, hindering his aimless struggle through the dark causeways of the deep hole he was trying to desperately dig his way out of.

He wondered how long must he sing his own song, how long he must endure the voices; echoing in the tunnels, resonating in the very hideaway of his soul, irritating like a rash, aggravating his blundering as he sought it out, hindering his progress, clinging to his being as tightly as the strings of the spider wrapped around him; he had become so familiar with some (some he had never been without) that he knew himself not if they were not truly part of him, himself, the self he could not endure. His being appeared to be a ragged familiar, always reforming, reforming into an unrecognizable phantasm to even he, the threads always trailed about him, so numerous that he could not recall which were the primary fibers of his existence; when a fiber fled from him, he pitied its loss for he too was lost without it; continuity was a blessing he could never take for granted, and one he never truly experienced; to experience himself was impossible, feelings were never assured by his dark surroundings.

Yet, he knew there must be some way out of the prison within himself, the self which he knew so well, the self which he hardly knew at all but still he drew ever closer tying the many threads into one magnificent being. He stumbled upon a pungent odor and a brilliant flash like lightning shocked him; shocked him so violently he could only see white; white that held no meaning to him even in its purity. He set out again from the rudimentary passageways he had wandered so many times before.