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Black Hole

Short Story by Les Furnanz  October 1, 2009

Page 5 - The Dig

Hungry and tired, David, Raphael, and Michel were also fighting disappointment. They had removed rock and earth for three full days. Today's afternoon sun had long ago traversed behind the cliffs.

They had agreed on the best spot for their efforts after studying the map and traversing the cliff scree line several times. They made slow progress with shovels, crack hammers, and buckets. At times they moved medium-sized rocks with bare hands, but resorted to crowbars and a three-person heave for larger rocks. David estimated they had removed a depth of two meters along a trench seven meters long, three meters wide. They were now doubting that they had the right location.

David stood up to suggest calling it a day when a sound brought his eyes up the cliff. Rock tumbled from above. "Dive!" he yelled as he hit the bottom of the trench, scrunching his torso and covering his head. The racket lasted several seconds. A large rock flew over the trench. When the noise finally abated David searched for his companions. They had also hit the trench and were now stirring. "Whew!" he breathed. "Are you all right?"

"I think so," said Michel, looking at his father who stood and nodded his agreement. "A few rocks hit me, but they were small and had bounced first. We're fortunate it was not a huge slide."

"We need to make a trip above and see if we can find the spot where this started," offered David. "I'll take our GPS reading here. The reading will be almost identical above at the edge of this cliff. You own the land above, Raphael. Let's start there in the morning."

"Of course. We must. We can't take the risk of another slide. We're lucky," he said. They eyed each other, shaking their heads in a combination of disbelief and relief.

As David jotted the GPS reading, Michel cocked his ear to one side. He crouched to the base of the trench, positioning his hand above a small fissure between two rocks. "Can you feel this... hear this?" he asked. "This crack is sucking air. Put your hand here. I think we've found the cave entrance."

Both men knelt, feeling the rush. David put his ear close to the fissure. "This is promising. It's too late to search now, but I can't wait to get back here. I'll be dreaming about this all night."

Raphael also bent down and then said, "I think we've found it... Come to our house tomorrow at seven, David. We can take my truck to reach the cliff above and check it out. Then we can pick up here again."




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