The Mystifying Inhabitants of the Golden Cave
We passed through a secluded town in Mexico. My companions needed to stretch their legs so we left the dingy convertible in the alley. The women were whispering to one another in front of me. The man placed his hand on my shoulder. A subtle gesture of confidentiality, secrecy. I noticed my reflection against a piece of glass leaning against a wall. Compelled to find a way into the building, I ignored the unfamiliar reflection and located a small door. The women continued to whisper as the brunette turned around and winked at me. It wasn’t an invitation. It was some kind of warning.
The hall was deep, cold and carried a musky scent. I ran my hand along the terracotta wall, observing the detail of its freshly baked appearance. The brunette followed closely and slipped her hand under the back of my shirt. Although her hand wasn’t cold, the feeling emitted through her skin caused me to shudder. Something wasn’t right. Sinister smile. Devious eyes. Features masked by pretty brown skin and lean muscles. I avoided her eyes and hustled forward, a childish attempt to get away from the cold touch of her fingertips.
I stopped when I reached a poorly lit section of the building. I looked up and saw the candles burn out. Before the last one was gone I saw writing along the curvature of the arch. I walked in darkness for some time before I reached another set of candles hanging from the ceiling. They swung like pendulums, back and forth, until I felt their hypnotic effects.
“Quiet,” said a voice behind me.
I didn’t move. A hand reached over my shoulder and spun me around abruptly.
“Jesus…you scared me,” I said.
“You should be scared,” he replied, trying desperately to light a match. “We need more light. I can’t see a way out.”
“I have a feeling we should move in this direction,” I said, looking at the candles.
“No way! I just came from there,” he cried. “There are people writing on the walls.”
“So what. I mean I know it’s a little dark in here, but what’s the big deal?”
“Have you seen their faces?” he asked, disposing of another half a dozen matches.
I turned around and caught a pair of peering eyes from behind a broken wall. I took a step forward and felt thousands of tiny bugs crawling over my feet. I ignored the sensation and the man’s ceaseless cries behind me. I allowed the coercion hidden in the darkness of this place guide me in. It led me into bigger spaces with more light. More eyes came forward, flickering in the direction of my destination.
A massive cave embedded with gold slates. Radiating light and heat. And a stone maze composed of rough murals. They stood there, most unphased by my presence. A thick shadowy man turned to face me. A sliver of light exposed his scarred face, open jaw line and jagged teeth. He was frightening, but he filled me with honeyed energy. I watched as the people resumed their places and began slapping the walls with their hands, gyrating their hips in magnetic circles and humming the most wonderful sound.
This was an ancient place. A place of creation. The place to make something from the depths of the earth.