A Tight Dark Spot

 

Beware: I usually tell this story, late at night, around the slow and flickering flames of a dying camp fire.. as the shadows lengthen and your imaginations come alive...

For this Telling To correctly listen to it, ** please wait till night time, light a candle on a table and sit with your back to it. Then listen to this story really loud.... (I won't be telling this story for about another decade, even I didn't sleep last night.)

------------   I had No Fear, I Was Young and Indestructible  -----------------------

I arrived as a long haired indestructible freshman at a West Virginia College and wanted to joined the Outdoor Adventure Club, This club had two requirements

  1. You had to have your own Carbide head lamp

  2. You couldn’t be afraid of the dark.

    We took our first shakedown outing across an open warm fall colored field and pushed past the ferns and cold rocks into the mouth of a dark cave. You don’t know dark till you’ve been down under the ground where there has been no sun, never, not ever a shadow, it’s not dark its BLACK. The kind of BLACKNESS that you feel just sucking the light right out of the air. Waiting around I watched as I suspected they were waiting for some the freshman to be OVERCOME by fears of claustrophobia or fears of the dark. But I had nothing to OVERCOME.

    I felt a cold breeze on my ankles, kneeling down, I saw a small passageway going off the main room, I crawled in before anyone saw me because it had the smell of mud and damp air that promised great cave formations. Pretty quickly I was Stopped where the floor dropped away in a deep Vee SHAPED crack , 20 feet across which I could see the tunnel continued up on a shelf on the other side. I had practiced for just this sort of thing in the College gym. Lowering myself into a “chimney crawl” position with my feet pressed against one muddy wall and my back and hands on the other cold lime stone of the other wall of the Crack I made my body into a human wedge. This way I could move carefully across the yawning cold chasm below which I didn’t want to look down into.

    Half way across I was Suddenly distracted by a black spot 3 feet above on the ceiling, my foot slipping and a cold chill ran down my spine! I cursed those cavers that graffiti-ed the caves. See we used carbide head lamps back then, these put out a small 2” flame that was often used to make black carbon spots or arrows on walls so you wouldn’t get lost, or sometimes graffiti the caves! (I then also cursed myself for not telling anyone else that I had gone down this tunnel by myself!!)

    But I was almost there, so shuffled the rest of the way across the chasm, and pulled myself up on the self, and around the corner I found a vertical shaft with a wonderful stalactite and stalagmite joined in the middle, they glistening white and with crystalline edging, individual drips of water hung like Christmas ornaments around the edges of the shelfs. Walking around it I was amazed at it size and beauty!!, it went up many many stories, but it was a dead end and I had to get back and proclaim my find!

    Lowering myself back into the human wedge in the crack it felt harder, slipperier, maybe I was tired, maybe my feet were wet, but something was not quite the same. Slowly, slowly I inched my way again across the cold bottomless abyss, hoping now to hear the voices of my friends, why hadn’t I said anything…

    But THEN My shoulder came up to a wall!! Not to the Tunnel out that should have been there!! -- Where was I, -- what had I done wrong --?! Gingerly looking down into the black cold abyss below I saw that there was a tunnel just 3 feet below me. I must have gotten into the crack higher because of the shelf on the far side so now I was up near the roof of the V crack.

    Move left foot down, then the right foot, then left hand, then the right hand, then slide… carefully down 4 inches.
    Move left foot down, then the right foot, then left hand, then the right hand, then slide… carefully down 4 inches.

    Not Graffiti
    Looking up I saw the black spot
    The Spot was much bigger than I thought it was, AND IT WAS creepy, it didn't have the look and feel of graffiti!! I had to get away from it, what ever it was.

Move left foot down, then the right foot, then left hand, then the right hand, then slide… carefully down 4 inches.

Move left foot down, then the right foot, then left hand, then the right hand, then slide… carefully down 4 inches.

    Looking back up, it seemed bigger, thicker was it a play of the shadows, could it have changed?. I had to get down to the tunnel out

Move left foot down, then the right foot, then left hand, then the right hand, then slide… carefully down 4 inches.

Move left foot down, then the right foot, then left hand, then the right hand, then slide… carefully down 4 inches.

Bowl

    I didn't even want to look, but glancing back up over my shoulder, I had to take another look, it more of a bowl shape in the middle, It was changing!!

Move left foot down, then the right foot, then left hand, then the right hand, then slide… carefully down 4 inches. 

Ball

    I kept looking, and moving, IT WAS GROWING, the middle had a ball shape in it now, it was moving, shimmering, it was writhing

 Found YouTube example, scary...

Found YouTube example, scary...

WHAT WAS IT

THEN I REALIZED WHAT IT WAS – I SAW ONE OF THEM MOVE –  A spider stood up from the edge and ran to the warm spot above me where my breath and the flame from my light where rising!!

Millions of hibernating cave spiders where all waking up at one time, and standing on one another they were getting bigger and higher and more agitated!!

I had to get away, had to get down, I had to get away, had to get down,

Drip

Then there were so so many standing on one another they were like a big drip, separating from the ceiling and getting closer to my head, I tilted my head, and shuffled down, and farther, and they came closer, and I shifted farther, and they came closer,

THEN THEY TOUCHED my head and scattered

            Down my back, into my shirt, across my face and my arms and hands,

I clamped my mouth shut and screamed in my head, my mind and eyes raged RED with FEAR and they picked and scratched at my ears and nose and mouth, and I screamed in my head!!!

Finally, I threw myself through the tunnel opening and ran and tumbled rolling and screaming across the cavern floor…….

==== Epilog

To this day, I still love adventures,

            I’ve stood up to Bears

            I’ve caught rattle snakes on a cliff trail because I had to

But at home

            My wife has to deal with with those terrifying small insects!!!!

Thank you all, Tom Ostberg

Told at True Tales Live 3/27/2018 and @FugitiveProductions 3/25

==== The why

What does this story mean to me, personally. Stories all have a meaning, and though there is the “yeah well that was stupid, or well then be more careful” there really is more of a deeper lesson to everything in life.

Life is but a series of stories, we either learn from these stories or we repeat the stories, Repeat THe Stories.

This story, this event, happened when I was young and angry, pushing away feelings of neediness and loneliness. I was escaping to a College far away from home, far from my roots and my father who's acceptance i was giving up on. I’d been pushing thoughts to the side, And so it is those thoughts that darken a corner that is far to the side and that I left behind. But somehow, this is yet another of God’s analogies given personally to me in a way I can hear, that those things left behind, pushed aside and ignored, could and will at some time cross my path again and drop on me, crawl drown on me, and bite and cover me making me angry and callous. So I was told here, in living and listening to life, it is Best to see them, now, and not wait till those dark spots wake up later.

-----------------------

Told here as "Overcoming" Recorded in front of a live audience at PPMtv studios on March 27, 2018.

 


===== Outline Notes for the Moth True Tale "Tell"

  • The Catch:

    • There are 2 Things to join the outdoor adventure club, ... not be afraid of the dark..

  • Finding the crawl way, painting the tunnel

  • The V shaped crack and the human wedge, the black spot

  • Beutiful Formation

    • paint the picture

  • The Black Spot,

    • Not Grafiti, thicker, bowl shaped, ball shaped, the angry drip

  • Conclusion

    • Those little terrifying creatures