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The Garden (CCHWC)

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posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 04:10 PM
The Garden

I lost my parent(s) when I was four years of age. They died, or at least it is presumed that they died, in an exploratory cave expansion collapse two years ago. Of course it made life more difficult for me at such a young age but now it is two years later and I am fully grown. Due to being left to my own devices I have matured faster than many of my peers. I remember, at the time of discovering my loss that the only thoughts presented by the others were that akin to, “If only they died somewhere they could have been recovered,” and “Perhaps the young one will die too.” These comments, as they were, didn’t make any much sense to me then. I understand them completely now.

As it is the overall goal of our hive to persevere through spatial expansion and planned reproduction I will now have to choose my contribution and either impregnate or be impregnated soon. I’m not sure about the logistics of this business of reproducing as my parent(s) are gone and I’ve only recently come to maturity. I don’t yet know if I have a sex or am common. (I’m sure someone will explain this to me soon enough.)

As for my contribution, I feel fortunate to have an understanding of my ability in this life, at least to this point and as such I have chosen to become an explorer. I think it is because of my innate curiosity that I will do well as such. I also appear to be slightly smaller in stature than my peers so I can squeeze into the small spaces between. (There are some of us, unable to find purpose, who eventually become sustenance and we are permitted to be grateful for that.)

I will begin my explorations in the area of where my parent(s) contributions ceased, under the garden. This is the large spherical area of the collapse. The cave floor, slightly bowed out into a gentle valley stretches out for a few kilometres of jagged boulders and the odd pile of clumped soil, perhaps decayed flora. The rock walls of the cavern are surprisingly smooth from the slow dripping of moisture from the newly formed clay roof. It seems that the floor used to be the roof and fell as the tunnel on the far side revealed some kind of fault. When the rock ceiling fell the layer of soil above it dropped, (it is estimated,) one half metre, which with the remaining rock that surrounded the collapsed portion, squeezed several of the wooden crates that were now exposed. These crates split open from the pressure and organic material was expunged, falling to the cavern floor, sustaining our hive for the last two years and giving the garden its name.

The meat itself is tainted with some chemical that tastes sour and for many, it is upsetting to our digestion but I have never had any problems with it. Some of the material is quite soft and easily swallowed but for the most part, pieces are cut smaller using shards of rock and are sucked upon until our saliva has made it chewable. Some of the hive, (the ones with weaker constitutions will suck out the chemical treatment, spitting it out or regurgitating the byproduct, then eating the meat, or perhaps, feeding it to offspring.)

Presently I can hear a couple of harvesters banging against an unopened crate with rocks, I, of course, have never observed this take place but I’ve had it described to me: Harvesters hang from their lower limbs, not unlike the flying creatures from our lore. They then swing to and fro, in pairs of opposite timing, bashing against the exposed crate. Eventually a hole is produced, which is made larger through cutting, pulling and continued pummelling. Behind the first hard layer is a much softer layer of material that no one has been able to identify or find any use for. (It is too smooth to make bindings and provides no absorption, some find it irritating to experience it’s presence.) Behind that is the meat. The meat is usually allowed to fall to the cavern floor as it will often break into much more manageable pieces. Sometimes the meat is plentiful and sometimes the Harvesters come home with only these thick brittle shards which we break open to collect what little contents lie hidden within. They often find a strange collection of thin, yet surprisingly strong strands that we turn into nests for young ones as for the first year of life, our skin is very susceptible to damage. Occasionally, if need be, we make binding out of them. No one remembers what this material is, how it exists or from whence it came, but it does work for our narrow purposes.

Mostly what one notices about the garden is the smell. I have been told that the smell is caused by something called “Ozone”, but no one remembers what this is and the scientists of our hive died generations ago. The Harvesters tell that the smell is strongest and most notable when hanging from the ceiling, doing their work. They believe that it must be part of the garden itself as it is clearly known that nothing is beyond the boundaries of our confines. There is a legend that has been passed down through the ages that one of our hive once found a great mystery. It was such an experience that it took not only his sight but the sight of our whole species. Thus all exploration is restricted to the horizon. Below is only death from first cold then hot, above only suffering from exposure and light. I have heard of light, but I cannot imagine it.

Today my hunger has surpassed my curiosity and I am likely to explore no further than this. I will return to this area in a short time. Perhaps I can assist in collecting the fallen meat for the Harvesters, they seem to be slowing in their pace. Perhaps they have found one of the impenetrable crates, or they are weakened. Further to this there seems to be a crowd gathering behind me, I think our hunger is great. We have not eaten in some time.

1060 words

posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 07:26 PM
reply to post by briantaylor

This is really cool briantaylor. I must admit though, I am at a loss as to what the creature is. A bee? I read it and re read it and I probably sound stupid. What is it man? Great story though. S+F all the way.

posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 10:34 PM
reply to post by briantaylor

I enjoyed the different perspective.

posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 02:45 AM
Thanks Jack and Mike
I don't want to reveal what it is until more people have had a kick at the can.
Plus, it will be more horrible if you come to the conclusion on your own.
If nobody says something soon, I will give a hint.

posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 11:18 AM
Really fantastic!

Are you really Harlan Ellison?

This story reminds me of his work. It was definitely was creepy-extreme, well done!

posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 02:18 PM
Thanks Axial
No I'm just me.
I've never heard of Harlan....
I'm glad you thought it was creepy, I fear I may have been too vague

posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 03:55 PM

Originally posted by briantaylor
I've never heard of Harlan....

Harlan Ellison was / is a brilliant writer. Your story reminded me of a story he wrote called "I Have No Mouth, But I Must Scream." (His story was quite different, but it seemed to hit the same sort of note with me.)

Harlan Ellison wrote all sorts of fiction, mostly horror and sci fi stories, and numerous novels and articles. He also was active in TV, and wrote various Star Trek episodes, Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, and Babalon 5 episodes.

It is funny that Ellison is not more famous, because he has been very influential. He is a very prolific writer. He is easy to read, but can actually be quite deep.

I think you would like him, because your writing style is somewhat similar.

(Edit: I didn't really think you were Harlan Ellison -- that would have been too weird! I meant it as an oblique complement, because this is often the sort of story he writes. Now, that was vague!)

[edit on 18-10-2009 by Axial Leader]

posted on Oct, 20 2009 @ 05:39 PM

posted on Oct, 21 2009 @ 05:58 PM
Are they maggots? Ooooo. Not sure about the "hive" thingie though. They turn into flies. Not sure. I did figure out that the crates filled with meat were coffins. So what insect thrives on human flesh?

But really good story. Enjoyed it.

[edit on 10/21/0909 by ladyinwaiting]

posted on Oct, 22 2009 @ 08:19 AM
You're right about the coffins lady in waiting....
Now, how they get into those coffins will help you determine the approximate size of the "creatures." Once you have that, the rest is up to your imagination.
Perhaps in a couple days I'll sneak down into the abyss and try to snap a picture of one of them.

posted on Oct, 25 2009 @ 11:48 AM
My camera won't take a very good picture of these things in the dark, plus I'm too scared to go down there again.
But I painted the picture from my nightmares.

posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 12:43 PM
reply to post by briantaylor

Good Job briantaylor, I'm thinking the creatures are some kind of bat thingys. Good luck to you in the contest. Keep writing!!

BE AS ONE, Magantice

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