~The Dragon’s Cave~
The Lure of the Creative Voice Within
HE cave’s enormous entrance reached fifty feet or more from the ground. The curiously formed natural rock had the appearance of tooth-studded jaws sprung open and waiting to swallow the unwary. The formation had fittingly been named Dragon Cave by the ancient fishing men who lived just up the beach strand. Night and day those natural jaws chewed up sunlight and breezes, lapped up the stray drops of foam that the generous sea cast up to parch the Dragon’s thirst. Day and night little insects and animals, lured by the strange scents that sometimes drifted out of the dark maw as wisps of enticing green or blue, were likewise swallowed by those stony jaws. They could sometimes be observed to enter, but no one had ever seen anything exit the cave except for the strange smelling mists and an eerie phosphorescent light that glowed in the dead of night when the wind howled its most frantic notes and the sea heaved itself right down into the stone Dragon’s beslimed throat. Once a child had wandered in, lured by the soft, low notes of a song echoing from deep within. The Dragon knew how to tempt you so that you could not resist, the old fishermen said, just like those lovely sirens from the Greek stories. The child never reemerged from the cliff’s ravenous bowels. Neither did the child’s next-of-kin, an older sister, when she entered as well, swearing that she heard the child crying out for her from just inside the warm black darkness. Two fishermen had been with the girl that day, helping her to search for the child. Neither one had heard a child’s crying; only the sighing of the wind as it played bravely in-and-out among the sharp rock teeth. But once the Dragon beckoned, there was no refusing its summons. They soon could see that the girl would go mad if they kept her from her desire. They finally tied a rope about the girl’s waist and held tightly onto the end before allowing her to enter. She was gone some minutes when suddenly the rope pulled taut. The fishermen, who were strong and muscled, pulled back with all their might, but the pull on the rope was too much for them. With a cry of anguish, they were forced to let go. The end of the rope snapped out of sight like a retracted tongue and the girl and child were lost.