Adventure At Cotton Cave
19 October, 2002
author: Rebecca Ditch-Hammack (aka Dreamer)


     It was summer break and some old friends were getting together to have a bit of fun at Cotton Cave, before going off to school, camp and our future lives.

     Mark and I had been catching up on old times as many of us were.

      "Looks like I will be leaving to go to camp for a couple weeks" he announced.

      "Oh, for what?" I asked.

      "I guess it is for nothing in particular" he replied. Some camps were made just to have life experiences and to ponder life. Mostly these were for the artistic types.

      "I would love to go to camp to have time to write" I confessed ."I think that would be a wonderful time."

     Just about that time Joe Nix showed up. Neither of us had seen him in a long time.

      "Hey Joe, what have you been up to. It's been quite a while since any of us seen you. Mark greeted

      "Oh I have been working sort of a janitor on a spaceship. We were in the earth's area so they said they could drop me off for a visit if I wanted" he told us. "They dropped me off over there". He pointed to a place off across the field.

      Mark and I looked at each other in disbelief. Everyone had heard of abductions and seeing UFOs. But come on. We wondered what he was trying to pull. His tale was way out of the ordinary to say the least. He sounded so convinced, straight forward and natural about it. He almost sounded.... believable.

      I looked across the ball fields and sure enough in the slightly different direction from where he had pointed there were five burnt looking areas in the grassy area.

      They were round and seemed evenly spaced from each other. They were right above the Great Hall Auditorium. The Great Hall is an underground auditorium in the cave. The auditorium had been set up in older times for vaudeville like performances and plays.

      "Looks like it was more than just you." I stated motioning in the direction of the strange spots in the grass.

      'Nope it was just me. But that is really strange." I came in over there. Again he pointed in a slightly different direction.

      "Lets go have a look" Mark suggested. We made our way across the field to the area where I had seen the strange burnt looking spots. There seemed to be a hole in the middle of each of the five areas. We decided to go down in to the Auditorium and see if we could see anything from below. It was a long shot since it was so far underground but we wanted to go and see. Maybe we could get some kind of scientific stuff to check it out closer.. We figured if we had a Geiger counter, it would be of some use to determining if these were just man made or not.

      We made out way down the stairs and through the long hallways that were built for the visitors to the Auditorium. It was, nowadays, more like a museum down there. You could easily forget you were even underground in a cave if it weren't for the walls and ceilings. In this section anyway.

      Finally we made it to the Auditorium. The room was still like a large open cave but for schools and other gatherings they would bring in risers and chairs for the people to sit. It was the ideal place for a stage due to the odd acoustical qualities it held.

      From the stage area you didn't need any amplification. You could easily be heard throughout the room. And yet from the sitting area no sound traveled above a whisper. It made it the perfect place for even the most unruly of audiences. They said it has something to do with the thickness of the mud clay type ceiling it had.

      Anyway.... we made our way over to the side of the stage where we had determined was under the places where we had seen the strange burn spots and holes. We spent about an hour looking at the ceiling till we all felt as though our necks were going to be stuck in that position permanently. We were just about to call it quits.

      "Hey Look there!" Joe pointed at the ceiling in the storage area. The top of the cave was much lower here we could put our hands up and touch the ceiling.. They were there holes about the size of half dollars. They were quite a bit smaller here then they were up on the ground. Upon looking closer we could see they were set up directly in the same placement as we had observed earlier.

      I ran my fingers over one of them. I observed about a quarter of an inch from the opening of the hole was a black plug. From a distance it looked like a hole but it wasn't.. The edge of the hole was slightly jagged around the edges. It didn't look like it had been drilled. Then again maybe time had roughened things up a bit. We had no idea of how long it had been here,

      "Hey over here" Mark called. "Look at these." The plugs in these had come loose. Mark took out his pocket knife and picked at the edge a bit. The clay was soft and gave away easily. The plug was not very deep in and pried out a lot easier than expected.

      Joe shook his head. "I never seen anything like this when we come down. I don't think we did it"

      "I took the plug from Mark and examined it under my flash light beam. I looked like some sort of plastic disk. It was perfectly round. It definitely was some sort of plug for the hole. But what had made it and why.

      I looked around to see if we could get the others. Joe took his light and shined it on the ceiling in the furthest area of the room.. He could see there was a hole and no plug and shined the beam down on the ground to find the missing one. He found it a short distance away.

      Even Joe, with his weird far fetched story found this a bit strange. It was very curious. There seemed to be some sort of marking on one of them but we couldn't make it out in the dim light and decided to take it up to the office area and see them in the light.

      We made out way back up to the auditorium office. It was situated almost like a projection booth over looking the auditorium floor area. Mr. Drake was sitting at his desk when we arrived. I asked him about a Geiger counter.

      "No, unfortunately we don't have much scientific equipment at all aside from a few microscopes..antique displayed stuff. And they are pretty old." He added. "There really isn't much reason to have any. Nothing has happened here in decades" he explained.

      "Any idea what these are?" Mark asked handing the strange objects to him. Mr. Drake turned them over in his hand running his fingers across the surface of them. He put his glasses on when he came across the letters on the one. But he, like us, couldn't make out what is was.

      "Nope.. what are they?" The older man asked. We explained how we found the 3 disks and the strange burn areas on the surface above. We purposely left out the story that Joe had told us about his alleged spaceship. We thought for sure if he heard that he would think us trying to prank him and blow us off.

      "Well, that is very strange. There hadn't been any excavation of anything like that in years. They would tell me because of the public issues involved. Either their safety or just to keep them out of the way." He then assured us that those spots of burnt ground weren't there yesterday as he was the one who cut the grass in the field since one of his men hadn't showed up.

      "Hummph" He shook his head "No idea. I am at a loss here kids.. sorry"

      "Can we use one of those old microscopes you mentioned?" Mark suggested.

     "Sure if we can still get it to work. It's been mostly for display purposes for the last few years.

      Mr. Drake was right. The microscope even looked old.. But it seemed to still function with a little encouragement of the knobs. Mark got out his pocket knife again and tried to scrape off a little piece of the edge of the disk shaped object.

      "Not very scientific I know" Mark joked. He didn't have any luck. It wouldn't cut or scrape. Only thing that would come off was the mud . We put it under the microscope putting the pointed edge under the lens on an angle.

      "Well, you are right about one thing" Mr. Drake said.

      "What's that?' Joe asked

      "It definitely was in the ceiling, I have seen enough of that ceiling mud to know it when I see it" He paused looking at it again moving it slightly in one direction and then another. The added "Other than that I sure have never seen anything like this before. It's not plastic like it looks... and it's not a rock or mineral that I have ever seen."

      We each took turns looking at it. Mark, Joe and I wouldn't have known a piece of plastic from a rock or mineral ourselves but we went through the motions of looking to see the most solid and perfectly cut disk. Not even a jagged edge or notch where Mark had tried slicing off a piece. The markings didn't look like writing under the microscope.

.       Joe had started gotten quiet while we were looking at it under the microscope.. He backed away from us toward the door..

      "Gotta Go" he announced suddenly. And fast as I could turn my head to look at him to say bye he almost seemed to disappear before my eyes but being he was so close to the door he could have easily just slipped around the corner, while my eyes adjusted. Mr. Drake and Mark didn't seem to see what I did so I just ignored my own imagination.

      Just as he disappeared there was a rumbling. It was very low at first. Then came a crackling sort of sound.

     "OH MY GOD!!" Mr. Drake nearly yelled "GET OUT EVERYBODY OUT" He pushed us out the door and toward the entrance of the cave.

     "We ran to the Auditorium doors on the way" We yelled in for everyone to get out knowing as we did it no one would hear us .. There were only about 10 people in the auditorium that we could see. Suddenly all their heads looked directly up at the ceiling no matter where they were standing. Right where we had found the plugs in the ceiling, it started collapsing. All the people ran toward the door. The whole section of the roof caved in on one side of the auditorium..

      The dust was everywhere stealing the air from our lungs as we directed the people out as fast as we could. As they ran out you could abruptly hear their silence turn to mid screams as they ran through the doorway. It was the strangest effect I ever seen and heard. As I could see the terror before I could hear it.

      We looked one last time in to the auditorium before the lights finally went out I could swear I seen one shape heading directly into the collapsing area instead of leaving.. I would swear it was Joe.

      Mr. Drake and some of the other Cave workers pushed and guided us toward the entrance. Not that we wanted to stay. Roofs and ceilings collapsing on top of me was not the way I wanted to die. Everything seemed like it was in slow motions. So may thoughts filled my mind in those few seconds.

      As I neared the door I felt a strange burning sensation in my hand where I had the disks still gripped tight, The heat made me open my hand. As I opened my hand the disks glowed red and flew from my palm back into the dark dust of the remaining cave.

      We reached the outside of the cave and all gathered together a short distance from the opening of the cave. We quickly found that everyone was accounted for except for Joe.

      It seemed we were the only ones who had seen him at all. I was sure it was him who I had seen running back into the rubble of the auditorium. He had seemed to vanish just like the strange disk plugs that I had held in my hands.

      No one could figure out what made the cave collapse. It had been there for thousands if not millions of years. 50 yards of solid rock suddenly for no apparent reason had just decided to literally cave in. Some tried to say it was an earthquake though there is no fault line in this area and no one anywhere nearby felt one.

      Mark and I tried to contact Joe's parents to see if he had come home. They thought it was a very strange question since they had talked to him theprecious day and he was on a ship in the middle of the sea somewhere.

      It's been several years now and Joe's parents still hold to the story that he is on a ship at sea somewhere on some adventure or another looking for unknown creatures of the deep. They hear from him on holidays. No one has ever seen him again that I know of.

      To this day it is the strangest mystery to me. Of course I don't talk about it to anyone. After all... who would believe me anyway.......

Comments on this poem/writing:

mental's comment ( -- Friday, November 22 2002, 04:39 am

mental's comment

ok.....................dreamer let's see here umm ok first of all good story if it is a story second good imagination if it was your imagination third an amazing true story .

your friend

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