the twelve paintings

The day after the rain stopped, the girl came upon a kind of cave. It was a makeshift shelter built from the natural deepening of the rock. There were twelve paintings or groupings of markings inside. 

It was evening and the light from the moon was the only way she could see inside. Tracing her finger over each symbol and picture, she wondered…

who made these?

She had never seen anyone in the forest, but here were all these paintings and so far away from any of the towns she knew around. How did it get out here and why put it so far away from everywhere else people would see it? 

Some had very intricate designs and details. It must have taken a long time to do this. She walked from one to the next staring at faces. Birds and plants. An animal she had never seen before – one she didn’t know the name of, but looked very intimidating. She watched the animal for a while and it reminded her of something she could quite figure out.

As she stared at the paiyings she followed the lines from one to the next. Her eyes felt heavy. She heard a low hum a high-pitched buzz and then suddenly, silence and a flash. 
an old woman tending to a fire
part of her face hidden in shadow

outstretched wings of a bird

looking up to touch a feather

then night

the deepness of the air

a drop of water plunks into a pool

and the circles

the ripples form

drop of water, as if suspended in time

motionless

lying in a bed waking from fevered dreams

looking to the arms 

seeing they are drenched in sweat

a yellow flower

old woman laughing

and the animal lunges

teeth

clutching arm

red spots on green grass 

rustling brown crumpled leaves

a lantern

a trail of incense 

and tall trees

thunder

light in back of clouds rolls across the sky



And she blinked. She looked around. The paintings were still there.

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