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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

9: Simon's Solo Story: Caves Of Stone


Back when I first wrote this story in 1991, it was thought that the Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal were in direct competition with each other. Now in 2012, because we know so much about everything and nothing, it has been decreed that those two species were not in competition with each other... which is strange since I've been around for a long while and ought to have known better.
While they may have co-existed, it was the environment which did in the poor Neanderthal - not the Cro-Magnon. Brother did not kill brother. There was no Cain and Abel - at least not in this story.
This chapter was a long one, and as such, I broke it into two parts, with the first part appearing yesterday as chapter viii.
This chapter, as mentioned in chapter viii, takes place at the very end of the the Upper (late) Pleistocene Era - and takes place approximately 30,012 years ago.
Anyhow... by splitting the one chapter into two chapters, it will, barring further division of previously written chapters, bring the conclusion of the novella to a 20th chapter. Everyone likes round numbers, right? Except for the Holy Trinity: The father (grinning 2-Footer) the son (pick a prophet), the Holy Spirit (the ??? - you want me to spoil all the surprises?). No wait... they purposely added A Man or amen to make it a round number. Four! Which is unlucky to most Asian cultures. I can see how a man (amen) would be unlucky...
As for my science... let me direct you to a decent site I found about Cro-Magnon man: HERE. It's nice when science and my fictional writing meet up (even 21 years later), and I know that my science was good back then. I wonder what else I am right about? Not much, I suppose... I'm married.

Chapter 1             Chapter 6
Chapter 2             Chapter 7
Chapter 3             Chapter 8
Chapter 4
Chapter 5

Simon's Solo Story: Caves Of Stone

chapter ix

This is the Editor. I noticed that in the last chapter, you referred to yourself as the Writer, rather than the Author. Any reason why?
That was a typo. Shouldn't you have caught that and changed it before publication? 

...
Just kidding! Perhaps I felt the name 'the Author' was a tad pretentious. I'm... 'the Writer' from now on. Now, on with the story....
On the high plains of what people will one day call France, a short stocky man with a high sloping forehead walked silently through the deep, scratchy grass.

Clad in thick wooly, wolf skin boots, a bearskin tunic and a tabby cat loincloth (who would one day work for Dogpile as a disenchanted employee), Bil grasped his flint-headed spear in his small but meaty hands, and listened for dinner as he stepped.

He  walked quietly for hours, spotting the spoor but only hearing the sound of a gentle breeze as it blew along the top of the razor grass.

It was a nice day... strange... because for much of Bil's long life - some 18 years - it had been filled with ice and cold winds... but now it seemed like the world was warming up. 

Deciding that his growling stomach was probably scaring away the animals, he stopped to eat a mid-day repast.

His woman companion had given him a piece of the tall ones to eat. She told him to burn it with a little fire before eating... so Bil sat down on the dry, grassy ground and attempted to build a fire.

He knew it was hopeless, as he always had difficulty in constructing a flame. If it would only rain, he thought, then the gods could favor him with a gift of fire.
Far, far away in another reality, the grinning 2-Footer chortled with glee. "Gods?! Hmmm, I suppose we be. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!"
Actually, it was a good thing that Bil was useless in starting fires, and that the god(s) don't like to actively meddle in the affairs on Earth any more than they already do, because if he had made that flame to cook the Cro-Magnon meat, he would have set fire to the entire plain of super-dry and flammable grass he was currently surrounded by.

Bil mumbled as he ate his cold Cro-Magnon lunch. At least it was favorite part - the brain. He would now gain his enemy's strength and intelligence. If Bil was a little smarter, he might have wondered why he would want the strength and intelligence of someone who was killed by his woman-creature... but he wasn't, so he didn't.

Now on a full stomach, Bil felt he would be better able to sneak up on an animal. He neglected to recall that he had neither seen or heard any animals that morning... but he couldn't remember  why. Bil possessed a poor memory.

Despite the apparent inference, fish is a much better brain food than brain - although brain does lack those annoying bones.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

When a low growl split the air around him, as quick as the gods gave fire in a rainstorm, Bil had thrown down his Cro-Magnon brain lunch and grasped his spear!

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

It sounded like a big-tooth cat. Those fearsome creatures always reminded him of something, but he could
not remember.

Thrusting his spear in front of him, Bil waded into a taller area of grass.

There!

In a thrashed clearing... a black and white big-tooth cat lay on the ground pawing at a freshly killed walking bird (Brandon). Sadly, no one has yet discovered an example of this species of flightless bird that resembled a moa.
Uh, this is the Writer. I wanted to clear up a little point Bil just brought up. He noticed that the saber-tooth Smilodon was black and white in color. Actually, the cat is a nice tan color. However, Bil and all of the other early denizens on Earth can only see in two colors: black and white. The full spectrum that most of us can see in will evolve quite rapidly later on. It might even go beyond the current scope experienced by people in 2012. At least, that is what I heard. In fact, I even heard that colorblind people - could spot camouflage colors that actually fooled those with so-called normal vision. Seeing in black and white might actually be an advantage for a hunter.

By the way... have any of you ever noticed how much sharper a black and white photograph is over a color one? 
In an area still not covered by a haze that will be a mist, the grinning 2-Footer laughed knowingly.
Looking at the delicious bird, the big cat licked his lips and cut his tongue slightly on his long, razor sharp teeth. The smell of his own blood made him even more excited! He lunged at the bird and began tearing away its flesh with relish.

With a sudden swiftness, the wind changed its direction - its cat nose twitched in surprise! Its eyes flashed in anger! Its limbs coiled in preparedness of a forward explosion!

A loud human, female-like scream left its frothing maw as it leaped towards a startled Bil.
Bil, startled (see?) by the swiftness of the big-tooth cat, froze in place. Luckily the cat's leap was not as good as it had hoped, as it landed flush atop Bil's outstretched, point spear. Mewling quizzically, it died gurgling on its own blood.

Nonplussed, Bil set to work removing the animal's pelt so that it could be made into a better loin cloth by his wife. He quietly thanked the gods for his good fortune.
The grinning 2-Footer somehow grinned wider in thanks to his thoughtfulness.
Bil then began the arduous process of cutting up the cat into smaller pieces for easier transport back to his communal cave.

It would all be for naught, though.

Within a few days, a roving band of Cro-Magnons would stumble upon his cave killing all of his tribe, including his woman Sim.

The Cro-Magnons were on their way to becoming the new kids on the stone, and would help pave the way for the future of the Homo sapiens sapiens sub-species. That's people like you and me. But probably not like the Editor.

Life's funny that way.

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