Saturday, 18 May 2013

Childhood story

It was Summer, I remember that because just like all Summers the Sun was running the azure sky in all its glory, I know I didn't think in these words, I was too young to find poetry in Nature.

Gozo Island
I do remember the heat and the heavy sting sunlight did on my skin. I cannot remember my age, but it was before I started school so I must have been pretty young.

When I asked what my parents did for a living, they always told me that they were archeologists and worked in an excavation at Gozo, as I didn't understand a word, I used to get down there looking for a way to see what my 'scientific' parents (as they call themselves) did in the field.

The place was not a safe area, so I was not welcome to the site, especially because I used to destroy the sectional divisions they use to classify whatever they find there. I did not do it as vandalism, it only was that I didn't understand or know why they did that, and it was interesting to remove the lines so I could access easily to the ground, besides, you know what happens when you tell a child not to do something.

In one of these visits, I could avoid the elder guard, and walking around I found a small opening on the foot on a low hill from where a soft cool breeze was blowing steadily. Since it was hot in the outside, I defied the cool draught into the cave.

I moved along the ground on all fours, following the tunnel into the hollow, there was an eerie light ahead, of course, I didn't know what eerie meant, but I do felt the feeling we have when we used that word.

After a short while, the tunnel opened into a small cavern with a kind of a narrow vertical hole, or chimney, that seemed to go out since it was the source of the light that lit the place.

I started to prowl around and my first discovery, on a small ledge against the wall, was a skull that smiled at me with half its teeth since it had not jaw. Then there were a lot of bones around it, and small clay medals with elaborated figures in many colours on it.

I was not scare of these things, I have seen them many times on Dad's desk. So I entertained myself for a while looking at the figures and trying to guess what they meant, with scarce or no results.

After that I decided to go back to the world, but when I faced the wall where was the hole I came in, I found that it was full of similar holes, and I had no idea from which one I had entered the cavern. I was a bit taken aback until I remember a game I used to  play with Grand.

He hid a postcard in a book, between the first page and the cover, or between the last page and the end cover. I took the book and recited a spell touching lightly each cover at a time following the syllables: "Where is it, newsman. I guess it is in this one", the cover where I finish the spell was the place where the postcard was, it never failed. This game was supposed to teach me to divide sentences in syllables. What I never realized was that Grand turned the book to make me always win since the number of syllables in the spell left you always in the opposite cover you started.

Now, I thought it would be useful, so I started with the first hole reciting the spell, and went trustingly into the one I finish... to end in another cavern with more bones. I thought I had made some mistake in the reciting of the words, so I did it again... more bones, and again... more bones...

I started to feel scared, maybe the place had some stronger spell that made fail mine, furthermore, the light from outside seemed to wan, as if the sun were coming down. This fact brought the idea of coming supper, but I had nothing to eat, and my tummy was making noises. Even now I do not know if those noises were because I was hungry or in panic!

Believing implicitly in my spell I kept reciting it and finding more bones for a while. When I was already all set to sat back and cry, I could hear some indistinct voice coming from somewhere. My first thought was that the bones were talking to me in a foreign language, so I went near the skull and listened carefully.

That's when I discover the voice coming from one of the holes in the wall, so I went into it and ran quickly on all four toward the source of the voice, while I was approaching the end of the tunnel there was more light, and the voice said clearly: "Put those spades in the shed, Anard".

I knew Anard was the aide of the foreman of the site, so I went faster yet, and finished falling from a hole two feet over the ground on a flat stone where I sat a bit groggy but happy to be outside.

I scared the shirt out of the shoulders of Anard, he almost went out running, thinking I was a ghost coming out of the cemetery, which all of you had already guessed it was the place.

When he recognized me, he called the foreman who called my Mom, who was more than stunned by my caper. But as soon as she recover from the surprise, and retrieved from me information of my adventure, I was grounded for a week, no bicycle, no books of pictures and no dessert, even if I explained her that I was not in danger because I had my spell that worked fine when it could overpower the internal hex in the tombs!

Then they surrounded the site with wire and hanged little bells from it, so it was impossible for me enter the camp without making enough noise as to make somebody to come and see what was going on.

I could not visit the place alone again, and soon it lost its brilliance and my interest because my parents were destined to Turkey to follow a new scientific trend.

Anyway, Gozo kept having lots of places to investigate, so I was not too disappointed.

The music is "Requiem for the Nameless Dead" by Adrian von Ziegler.

© 2013 Od Liam.


  1. Very interesting! As children, we're always curious to know everything around us. You really had an adventure on your own, Od. Luckily you could find your way out.

    Thank you for sharing some events during your childhood. :)

  2. Yes, BB!

    I have had many adventures of my own! I have an especial Angel who is my custodian! He always takes me out of trouble at the last minute. :)

    Thank YOU, for the time you gifted me to read the story!

  3. Unfortunately, I understand your mom. I would had banned you to go back to the place, with or without company... jajajaja.

    When we are children, our inocence is so broad, that we see danger everywhere or nowhere, depending on each soul's nature. If you'd been a little elder, the experience would surely had turned traumatic.

    Thanks for sharing this experience. It's very special, and for the reader, it's almost cinematographic.

    1. Maybe you're right. But then again, it is because you do not believe in my "spell". It was very strong! I know because my Grand told me so!! :))

      Maybe so! but I do not recall it as a traumatic experience except for the grounded thing. A week is a long time for a kid! I didn't know Granny raised the ban after two days, but it was a long time to lose dessert and bicycle! :)

      Thank you for your comment!