Wander across the Green Bridge

Has it got you wondering, is there a myriad of questions going through your mind. never mind it will clear over time.
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The cave descent

Speck led the others into the cave and down the first part where natural light still showed something. The air had changed and now instead of the rain cleansed smell they had all grown used to, this was a dark dank smell thicker than normal air.

Speck and Joel were conscious that they had nothing of substance to light the pathway ahead. Assuming, of course, there was a pathway. The mobiles had all died and the one torch was no faint and fading. They had used some of their clothes to make some simple torches, torn up and wrapped around the end of a stick – each one of the carried one. With no oil or wax, these torches relied on setting fire to these damp rags.

The cave passageway curve around to the right enough to prevent the light from the entrance being seen. it was soon pitched darkness and Speck carefully inched his way forwards and stopping often to feel all around him.

The others held to the one before them, all afraid to speak in the stillness of the cave. Speck suddenly yelled and Joel behind him felt Speck fall away suddenly. He stood still, sweating as the fear of the unknown gripped him, and others now sensing the fear.

Preparing to move

The short time at the cave’s entrance seemed much longer but really just a couple of days. The walk felt endless, at times, and the times walking in darkness pathway you were largely robbed of your senses though it was estimated by Speck and others to be 4 or maybe even 5 days. There was a dispute about the time of day, 6 am or 6 pm.

All food of any kind had long been eaten and most of the team had not eaten for over 3 days. The knawing pains had passed on the third day and now there was just an emptiness. Fortunately, along the pathway, there was fresh water from the trees that dripped down from their branches to get a little cold, cold water. They all did not recognize that then, but most now thought that the trees had and hopefully are going to continue helping them.

Chloe, Sarah, and Rowan all complained about the need to wash and change clothes. Few had brought anything to change into and now the whole group stank horribly. They wanted to wash and of course to eat.

Speck and Keith decided to take a better look around and see what they could find. Several hundred metres from the cave they found a small stream and with fresh running water from the hillside, but so cold. They drank it with cupped hands until their hands hurt so much.

They ran back to let the other know about the stream, and to get a fire started…….. (to be continued)


They all knew it they could not remain here for much longer. The pathway had taken a lot out of all of them and had sapped their spirits to a low ebb. Some worse than others. Word was now going around about what some had seen, heard and felt. It was time to try and make some sense of that.

Speck stood up first to speak he had seen the dark sky split and moon appear briefly, and it was he the first night in the cave woke in a fright with a warm breathe on his neck. He had woke with a start and whatever it was gone and stayed away.

“We saw the night sky clouds open and show the moon, that was a real sight for sore eyes”, said Speck, “and we also heard what Keith said about the bird speaking to him about going forward.”

“Chloe! What was it you were saying to me a while ago? Speck looking at Chloe and asking the question. Chloe pulled out her notebook and began to tell the group about how the trees spoke to her. The others were not so surprised at this for on the pathway there were times they all thought they could hear the tree murmuring and even speaking.

“So what did they say?” asked Speck.

“They told me about the need to go forward and follow the path,” said Chloe, “and to find the red stone and old oak tree called Askel.”

“So where is the old tree and where are we suppose to go? I just want to go home and have a good meal,” said Sarah tears welling up in her eyes.

“We have to follow on………I guess go into the cave as far as we can and to a ‘great valley’ they said called Gorm, I think? Chloe was speaking and checking her notes, “then to the forgotten mountain Shadenwell in the Tilden Hills”. Chloe stopped for a while as if thinking then said, “That is all they told me.”

Speck stood up again and said, “We can’t stay here, and it is clear to all the back through the trees and the pathway is not going to happen. I suggest we move on, also it is not good to remain here in one place too long. Better we move on together and go forward as we appear to have been told.”

They all held fears and doubts and some spoke of them but all recognized the situation and the need to move forward – together.


Going back

Chloe was so encouraged by what she had seen and heard that she rushed to tell them all.

Just the sight of the sunset over the lake held out for her to see by the branches of the trees. Just that sight filled her with hope.

For that she was going back. Back to the group huddled in the cave wondering still about it all.




The fire was starting to get low and Chloe watched the glowing red embers as the cold wind fanned them.

She placed three more dry branches on the embers and sat watching as they first smoked a little then began to catch fire.

She began to wonder if the trees missed these branches and minded at all if they were burnt.

She left the fireside and move toward the end of the path where trees ended. Putting her head forwards she listened keeping perfectly still.

For a long while there was nothing and then she asked,”Do you mind if take and burn the old branches?”

The trees suddenly moved in the cold breeze, though more than before, and she listened and she heard their voices

Copyright Feb 2017 IGL

murmur and she recalled their few words.


In a moment it flashed in her head such a scene, the trees holding out a lake with setting sun. The cold wind blew across it but the image engraved itself into her mind. Such a change from the darkness.

“Now recall”, said a tree, “Remember our words…..the way is long….there’s danger ahead…….but you can only……go on.” There was a pause and murmuring then a tree spoke again, “Find the red stone at the feet of Askel the great oak.”

“Follow the path….find the sun…..and green trees….deep into Gorm the valley deep….and up the steep slope of Shadenwell the forgotten mountain lost in the hills Tildon the great hills…….”.

The trees fell silent nothing more to say as if perhaps they had already said too much. Chloe scrambled to write what she could hold the fading light torch of her mobile. She wrote all she could recall.


Near dawning

They sat thinking for a while around the warmth of the fire. Chloe’s words sinking in and each with their own thoughts. Keith now had moved closer to the fire wanting to sit next to Sarah, but she moved away to get something from her bag and returned to another spot.

Joel spoke now, “when will it cease to be night? This constant darkness is so depressing and oppressive.” Keith wondered if he should mention the bird and the way the sky appeared at that time.

The group was low in spirit and Keith could feel their despair. He need to share so he discided to tell them.

“I saw a bird just over there,” he said pointing to where the thick trees ended between the pathway trees and the stark black rocks. The trees were more sparse here appearing like blackness on a black background.

“When I saw it I noticed the sky appeared to have a sunset, it lasted for a few moments and then it was gone.”

Keith hesitated to mention that the bird spoke to him, the group were now eyeing him and beginning to question him on why he should see this alone and no one else did.

“The bird spoke to me!” he interjected looking about him and expecting more comments. This time though they ceased to question and seemed more interested and keen to know what the bird has said.

Keith told them and looked over to where he saw the bird. It was strange for darkness began to split apart and for a second or two a bright light, like the moon peeped through. There was gasp for the whole group and a sense of joy for this brief sighting of light and a possible near dawning.

copyright 2017 IGL

Around the fire

Around the fire, they now gathered looking to warm their cold limbs and feel the heat this fire.

Keith joined them, slipping his picture into his bag and leaning on a rock close to the cave entrance.

The world intrudes in every sphere – its needs, its greed, its seed of desire, but here they had lost it for a while.

Keith leaning and watching though furthest from the fire could feel it begin to warm him. He liked it gentle warming and with that, he regained a little of that desire as he watched Sarah. He had not noticed her before but now wondered more and more about her.

Chloe spoke for the first time for a long while. “What is this all about and where are we going?” she asked looking about her and all those seated around the fire.

It was Geoff that first answered saying, “I did not what it meant to wander across the green bridge. I did not know we could not go back.”

He hung his head as if he would start crying, but continued to speak, “I don’t know what this means or where we are going, but we have to get back and get through this.”

He looked up with a desire in his eyes and scanned about him at all the faces of them around the fire.

They all knew they had to get out of this and find the way back. They also feared what lay ahead, this was so surreal and weird. Anything could lay ahead, what next after talking trees and birds.

Looking back

From the cave entrance, Keith stood looking back and now it seemed the trees were far away to the right and much more sparse than before. A heavy darkness still rested on them, though an eerie light shone behind them like a previously unseen sunset.

Trees in the distance with setting sun Copyright April 2017 IGL

Keith was no artist but the time there waiting and watching made him sketch what he saw. He wondered if that was a setting sun and if so how it could set without first giving light – and warmth.

The others were now stirring from their long periods of sleep and one of them had started a fire from the numerous dry wood around this flat area.

Keith liked to think it was the setting sun, it gave him hope and a little comfort. He recalled the words the little bird had told him and looked about quickly to see if he could it again.

To the right of the picture, the dense darkness of the trees held their position and Keith choose not to shown them just a brief indication to remind him (as if he needed reminding, of this!).

Sarah caught his eye distracting from his thoughts and his picture, now complete, but she held his gaze.

“Keith! What yer doin’ there?” she said looking back as she walked away.

A little Bird Told Him

Keith had not mentioned it to anyone, nor had he taken any notice of it. Hunger and tiredness had blurred his mind and nothing seemed that strange to him anymore.

It was at the place where the tree covered pathway joined the exposed level area from off which lay the cave’s entrance. The trees for a short length of the pathway grew less densely and it was here Keith thought he saw something moving in the tree close branches. It appeared best in his peripheral vision and seemed to vanish if he directly at it.

Photo copyright IGL Jan 2018

For a moment Keith saw it there and it appeared like the darkness had been replaced with light. Just for a moment and in that moment he saw it was a bird. One of the birds maybe that they had heard singing in the darkness.  Not it chirped a familiar song. Then without a hesitation turned to face Keith and said, “Beware of the cave and now this. All must enter the cave but none can go back until they reach the end. ” The bird chirped a little more as if clearing its throat and then continued, “Beware of the cave and now this, you will never be alone in there but often wish you were alone.”

Keith for a moment could not believe what he saw and heard but also in another moment parked it and allowed his thoughts to go with those of the others now glad to be free of the trees and finding the cave.

Keith now wondered what he had heard and a little bird told him.