Chapter One: The Caves
It's cold. So, so cold. The wind sweeps in, scattering dust and leaves all over the place. The fire flickers, then dims, and for a terrifying second, she's afraid the warmth will die out, and leave her here to freeze. The cold is unrelenting. It bites at her skin, her fingers, numbing her soul.
The fire flares back again, and she's so glad. She mutters inchoate, guttural sounds, as a thank you to whatever spirit she worships. Maybe even none at all. But that doesn't matter, because for now, she is content, with a fire, and a chilly cave – chilly, but not cold.
There are nuts scattered along the ground of the cave, the wind blowing them everywhere. She had gathered them earlier in the daytime, before the world was immersed in the unknown darkness, when the wild beasts roamed.
The nuts are good to eat. Berries are her favorite treats.
Her spear-stick lies abandoned in a corner of the cave. The tip is dull from scratching pictures in the walls of the cave. They are crude stick figures, detailing her daily adventures – gathering nuts, chasing buffalo, spearing fish. Normally, at this time of night she would be adding to the collection, but it is too cold today. Winter is approaching.
She peers down at the thick hair lining her arms and legs, along her whole body – they turn reddish-brown in the sun – and she wishes for some sort of covering for her body. It is so, so cold.
A huge gust of wind blows in, and the fire burns out, the embers still glowing hot. She cries out in cold and fear. It's a primitive sound. She can't put it into words – there is no language yet – but she has an impending premonition of imminent doom and death.
A bulging form appears at the front of the cave, siloetted against the twinkling night sky. She stiffens, then whimpers. Looks like the wild beasts have caught her. Without fire, she is weaponless.
The predator prowls closer, growling at her prone form. The jaws open wide, teeth gleaming – and then it flops on the ground beside her. It is dead; its blood permeating the dirt ground, staining everything dark red.
The fire suddenly flares to life again, and she sees her savior. It is a sun-man. It has to be. She has never seen anything like it. He holds flint rock in his hands, but that is not what makes him bright.
His hair along his body is golden. Hers is reddish-brown, like most primitives, but his body is like gold. The hair is fine yellow.
He is so beautiful.
He crouches down by the panther, dragging it to the side of the wall. Sun-man looks back at her, and she opens her arms, ape-like sounds escaping her throat. She is willing to share her cave, if he becomes her protector.
Sun-man runs into her arms, cooing softly, matching his sounds to hers. He will stay, and shield her from harm.
They know no language, now words, but there is something to describe what they are feeling. They feel loved, and protected, and they are no longer alone.
For the first time in her life, she also feels safe.
:) Cavemen love. How sweet. Next chapter will be set in Ancient Egypt.
Title credits to The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen.