Daniel M. Clark

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Just Follow Me


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

A sign listed the cavern’s depth at just over three hundred feet, more than the length of a football field or roughly the size of a twenty-story building. Plenty of space, it said. Temperature: sixty-eight degrees. Humidity: ninety-nine percent. Electric lamps lit the way. So much about this excursion felt wrong to him, felt dangerous.
“Right, let’s go,” she said, then started off.
He froze, staring at stairs carved into the rock leading into the depths of the earth. A handrail, worn smooth by thousands of hands, was bolted to the cave wall.
No way in or out but to walk.
A single narrow path.
Too deep.
She was standing before him again holding his cheek in one hand and stroking his damp hair with the other. “Hey. Look at me. You’re okay. This is okay. Look at me.”
He did.
“It’s safe. There are stations throughout the cave where you can stop and sit. There’s water to drink. There are people around you. It’s safe. You can trust me. It’s safe. I’ll lead the way.”
Her voice was soft and firm. Commanding and sympathetic.
“Just follow me.”
He did.

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