The Cave by Sean F. Lynch

cov1303lg-250Published: March/April edition of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

Genre: speculative fiction

Length: 23 pages

Setting: mostly inside a cave, near a small village in a temperate region of Earth

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: A boy and his father are trapped in cave, but there’s more to this cave than meets the eye. You seem to age much more quickly within the cave than you should. Also, it seems to affect your ability to make good choices that would lead you out of the cave. The boy is able to escape the cave, and he promises to send help back for his father, but weather prevents their return. The boy goes on to live an itinerant life, eventually ending back in his home village where he’s drawn to the cave.

Final thoughts: This is a creepy story. What is it about the cave that draws you in and then keeps you there? There’s rumbling within the cave that’s never explained, and the two always seems to find supplies when they need it. Where do they come from? And why does the father make choices that keep him in the cave when they’re so close to escape? And then it cycles all around again and the boy is the father? So many questions, but they don’t ruin the story. They just make me wonder and try to figure out the answers.

Title comes from: The setting of the story


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