Two scholars finally get a chance for some field work to study the stone age cultures they’ve been reading about for years in the abstract. A helicopter takes them into a remote region and drops them off. It’ll return for them in late evening.
The scholars quickly identify two local villages of interest. One sits high on the edge of a great cliff; the other lies in a deep gorge at the foot of the same cliff. The scientists are glad to be observing from a distance when they see that the village in the gorge is surrounded by bone fields of butchered creatures. They identify both animal and human skeletons. The cliff-side village, on the other hand, is remarkably tidy and clear of any kind of debris.
Towards evening, a radio message comes in from the city. A tremendous storm has arisen over the airfield and the retrieval helicopter can’t take off. The two men will have to camp for the night. The chopper will come for them in the morning.
The men had not planned to camp in the wild but they’d prepared anyway. They have a tent, some supplies, and a cook stove. Their main problem is to decide just where to lay their heads. Finally, they pitch their tent high on the cliff, near the tidy village and well away from the settlement in the gorge where they witnessed the bones. Exhausted from their exciting day, both men fall asleep easily. Neither of them awakes.
Soon, more bones are tossed over the cliff to join the debris pile below.
∼ Charles Gramlich
© Copyright Charles Gramlich. All Rights Reserved.
6 thoughts on “Two Villages, Two Scholars”
Heh-heh, good flash story!
Yes, good one. Frankly, I’d be skeptical of a tidy village on top of a cliff. The sanitation trucks would mark it off their route, don’t ya know!
And well they should