This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’. Which can be found by following the link below..
Prompt ~ Fusion forests
by John Yeo
There were six of us in the party led by the esteemed Professor Williams, Peter Woods, a famous ornithologist, Leyla, and Sadie, with her best friend Betty and myself, Jamie Cook.
We’d been trekking through thick jungle for days, searching for rare new species of wildlife. We pitched our tents alongside an impressive lake with a magnificent waterfall hurtling down into the lake from a rocky incline.
The lake was still at sunset, after the wildfowl and the birdlife had gone to roost. Silence replaced the noisy sounds of the prolific wildlife, vying for food and personal space. Darkness was descending on the shrubs and trees around the banks of the lake as the sun disappeared. Nocturnal wildlife was slowly appearing. Nighthawks spread their wings, calling in the nearby trees as they ventured out on their hunting forays after dark. Bats were fluttering their wings, searching for insects, using echolocation, their powers of ultra-sensitive hearing, for guidance.
‘They seem to be flying from within the waterfall!’ exclaimed Peter Woods. Clouds and clouds of bats were filling the evening skies. ‘There must be a cave in the rocks behind the waterfall. Bats hibernate in caves, they generally stick to water where they like to feed on insects, even fishing them from the surface of pools.’
‘We will certainly explore the waterfall tomorrow morning,’ said the Professor.
The next day dawned with a cacophony of sounds from the jungle dawn chorus. We decided to explore the waterfall immediately.
It was an onerous task for us all, as we climbed the slippery, quite steep, rocky cliffs. We discovered a large aperture in the rock face, partially hidden, somewhat obscured with a thick wall of soaking jungle vegetation. Peter and I, with the help of the Professor, soon hacked a passable entrance to what appeared to be a series of large caves hollowed out of the interior of the rocks.
The amazingly beautiful sight that greeted us will always be indelibly engraved on my mind forever. Illuminated by the light of our torches were thousands of pink and aquamarine-coloured stalactites hanging from the roofs of the caves. Sadie and Betty were soon snapping away images on their mobile phones, Leyla gasped, ‘Forests of wonderful stalactites, fused together they’ve probably been growing here for thousands of years,’
There was a powerful obnoxious smell as the floors were covered in guano, obviously the droppings from the thousands of bats roosting in the gaps between the fused stalactites.
The Professor and his team wrote up their discovery of these incredible fusion forests to great acclaim from the academic world.