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Stories

Caveman Bubble

1 - Blarg and His Woman

Blarg lay on his side watching the fire, his primitive mind entranced by the flickering patterns of the flames. He paid no attention to the woman, who was eating her own share of supper, noisily tearing shreds of meat off her bone, the juices dripping down her fat chin. The noise began to irritate Blarg, who liked to enjoy some quiet time after dinner.

He sat up and belched. “Woman stop making so much noise, Blarg not like noise after dinner,” he said gruffly. He wiped some excess snot off his bulbous noise.

The woman wiped some excess food off her lips with the back of her hand and frowned. “Woman eat at own pace. Blarg go fuck self.” She lowered her eyes and returned to her dinner.

Blarg stood up and began marching angrily around the couple’s simple but warm cave. “Woman not show Blarg proper respect! Blarg command respect! Blarg not like NOISE!” He was getting angrier by the second and stomped his feet near the woman, deliberately kicking up dust.

The woman coughed as the dust assaulted her grimy face. “Blarg do that on purpose!” she accused.

“Hmmff,” puffed Blarg, who continued to stomp angrily around the cave.

The dust settled and the woman gave her husband a hateful look, then returned her attention to the meat. “Stupid Blarg,” she muttered.

Blarg stopped and stared at the woman. He felt the familiar stirrings of rage rise in his belly. “Woman not call Blarg stupid. Blarg not stupid! Blarg not stupid!” he shouted.

The woman cackled, bits of chewed meat clinging to her large yellow teeth. “Hah! If Blarg not stupid why not Blarg get job? Why Blarg not join hunt today?”

“RRRAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!” Blarg raised his arms above his head and bellowed with rage.

The woman was laughing at him.

Blarg stared at her. Laughing at him! How dare she! Surely she remembered what happened the last time Blarg was pushed too far. Surely she knew that Blarg would beat her for her outburst.

“Blarg all talk. Blarg never amount to anything, Blarg big dreamer,” the woman was saying, returning to her dinner.

Blarg was breathing heavily now, his anger focused. “Woman go too far this time.” He warned in a low voice.

The woman looked up and spat at Blarg. “Woman not go far enough!” she said.

Blarg bellowed again and looked around the cave quickly. He saw what he was looking for – his club.

The woman was suddenly panicked. Perhaps she did go too far this time. “Woman sorry! Woman sorry! Blarg not stupid! Blarg not loser!”

“Too late for sorry!” shouted Blarg, an evil grin forming on his brutish lips. He approached the woman and raised the club over his head.

2 - Blarg's Cave

Blarg finished the woman’s dinner for her; she lay whimpering in the back of the cave. “Blarg NOT stupid!” he grumbled, snatching up his club. He left the cave.

It was dark outside and Blarg had to be very quiet. He was going to his special place, the hidden cave that he had found weeks earlier. He had been out hunting one day but had quickly tired of the chore and absently traveled to his favorite spot – an outgrowth of large rocks on the far side of the hill. He had spied some fat insects among the rocks and had chased after them; that was when he stumbled onto the cave. Or into the cave would be more precise. He peered around inside the small opening and heard a noise. Just enough sunlight shone through the narrow openings of the rocks to light the space. Blarg followed the noise until he felt his feet get wet. Looking down he saw a tiny stream. Curious, and drawn to the increasingly loud hissing and gurgling noises, the prehistoric man crawled through an opening in the back of the tiny cave and came upon a large cavern.

The noise was coming from a pool of water. A hot, steaming, bubbling pool of water.

Blarg had discovered a natural hot spring. Returning to the site each night, Blarg learned to enjoy the hot spring. It became his special place, away from the nagging woman, away from everything. Blarg liked to lay in the pool, close his eyes and lose himself in the echoing sounds of the water.

He had quickly decided to keep the place a secret. He rearranged the rocks around the entrance to the cave to conceal its presence. This was his cave. Blarg’s cave.

As the days wore on, Blarg grew increasingly paranoid. He worried that somebody else would find his cave. He couldn’t let that happen. He would have to be careful. He began to grow suspicious of everyone. Anytime he saw someone walk near the other side of the hill, he would silently follow from a distance, until he was certain that his cave was safe from intruders. The strain of this constant vigil made Blarg quick to anger, as his wife had discovered. Others in the clan began to avoid Blarg and began whispering behind his back, “Poor Blarg, he’s lost his mind.”

But this night, nobody was out. Blarg was alone. He smiled. “Blarg like bubbles,” he thought happily and soon found himself at the concealed entrance to his cave.

“What this?” he thought. The rocks were out of place. Somebody had been here. SOMEBODY HAD FOUND HIS CAVE!

Blarg began to panic. He quickly moved the disheveled rocks out of the way and clambered into the cave. When he reached the cavern, he saw his neighbor, Ehnn, walking around inside the pool. HIS pool.

Ehnn saw Blarg and smiled. “Look Blarg, I find cave with pool!” He splashed the hot water around and giggled.

Blarg frowned and gripped his club tightly. “Why you here? This Blarg’s cave. Blarg find!”

Ehnn laughed. “Blarg not find cave, Ehnn find cave. Anyway, cave belong to whole clan. Water hot! Ehnn like the bubbles!” He was entranced by the hot spring.

Blarg’s dark eyes narrowed. “Blarg not share bubbles,” he said quietly, and waded into the pool. Blarg had never liked Ehnn. Ehnn had a larger cave than his and liked to boast about it.

Ehnn looked up just in time to see Blarg’s club coming crashing down on him. He crumpled into the water holding his head and moaning. Blarg smiled triumphantly and swung the club again. “Blarg not share bubbles. Bubbles belong to Blarg!” he shouted with glee. Water and blood burst out of the water as Blarg brought the club down on Ehnn’s battered head over and over again.

Finally he stopped. Ehnn lay dead and bleeding in the water. Blarg dragged his neighbor’s body out of the water and looked around the cavern. There! There was the perfect place to put the nosy Ehnn. He began digging into a patch of soft dirt in the dark corner of the cavern. By dawn, Ehnn would be well buried beneath that dirt in Blarg’s cave.

Blarg came running back to the clan clutching part of Ehnn’s blood-stained fur garment. “Ehnn dead!” he shouted with alarm, “Ehnn killed by boar!” The clan gathered and the clan elders inspected the tattered fur. They nodded in solemn agreement. Ehnn was indeed dead, killed and dragged away by a pack of wild boars. Blarg showed everyone the blood on his own arm, received when he tried unsuccessfully to save Ehnn.

Blarg was rewarded for his bravery and given Ehnn’s larger cave. Blarg’s woman was happy with the change and set about decorating the place. The beating was forgotten. They became happy enough to have children and Blarg became a doting father, except when he had to beat the little brats into silence.

Blarg continued to visit his cave, which remained a secret, until one night he was attacked by a large hungry wolf outside the entrance. He tried to fight off the beast, but the animal was able to mortally wound the man before being driven off by others. This led to the discovery of the cave and the hot spring. Blarg died quickly and it was thought that he had discovered the spring and was defending it against the wolf. In his honor, the clan named the place Blarg’s Bubbles and Blarg’s descendants became closely associated with the security and maintenance of the hot spring.

In time, they became known by the name Bubble.

THE END.

2006 Michael S. Cohen

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