Cache Work

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Bill and I were doing our thing, like we always did. That kind of work, really getting into it … it’s what we live for.

The scouts had found the cache that morning, before the sun came up, and word came down that we’d be working this new job site just east of the village. Working alongside two other teams of guys, we were starting to make some progress.  I never did catch the names of the other guys. No reason to.  My memory for faces is pretty pitiful, especially given how crowded our village has become with labourers.  Chances are we’d never see them again anyway.

Before anything unusual happened, Bill and I were inside the opening, working away. It was dark, but we didn’t mind because we were covered in the treasure, practically dripping with it. It was our job to extend the entrance and make room for a dozen teams of extractors. Those scout guys had done a good job finding this job site. There was plenty of booty to share with the village and the area around the cache entrance was nice and soft for us to cut away.

The first sign of trouble was when Bill and I fell into each other. It felt like the entire cache had been turned on its side and Bill ended up on top of me with our legs tangled together. Bill and I had been in some pretty tight spots, but never like this. Embarrassed and making sure we didn’t look at each other, we pushed ourselves apart and tried to figure out which way was up. Reorienting ourselves quickly, Bill was sticking his head out the cache opening when we suddenly felt ten times heavier.  Aware of a strong breeze coming into the opening, it felt like the entire cache was being picked up from the ground. I saw Bill duck his head inside the entrance as he struggled to stay upright.

At this point, I saw one of the other guys stick his head into the entryway. I felt a flash of appreciation for this unusual gesture of kindness and concern when the guy was inexplicably knocked out of sight. This huge fleshy tube crashed into our co-worker, sent him flying and caused a loud bang.

In retrospect, Bill could not have seen what happened because he had been facing towards me and away from where the guy had been. Understandably curious about the noise but oblivious to the abrupt departure of our colleague, Bill found his footing and made his way out of the opening.  Convinced that I needed to follow and warn him, I immediately heard a high-pitched squeal and witnessed Bill get brutally slammed into the air, up and away from the cache.  It was that fleshy tube again!

Stunned, I had no idea what to do next. I had no time to consider my options, though, because I was immediately forced back into the deepest part of the treasure. It felt like the entire cache had been thrown, spinning up through the air and away from the job site. That is how I ended up floating for two days in that pond on an apple-cache turned boat. I can’t believe I found my way back to the ant village from there, but won’t be happy until I find my buddy Bill safe and sound.

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