Summer 1945 – Searching for the Tongue of a Sinner

 

Valdes pointed at the cave in the mountainside. He said, “On nights of the full moon, travelers have reported voices coming from within. When we reach it you will see that it isn’t deep. It’s smaller than the village church. But one full moon night, when I was a boy, my brother and his best friend took a dare to go into it. They said that the cave went deep into the mountain. My brother wouldn’t go more than a few steps in but his friend went exploring.” 

Valdes stopped for a moment as if considering how to continue. I rather expected him to say that his brother’s friend “had never returned.” At length he said, “My apologies Senorita. I was thinking of Rodrigo. He died last year of fever. He left a wife and two children. It is very sad.” He straightened and then said, “Rodrigo went in until he worried that his lantern might run out of oil and then he came back. He said he saw no end to the tunnel. It went down and down. I went with him and my brother to look at the cave the next morning. Under the sun, it was just a shallow room again.”