Many Seasons Away (Flash Fiction)

If you reached this page from a web crawler or
other search technique and want to see the art,
a google search for ‘chauvet cave’ using the
image tab will acquaint you with the oldest cave
art in existence.
1. Introduction. 
These Terms And Conditions contained herein on, shall
govern your use of the ability to communicate
with the artist who was responsible for the
content in Chauvet Cave 32,000 years ago.

2. Intellectual Property Rights. 
You grant all copyright for this session to the
French Republic Department of Archeology.
You are granted a limited license only. Some but
not all of the limitations are as follows: You
recognize that by communicating with the artist
you are creating a branch in the multiverse
using a one centimeter spherical wormhole. That
wormhole was made by CERN (European Organization
for Nuclear Research) expressly for this purpose
and may not be used in any other manner. You will
remember the session, the transcript will remain
in this branch of the multiverse, but the artist
will have no memory of it, due to conservation
of the integrity of this spacetime continuum. ...

You may be communicating with Cognitive
Technology depending on the conditions relating
to the wormhole cited in Section 2...
[I accept]

A chat window opens between and> transmission start> Greetings Bison-who-loves-women.> That’s not my name. You are not from my tribe so I insist that you address me correctly. The speaking shaman without breath told me I could send you pictures…

chauvet cave hidden


I understand that your tribe has ridiculous attitudes towards the simplest things, therefore you may address me as Bison-who-loves-mound-of-venus.> Greetings again Bison-who-loves-mound-of-venus . In my time we admire the drawings in Chauvet cave. To my eye, the series of drawings of the lions are the most compelling. How close did you get to the lions?> As close as across the tribe’s fire and the circle of sleeping people.

k> Were you afraid?
c> Sure, only a fool would not be.
k> What were you doing there?
c> Waiting for the lions to finish so I could scavenge the leftovers.
k> Tell me about the pictures of  horses in the cave.
c> Each of them was delicious and fed the tribe for a month. All were killed during different winters. We honored them especially because each was a winter of great hunger.
k> People in my tribe are curious about the hand prints.
c> The tribe had survived those winters of great hunger and grown. I put one hand print for each of our people.
k> Let’s return to the lion drawings. Did you draw them in one motion?
c> I was one with the lion. I can be one with many animals, but the bison is my home in the spirit world.
k> Do you take drugs to go there?
c> What was your honorific again? The speaking shaman without breath told me, but I want to hear it from you.
k> Handsome-by-birth-leader-of-fighters.
c> Let me remind you, Handsome-by-birth that you are not of my tribe. I think I’ve told you all I’m going to.
k> That’s as it may be,  Bison-who-loves-mound-of-venus. As you know, I’m writing you from the future, many seasons away. I’ve got a lot of great news. First, almost no one out of all tribes dies of hunger – in my tribe it never happens. Second, almost no women die in childbirth. Third, it is very uncommon for a man to die in a fight. Those are the most important things I think you should know.
c> If no woman dies in childbirth you must have very large families, I’ll bet a woman can bear twenty children while she is fertile, no?
k> No, actually it is common for a family to have two or often even  one child.
c> How sad that is! ( weepemoji soft weeping)
k> But all of our babies live to be adults.
c> So you say…. That’s amazing if true, but let’s move on. No men die fighting?
k> For some tribes is it a little more common, but it is a fact that we live in the safest time in human history. Fewer men die fighting than any other season in which people have been alive.
c> What happens when your tribe is attacked? How do men gain honor, impress women and earn wives?
k> I have two different things to explain. I have honor and success because I created things, just as you did in the cave. Those things were not pictures on a wall but they were real none the less. I am able to feed my family and bring up healthy sons. One of my sons has twin girls. My line will continue. I have never been attacked. There was an attack that happened while I have lived, but it did not concern my family.
We gain honor in a different way. It is more like gathering than fighting. We gain honor without killing or even fighting.
c> Sounds pretty weak but I’ll give you this: two healthy grandchildren and they are sacred twins as well. I had women tell me that a dozen babies were mine but only one girl survived to motherhood and she died giving birth. ( cryemojiloud weeping)
I’m remembering your speech and you said no one dies of hunger. What happens in winter when the food gathered in summer runs out? Are you good at hunting at least?
k> I don’t hunt. Before you judge me, I’ll remind you of the real success of my line. The food during the winter comes from animals we keep in order to kill them when need arises. Plant food is kept to be used during winter. (long discussion about agriculture elided)
c> That’s quite enough I believe. Now I have some other questions for you about your time. How do you teach your children correct behavior and make sure they adopt the morals of your tribe?
k> That’s a problem we have not solved. Children often do not adopt the morals of their parents. It can be a great tragedy.
c> Can you give your woman multiple orgasms so you can be sure the children are yours?
k> Uh no. We are still working on that problem. My children look so much like me that I have no doubt.
c> Yeah, many men say the same. (happyemoji chuckles) How many people sleep around your fire?
k> Two.
c> Two. Your tribe is a calamity and an abomination. Of all the things you’ve told me this is the most unbelievable. Hold on a second, I’m hoping there is a word for this in your language…Okay this speaking shaman without breath told me the word. Lonely. Your tribe consists of people who are …what was it again? Lonely. What an unbearable sadness. How do you live? With a hole in your life like that?
k> We are strong.
c> No one is that strong. I leave you in your lies. All of them from the very first word you spoke.  Your bodies are alive but your spirit has died. I have my spear and I’m about to use it. Take that!> !!!transmission end!!!

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