My weekend was a bit… hectic and I completely missed the Cracked Fiction submission deadline, but I did write the story so I figured I might as well post it.
The prompt was to use the phrase “I told you it was only a theory” and had a 300 word limit.
“I told you it was only a theory!” she brushed a loose strand of hair from her face, watching the back of the old man before her.
“Ah…” his tired raspy voice echoed across the dark, “Every theory has a hint of truth child.”
His hands shakily dragged across the azure gleam of the etchings on the wall; calligraphy, graven images, spread across the cave wall and disappearing into the gloom around them.
“Regardless…” her voice came out small and fearful, “This theory is, well, ludicrous.”
The old man laughed, the wisps of white hair clinging to his scalp shook,
“Do you deny the truth even as it stares you in the face?”
“The fountain of youth is a fairy-tale for demented old foo-”
The old man turned suddenly, the torch light in his hand shining across her face, making her cringe from the sudden movement and the heat. His beady eyes were dark. Intense. For a moment she feared the aged man. Even with the anger, the old man’s voice was calm. Soothing,
“Do not lose faith child, when we’re so close.” He turned back towards the glowing wall engravings, his body shook in either excitement or old age. “Today we will uncover the truth or fallacy of this supposed fairy-tale.” he spat the last word out vehemently.
Seeing his intensity, she involuntarily took a step back as she watched the old man straggle further into the dark cave. She wondered if this was the same kind of faith that drove religious men towards ungodly acts of violence; towards seemingly righteous causes that only ended in death. As the walls continued to glow around him, she suddenly feared for her life in the presence of the old man, wondering where this step of faith would lead them.