When I put down the telephone I took some things, I put them in a backpack and I went to the train station. I would have to take 3 trains and it would take me 19 hours more or less to get there. I would do anything to not take a plane.
I arrived to the station, I went to the window and I bought the tickets. Well, that´s it, I thought, in 45 minnutes the first train will leave. I bought something for the journey and I waited. I took out my notebook; I wanted to get something clear. What Roger told me didn´t have any sense. In fact he didn´t say anything at all, so I put my notebook back again. I met Roger years ago, in a concert. Since that day Roger became an important element in my life.
He went to live to
Brittany, to , a couple of years ago. We kept in contact but, of course, distance does its work and life goes on for everybody. Even so I saw him at least once a year, when he dropped around. Rennes
The train arrived, finally. I got into the train, looked for my sit and I thought how nice it would be if no one will sit next to me. It worked. The train started the engine. Ok, I thought, it´s done.
That morning, before seven to be more exact, the telephone woke me up. It was Roger.
- Rita! Rita!
- Who is it?- asked I still quite sleepy
- It´s me, Roger
- For heaven´s shake Roger. What time is it?
- it´s almost seven in the morning- he said
- Mmmhmm- I complained
- Hey, wake up, you must come
- "I must come"?. Wait a second, wait, wait, what´s going on?
- Didn´t you have holidays?- he asked
- Well, yes, more or less, they fired me...
- Then you have to come to
he insisted Rennes-
- But what happened?- I didn´t understand anything
- Now I can´t tell you anything, but it´s... you must come. Write down the address. When you arrive call me and I´ll pick you up.
- Ok, ok, but wait- said I while looking for a pen - Ok, tell me
I wrote it down.
- Thanks Rita, thank you a lot. I knew you would come. Big kiss for you.
And he put the telephone down.
What the hell was going on?
So there was I, sitting on a train on my way to
. Then I´ll take another train to Barcelona Paris, with stops at Girona, Figueres, Limoge, Orleans and finally Paris Austerlitz, then I´ll take another one to Paris Montparnasse and finally the last one to . I don´t know why but is so easy for me to go on adventures like this one. Rennes
I arrived to
. At 20,30h pm the train to Barcelona left. I shared the cabin with a woman from Paris . She had an hotel there and she invited me to go, of course, she even gave me a card with the telephone number. At 21,45h she took a pill and she just passed out. There was also another woman in the cabin. At 20,37h she put on a pijama and went to the cot. I say cot because the word “bed” is too big for it. So my war buddies left me with my digressions. You were allowed to smoke. I say this cos this kind of journey, for a smoker, wouldn´t have been possible nowadays, of course. I don´t know how many times did I go to the restaurant car but they were a lot. Roger. At the border the police got onto the train, and after one hour they took a couple of guys with them. I decided to go to the tiny cabin again to try to sleep. I think I slept for an hour or something but I ended up at the restaurant car again. Roger. At daybreak I went to the corridor to enjoy the view. We were going through a wooded area and there were about Orleans 40 cm of thick mist covering everything. It seemed the trees were floating. All was grey. All was a bit spooky. Roger. The woman from appeared. A few after the train stopped and she got off. She told me to go to her hotel again. Orleans
The train woke up slowly. Life was starting again. When I went to my cabin again, the 20,37h´s woman was already, groomed and dressed. I say hi, she answered back.
The train arrived to
more or less on time. From there I went to Austerlitz Montparnasse station and I took the las train.
Two hours and a half later I arrived to
and I called Roger. Rennes
When I saw him I almost couldn´t recognize him. He was much thiner and he didn´t look too good. He seemed 20 years older.
- Thanks Rita- he said and he hugged me.
- Well…are you gonna tell me what´s going on? Cos i´ve been 20 hours travelling and I don´t know why yet- I asked him smiling
In the car I asked again.
- Well, how are you?
- Good- he said
- You seem tired
- Yes, well, a bit
- And what´s so important to make me come?- I asked
He didn´t answer
- Hey, what happened, I rememberd you a bit more talkative- I said
- When we are at home i´ll explain- was his answer.
I watched him out of the corner of my eye. And I didn´t say anything else. How strange.
We arrived to Roger´s house. He showed me my room, I had a shower, I change my clothes and I came back quickly to the livingroom.
I found Roger absorbed in hundreds of papers, pictures, draws, notes…. I got closer to the table and I sat down.
He looked at me, he took his glasses off and he began to tell me a weird story about secret caves. I couldn´t belive what I was listening. When he finished the story we went to sleep, in the morning we were going to the cave.
After thinking for some time, I reached to the conclusion that Roger was completely nuts.
According to Roger, when he arrived to
he joined a group that went on trips to the countryside, just to know people, he said. Since he made quite some excesses in his youth he thought an activity like this one would be good. After a few months he was tired of the “explorer´s group” but he quite liked a lot the trips through the mountain, so he kept going by his own. Sometimes he even camped somewhere and stayed there for a couple of days. In one of these weekends he discovered a cave. His first contact wasn´t too productive, those were his words. But soon he noticed something was going on inside that cave. He began to go every weekend, it became an obsession. Rennes
We woke up early, we took the car and we went to the aforesaid cave. The acces was far more complicated than I thought; we needed ropes and averything.
When we arrived to the entrance a nauseating smell burned my throat.
- You´ll get used to it later on- Roger said
- Yeah, sure
He gave me a flashlight and he began walking.
But…what the fuck am I doing here?, I thought.
I followed Roger with some difficulty.
- Hey, are we gonna get inside? Cos I don´t like this too much..
- Shut up!!- he said- did you hear that?
I tried to sharpen my senses, but I couldn´t hear anything.
- No- I said
We kept walking slowly. My hartbeat was really accelerated.
Suddenly Roger stopped.
- We’re gonna wait here a bit- he informed me
He looked into all directions like he was looking for something. I couldn´t see anything autside the renge of my flashlight. But it seemed Roger didn´t need his.
- Is something gonna happen?, then tell me or I will have a heart attack.
- Trust me
- Is not that I don´t trust you Roger but i´m scared to death, I don´t like this place, it stinks, i´m cold, I can´t see anything, I think i´m walking over bugs and sure I have somethi..
- Did you hear that?- he asked me- did you hear that or not?- he turn around looking at me
I couldn´t move
- What was that?- I asked
- Come, follow me- he said grabbing my arm
- No. Wait a moment. What´s going on here?
- I don´t know- he said – I never saw it, I always wake up here, where we are now. I thought if I could come with somebody else maybe we could go a bit further
- You wake up here?
- Yes, las three times. I woke up on the floor. And I don´t remember anything. I can hear some noises and next thing I know is that i´m on the floor, exhausted- he told me
- And what do I have to do here? Do I have a mission or something?
- Come on, let´s walk a bit more- he said
- Look- I said- I follow you just because i don´t know how to go out
We walked and walked till we got to a part a bit wider
- I never got till here- he said
- Well and now what?- I asked
- Did you see that??!!
I turned around very scared
- Hello?- Roger shouted
- No, no, no hellos, you´re shitting me, there´s no one here
- Yes, there was something over there
- An animal- I said
- It was big- he said
- Well, then a big animal. Anyway, what are you trying to find here?- imasked very nervous
Suddenly Roger´s face changed, the expression changed; I couldn´t see much but even his eyes seemed different. I was scared. He began to babble something incomprehensible.
- Roger, are you all right?- I asked grabbing his arm. He was rigid.
I shook him a bit but he didn´t react.
- Let´s go, come on, let´s leave this place- I said. But he didn´t move.
He was standing there, without moving. He turned around, he was in front of me. A shiver ran through my body. He came closer and closer, I moved away. He was three centimeters away from my face and then he opened his mouth in a hideous way and the most horrifying cry i ever heard in my life filled the cave with horror. It was a painful and endless cry. His face was distorted. I was very close to lose my mind. He began having very heavy convulsions, he fell down. He shouted, he writhed. I didn´t know what to do and I started crying for help and shouting. I didn´t even want to get close to Roger, I was terrified. He was seized with I don´t know what, I called him by his name a lot of times. He stood up and looking at me he began to sing something in a language I couldn´t understand. The worst was that I heard like someone was answering to his song. I shouted even more and panic took me. I told him I was going to leave, I told him we should leave that fucking cave but he seemed to be somewhere else. I begged him to come with me. But everything was in vain. I will be outside, I said. I wait for you outside, I repeated.
I was full of doubts and remorse and after a while I managed to find the exit. I was shaking, it was raining. It wasn´t very clear for me what happened inside the cave. I didn´t know where was I, not even where the car was. I started walking.
I woke up in a hospital. I didn´t understand anything till I began to remember everything
- Roger- I said and I tried to come out of the bed
A nurse appeared and she indicated me not to move. He talked with another nurse in french. They called a third one who spoke my kanguage.
- Good morning- she said- How do you feel?
- What happened? And Roger?- I asked
- You have benn four days in a coma. They found you on the forest, all wet and your clothes were all distroyed. They brought you here.
- Who found me?
- A family
- And Roger?
- There was nobody else with you
- But Roger was in the cave- I said very nervous
- When you arrived to the ospital you said something about a cave. The police went to the area but they didn´t find anything.
I began to cry
- We wre in a cave…- I sobbed
- Listent, could be the hit…
- What hit?
- You had quite a hit in your head. You must saty for some day more in the hospital. Do you have relatives here? Any acquaintance?
- Roger- I said
They made a lot of questions and a lot of tests. Even police came. No one knew anything about any cave and nobody reported any missing person called Roger.
When I was able to leave the hospital I went to Roger´s place. No one opened the door. I tried hard to remember the way to the cave. I rented a car and looked for it for some days, but everything was useless. I went back to Roger´s place many times, I called to his telephone number, I even sent him letters. I never knew anything else about him.
Text: Vanesa Pomar
Art: Miguel Sp