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The cave

Walking in the woods of a small mountain I found the entry to a cave.
Being curious I set my pocketlighter on fire and went into it.

It didn't seem to be natural as ground and walls were proportionated; maybe it was a mine years ago, although there was no woodwork.

Wide and high enough for two persons to go the tunnel was leading horizontal and straight ahead without any bifurcation, crossing or pit.
The only noise came from dropping water at many locations and my shoes moving small stones on the ground.

After ten minutes walk I turned back thinking of an exploration with equipment for some days.
I was wondering that I couldn't see the light of the cave's end, after ten minutes it changed into anxiety.

Half an hour after my entrance my pocketlighter was empty, and I got panic to find no way out.
It wasn't totally dark, there was a luminescent gleam coming from lichens growing on the rocks.

I roused myself and turned back again looking very exactly for an exit. But I couldn't find any indication.
After one hour I turned back a third time. Fear was paralysing my limbs, so I was moving slower than a snail touching the walls everywhere.

More than a day I moved in such kind before I fell asleep in cause of exhaustion.
Awaking I was hungry and I tried to eat some lichens scraping them from the rocks with my knife; they tasted very bitter.
I continued to walk in the same direction thinking that there must be an open or closed end of the tunnel.

After one week the lichens were my only food, and my water-bottle I filled with dropping water in my pauses and sleep.

After one month I've given up myself. The only activity and aim was walking; I couldn't think anymore as the situation was impossible.
The cave was still leading straight ahead, a line of more than 500 miles.

I can't tell how long I walked; 10 years, 12 years? What is time?
I think I went more than 100000 miles in a straight tunnel, uniform without any interruption.
Often I went with closed eyes in a doze, my body was going straight on automatically.

Suddenly I pushed against a barrier - it was a tree, and I could see very bright stars in a nightsky.
The way in the wood was accurate as I remembered, and also the cottage: I arrived there 18 hours after I've started my long walk.

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