5 May 2015


Abuna Tuma, the Christian priest noticed the opening-crack atop this rocky hill when he first ventured here alone. He was only ten when he discovered it when a hyena emerged out of it with a strange object in its mouth, something almost like a crucifix. He would later fix his calling to priesthood at this ominous sign. He still visits this small opening in the rock on his spiritual retreats. The priest has led the local parish to believe that this was a spot where Jesus spent his ‘wilderness’ days and that there used to be an ancient church at the same spot, the remnants of the church intact underground he said. The strange tiny engravings, he believed, just inside the mouth of the opening were faded-writings in a language long lost. To keep it intact and as pure as he found it, he fixed a glassy covering over the opening, closing it to any further curiosity.
Lieutenant Mattias is a geologist in the Imperial forces, operating in and around Sudan. His job was to help the Engineering team blast a road through this treacherous land. The road will quickly transport necessary supplies to northern front. While surveying this rocky hill, he observed something like a fault line at the base of a rocky hill, like a vertical cleft. When the torch was shone into it, he observed a cave-like interior with chalky markings on the walls and some shiny powder on the ground. But too narrow for most humans to squeeze through the opening. Lt. Mattias decided to work around this rocky hill, leave it alone and record the location as potential crystal mine.
It was not long before the archaeologists of the area stumbled upon another cave-like opening just a bit uphill of the cleft at the base. What they found in this one was spectacular: there were Lascaux-like figures and that too with colors & pigments that were never known possible during ‘pre-history’. The paintings stretched inwards some 200 metres of twisting walls, like a museum of events across a time period.
Some years later, an eccentric ancient astronaut theorist raked up some noise on social media about this hill. He claimed that the whole hill is nothing but hardened sandstone but burying a large disc shaped alien ship that crashed into this location just before the last ice age. The cleft, the cave and the church openings were nothing but the cracks into the disc-like ship. He proposed that stone-age timed humans, unaware of this fact, had used one of its opening into its interiors as a dwelling and later some Christians Stylites would have possibly used the hill top too.
Recently, Dennis, a nine year old of Father Tuma’s parish, ventured atop the same hill one day and decided to remove the covering. In his innocent curiosity, he even crawled down into the opening. There is no school at this time of the year and he had all the time in the world discovering it. By evening, his absence from meal-times caused a commotion back in his village. His parents and friends, along with the priest, combed the area. Towards dusk the priest, saddened now almost sure that the boy was lost to the hyenas, went out to the hill top to pray. To his astonishment he saw the boy crawl out of the opening, just as he saw the hyena 20 years ago.
The boy was smiling, he said “Abuna, I had the time of my life!”
The priest, furious that Dennis defiled the holy place, shouted back “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!”
The boy was still gleeful “There is no church there Abuna! But a long slide that speeds you all the way to the bottom and then there is way to climb up through another tunnel. Looks like the rock termites took a long time to build it”

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