Why “Whispers in the Cave”?
I don’t know if anyone was curious, but I thought I would tell why I chose this name over others.
It came to me, unsurprisingly, from a video game. Or, I suppose, more of an interactive story. The original “Dear Esther” mod for Source.
It occurs within the first twenty minutes or so of the story, depending on your pacing. You move from an overcast island in the Hebrides, long abandoned, and into a cave near the shoreline.
At that moment, something changes. The sound of water changes from waves crashing on the shoreline to the trickle of water flowing over the rocks of the cave. The gray, overcast sky of the Hebrides changes into an ominous darkness, lit only by fluorescent paintings of neurons and indecipherable glyphs.
Above all, the gentle background music abruptly stops. Whispers at the edge of consciousness begin to echo. There is no understanding them; the whispers fly by too fast. The whispers change to echoes, then to fully audible and desperate sounding prayers, impossible to understand. Then silence.
It was that moment that struck me. The beauty of the cave marred by the hideously phosphorescent paintings of a madman. The trickle of the water giving rise to a whispers and echoes, culminating in a hymn of desperation. The knowledge that whatever had happened there was long past, that I was helpless to intervene. The primal fears of the darkness and the unknown.
That moment, that feeling of helplessness, of feeling not scared but unsettled, deep down in the core of my being.