Curl up with a cocktail and Thea Prieto’s “From The Caves,” and walk the line between truth and myth, story and identity
SEP 16, 2022
Winner of the Red Hen Press Novella Award, Thea Prieto’s From the Caves, portrays a nightmarish future, where a dwindling number of humans reside naked in caves, trapped between a wasteland and a boiling sea. Every moment, they struggle against suffocating heat, thirst, and starvation. To ease their suffering, they tell each other stories of how their world began: with a hungry sun, a great war, a flood, and a poisoned sea. Sky, the youngest of the group, holds words as precious as drops of water, scouring each for the meaning in his pleasure-less existence.
This novella grapples with definitive questions about what it means to be human, including how to derive purpose from the act of living. In so doing, the text traces the line between truth and myth, story and identity: “[…] Sky shuts his eyes. He shuts out Teller and the empty drum and Mark is there, screaming Waste and Save it, the walls of Sky’s mind swirling with shadow writing and the dead and the past and we are alone–the darkness cares nothing for us.”