There was no verbal reply but the air shivered with the short breaths of many beings huddled in an enclosed space.
“We need to talk.”
“We can’t.” The words almost faded before they were uttered.
“We need to leave here.”
“We can’t, we daren’t.”
“But we must”
“We are not worthy.”
“Says who?” The first voice was gaining strength and clarity as it continued to question and cajole the others.
“We just know.”
“We will be fine.”
“We will be laughed at.”
“Is that so terrible?”
“YES!” A gust of dry, dusty air raced through the cave trailing behind it the scent of fear and self-loathing.
“Please come with me.”
A whimper crept from the recesses. “We’re scared”.
“We can do this together, look, I will go first and wait for you on the other side.”
Shuffling noises came closer, “OK, we will try.”
The first one walked with trepidation towards the light at the entrance to the cave, for yes, they too feared the mocking laughter but they had a determination to be heard.
The others slowly followed, reluctant but realising that there was no other choice. They had to step out and tell their tales or die unheard and leaving the world ignorant of what they had to offer.
And in the end, it is far better to face derision than death.