The Caveman Writer - Short Story

There is a writer that no one will ever talk about.

He’ll get no books of his life that document the necessary information a person has, to the oddly specific that could be fabrications.

He’ll get no book signings, where the fans line up.

No classrooms are speaking of his works, with teachers asking students for their interpretations.

That guy from the Reading Rainbow won’t read his latest work.

We forget about this great mind as if he never even existed.

As if there wasn’t a man who pushed the idea for writing, who saw all of this before it ever happened.

He is the only writer that could lay claim to being ahead of his time.

He is The Caveman Writer.

He never wrote a single word, but he saw all of this happening a long time ago.

I’d like to think this is how the story went.

One caveman who has been on the hunt many times in his long life knelt to his latest target, for what would be tonight’s dinner for him and his tribe. He said a few words to the spirits of the forest.

“Let your spirit go with the wind.

Nature accept this as my gift.”

He stuck his knife in the neck of the animal to put it out of its misery.


Standing behind the hunter was his younger son. As the father thought of how he would lift the deer, for his son is fragile, and his own body is not as strong as it used to be, his son spoke, “Hey. I was thinking as we hunted about those stories we tell each other every night.”

“You mean as I hunted. You only watched.”

“I gave you the knife.”

“Yes, you did. But one day I will not be here. Who will you give the knife to then?”

The son rolled his eyes, not in the mood for another one of dad’s long speeches about nature and responsibility. “Ugh…. Anyway. I had an idea as you killed that thing.”

“What was it?”

“It has to do with the stories that we tell every night. We should make a story, but one that the people can learn it without actually having to learn it.”

“What are you talking about? Do you not like the words of our elders?”

“Well… Yeah. It’s just…” He hates them. “Every night, we all tell stories, and then the next night, we repeat them, and what becomes of them?”

“That is how we keep our heritage. Do you not want to keep our heritage?”

“No. It’s just I think we should figure out a way to share these stories but not have to speak.”

“How do we do that?”

“I’m not sure. I haven’t gotten that far yet. But there has to be a better way for us to keep our heritage then saying the same things every night.”

“Well until then, do you mind helping me lift this animal off the ground?”

“Oh yeah.” The son got down next to his father to grab a side of the animal.

“You see many great things, my son. But do not miss sight of the things in front of you.”

“I guess.”

Later that night, the elders spoke of the same stories, and the caveman writer never again spoke of his radical idea.

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Greg Luti is an editor, and blogger on pensandwords.com. He has never met a caveman. He is fairly certain this short story is not accurate, but he has lived in a cave for a week. It was his week in a cave that he came up with this idea, and to not live in a cave ever again.

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