6  G R E G O R Y J A M E S to enter our second passageway when I abruptly and efficiently collided with a hanging stalactite. Stalactites and stalagmites are funny little things. Living underground, you get used to seeing them. To be honest, I hate them. And not for obvious reasons. Most people find them intrusive and frightening, always hanging around or sticking up from the ground like long jagged teeth that might swallow you up and chew your bones if they ever found you alone in a cave. Personally, none of that bothers me. A rock is a rock regardless of its shape. No, what truly bothers me is the constant dripping! All day! All night! Drip! Drip! Drip! For the love of peat moss, I would sell my brother for a day without the dripping! But alas, that’s life in the underground. I must have blacked out for a minute because I found myself lying on the cave floor. Now, with a limp, a possibly broken toe, a throbbing migraine, a likely fractured skull, and most definitely bleeding from the forehead, I picked myself up and continued my investigation. Arriving in the den, I tried desperately to dis- cern what I saw, a task made all the more difficult by the blood that was now pouring into my eyes. But there, on the floor of the den, lay Lee. He was motionless, except for his stuttering lips that repetitively and frantically mumbled some inaudible mes- sage. Black soot covered his face and hands. The charred remains of his clothes still smoldered. His left hand held what was now a twisted piece of metal, but what I was certain was once a picture frame. In his right hand, he held the handle of what I immedi- ately recognized as my favorite hammer—or what used to be my favorite hammer. These clues were more than enough to tell me what had transpired, but it was the large hole in the wall and the permanent look of surprise on Lee’s face that confirmed my suspicions. “Magnesium deposit?” I asked. “…,” Lee confirmed. It is one of the many quirks about living the subterranean life. You see, when you make your home out of caves, caverns, fis-