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In The Depths

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A gunshot went off, shattering the stillness of the night. Liam stood at the entrance of his porch and peered into the darkness. There was no moon and he could not see a thing. He wondered who had fired the shot.

It had just been a few days, that he had moved to a new area and he was already starting to prefer it to his last. Liam had made a few friends at school; he had been around a few times and had seen the outside of the jungle. Liam had frequently passed it on his way to school, he was always mesmerized by the view and promised himself that someday he would go inside and explore. He had always been interested in wildlife and nature from a young age, and it was a dream come true living right next to it.

On his first weekend here, Liam had decided to explore the depths of the jungle. He had come well prepared with the things he may need: a sandwich, for when he was hungry; a water bottle, to stop him from getting thirsty; his phone, which had a GPS; and his dad’s Swiss army knife, an obvious but necessary choice, who knew what he would find in the wilderness. Taking the Liam journey he had taken for the last 5 days, Liam found himself opposite the overgrowing jungle.

He looked back and then picked up a long stick from nearby (for his convenience in pushing away obstacles). Liam pushed the large leaves away to reveal the entrance -or the entrance he had made for himself- and took a step forward. Liam took a deep breath and took another few steps forward. Suddenly, the warm air slapped his face as the strong smell of fresh grass lingered in the air and the sound of chirping flooded the jungle.

The jungle folded around Liam like it was taking possession of him. The leafy arm fell over the way he had come and blocked his motion in every direction. Every view was unique but Liam all at once. Had he paid more attention to those one thousand-piece jigsaw puzzles his mother liked so much, perhaps he would have picked his way back by eye, but right now, in the rapid approaching twilight – not a chance? He pulled out his GPS and took a sip of water. Liam let out a long sigh, he was not as deep in as he feared but he would have to slice his way out a step at a time. It was going to take just as long to get out as it took to get in, perhaps more so. He stretched the fingers of his right hand repeatedly, opening and closing, before reclasping the handle of the knife. The fingerless gloves had kept the blisters at rest but his palms were sore.

It had now been a couple of hours, and he was still lost in the middle of nowhere. His head ached and his legs gave up. His stomach rumbled, begging for food, and beads of sweat ran down his forehead. He squeezed his eyes shut, then opened them in the effort to stay awake. He then decided to give up on his stomach and ate a few bites of his sandwich; he was planning to save it for another time when he was in desperate need of it because he wasn’t willing to have to eat coconuts (which he absolutely hated).

All of a sudden, in pitch black, a rustling sound came from a nearby bush. ‘JUST GREAT’, he muttered to himself. Liam knew he shouldn’t have been here, but he wouldn’t turn down a chance like this one. Now he deeply regretted it. Knowing there was no way it could be good news, he wished he was back at home watching a nature ad wildlife documentary rather than doing it himself, all alone. Gradually, as the rustling sound continued he could tell that whoever or whatever it was, was coming directly to him or towards him at least. Which are both circumstances that weren’t reassuring? From what he knew, indigenous people who lived in the jungle were brutal and savage, so he really didn’t want to take his chances with them – ever. He did the only thing his instincts told him; he ran. He ran towards what looked like a dark tunnel, the entrance covered in leaves. He knew it could be the only thing to save his life. He turned around for a second to make sure he wasn’t running for absolutely no reason at all. He then saw to strong-looking men, dressed in traditional clothing, holding to massive guns, chasing him. He knew there was no hope and thought it best to think positive and stay dauntless.

Liam’s heart pounded wildly as he moved towards the end of the tunnel. The little bright speck of light in front of him had grown larger and brighter with every step he took and even the air seemed less musty. Taking in a deep breath, he broke into a slow jog. However, just as he was about to leap out into the open, a gunshot cracked through the air and a sharp pain ripped through his shoulder.

8 Comments

  1. This is an amazing story! Your use of vivid description to convey the trepidation Liam feels in the jungle is both mature and advanced (though there are few minor technical errors.) I especially loved the cyclical aspect of the narrative- as it begins with the sudden sound of a gunshot and also ends with the sound of a gunshot, yet, this time aimed at the protagonist. The cliffhanger elicits too much suspense, I want to read more!

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