A Turn of Events
Stiff and sore, Brian opened his eyes to find he was no longer at the boat launch. He was lying on a bed of grass, and was in a very rudimentary hut. The air was moist and humid and he heard the slight buzz of insects flying around. As he stood up, he noticed that all he was wearing was a loin cloth. His body was tan and sweaty, but toned and muscular. Brian walked outside to see lush vegetation, with vibrant colors from flowers, fruits and berries peeking out through the green foliage. There was no one else around. He could barely make out what looked to be a trail.
“I can’t just go wandering around in the jungle” Brian said to himself, “But what am I going to do hanging out at this hut all day, I need to get out of here.”
He searched his surroundings and noticed a handmade spear resting against the entrance of the hut. Picking it up he inspected it. It was evident this was heavily used by the man who lived here, for hunting or for protection. With the spear in hand, Brian trudged into the makeshift trail straight into the unforgiving jungle.
“This must be South America, I have never been here, but this looks very familiar to what I have seen in National Geographic’s” Brian said to himself. It was at that moment he also remembered just how dangerous South American jungles could be. Snakes, spiders, boars, and jaguars. Brian looked around with trepidation as the fear of his situation set in. Screeches and hollers echoed in the distance. The leaves swayed in the light breeze, and Brian heard chirps and buzzing coming from every direction. He looked up to see the canopy of leaves blocking out the majority of the sun, everything felt warm and damp. The trees loomed liked giants above, so many trees and the vegetation so thick in parts he could barely see through. Regaining his composure, Brian walked onward.
It wasn’t long before Brian thought he could feel something or someone watching him. He stopped and looked around. Nothing looked out of place to him, and he couldn’t even begin to imagine what was considered normal around her. There the sound was again, this time it sounded like it was coming from behind him. He spun around as he witnessed the blur of something small, black and furry scurry into the brush. Brian had the spear up in self-defense, ready to try and attempt to protect himself if needed. Just as he was ready to turn and run out popped a little howler monkey. He took one look at Brian and hopped back in the brush. Brian let out a sigh of relief as he had averted immediate disaster. Heading back on the trail, Brian looked back to see the monkey following him. When Brian would attempt to make eye contact, the money would jump back into the vegetation. Amused, Brian played into the monkeys game and would walk a few steps and turn around quickly trying to catch the monkey behind him in the trail. He could tell the monkey was enjoying himself as well and soon enough the monkey just continued to follow.
Brian was feeling more confident the more he trekked through the jungle, the monkey playfully following behind. Suddenly he felt something slap him on the back. He turned around to see the monkey smiling while holding something in his hand. The monkey wound up and through something again at Brian. He inspected the material that had landed besides him, it was poop. The monkey was throwing poop at him. Trying to turn around and look at his back, he finds a smear of crap sliding down his back.
“Disgusting, get out of here” Brian said, trying to shoo away the monkey. It let out a little cackle and scurried off into the woods.
He grabbed a leaf to try and wipe off his back. Getting as much off as he can, Brian continued on. Shortly after beginning his journey he heard another rustling in the brush behind him.
“I told you to get away” Brian commented, expecting to see the monkey following him again.
There was nothing behind him. A little nervous, Brian continued walking on. There it was again, another noise behind him, this time it sounded closer. Turning back around, he saw one of the things he had feared, a giant leopard was standing in the trail staring at him. The hair on his back was standing up, and this leopard was not happy to see Brian. There was no way he could outrun one of the fastest animals in the world, so Brian stood there, locked in a stare with this large feline. Spear in hand, they were locked in a visual battle. He tried not to blink, and held his ground. The leopard let out a growl, and crouched its body down, ready to attack. Brian gripped the spear tighter and prepared for battle. He started yelling at the cat, “Get away, get out of here, ahhhhhhhhhhh” Brian yelled. The leopard was not deterred from Brian’s attempt at fright. Letting out an enormous roar that felt like it shook the leaves around him, the cat charged. Taking a step back, Brian braced himself. The ferocious predator was upon Brian before he could take another breath. Another step back cause him to fall backwards, just as the leopard leapt at Brian. Almost like he planned it, the spear planted in the ground and the leopard jumped right on it. The cat’s lifeless body fell onto Brian as a trickle of blood streamed down the spear and coated Brian’s chest. He lay there, his heart pounding, as the warmth of the cats fur rested on his body. After a minute or two, Brian pushed the leopard off of him and sat up. Staring at him 20 ft. away was the monkey. It looked like he was cheering, raising his hands in the air and mimicking clapping.
“Unbelievable, you throw shit at me, and then leave me to deal with this beast by myself” Brian joked, nervously laughing at the situation he just narrowly escaped from.
It took a few minutes for Brian to regain his composure and carry on with his journey. As he walked on, he started to hear the roar of a river, and Brian started to get excited. He was overheating, and thirsty from hiking through the humid jungle. He started running towards the river, forgetting about his near death experience he just narrowly made it out of. Just as he saw the water, he saw something he wasn’t expecting to see, a crocodile. It was gigantic, a real life dinosaur. Plant weeds hung out of his razor sharp teeth, and his reptilian eyes blinked, as Brian knew it was sizing him up. The crocodile opened its mouth, showing his meat chompers, almost warning Brian of what will come. Once again, the monkey had scurried off, letting Brian fend for himself. The crocodile took a couple steps towards Brian, letting out a hiss. He lunged the spear towards the crocodile, letting it know he meant business. Brian nearly lost the spear, as the crocodiles speed was deceiving. Taking another step towards Brian, the crocodile snapped at the spear again. Brian tried to stab the crocodile, but the crocodiles armor like skin repelled the spear.
This was a battle Brian may not be able to win, running may be his only option. Slowly taking a few step backs, being careful this time to watch his step and balance. With every step back, the crocodile took two steps forward. The distance between them was getting to close for comfort, Brian turned and ran. Branches whipping him in the face, the crashing of breaking brush followed as the crocodile sprinted after Brian. Zigzagging back and forth Brian was averting disaster, for now. This body Brian had was in excellent shape, and Brian put it to its limit. Legs and arms chugging back and forth, Brian ran and ran right into the jungle, away from the trail.
He had no idea how long he had been running, but he no longer heard the crocodile behind him. At this point, he had to take a moment to catch his breath. He put his back to a tree and collapsed to the ground, gasping for breath. In this part of the world, man was not the top predator, and Brian has realized this twice in a very short amount of time. With his heart rate finally going back to normal, Brian collected himself and his thoughts and tried to assess his situation and surroundings. He was deep in the thick jungle. He no longer could hear the sound of the river, and had no idea where the path was that he was on. With a false sense of security, Brian decided to just walk. It would do him no good to just stay where he was, and he had to get back to civilization and find a way back to the United States.
Almost as soon as Brian started walking again, he heard some rustling of leaves, followed by a low hiss. Whatever it was, it sounded like it was small. Brian froze as he tried to figure out where the sound was coming from. Ahead of him, he saw green scales and the leaves and bushes moving slightly as something made its way closer to Brian. The scales disappeared and reappeared as Brian identified it as a snake. He knew there were a number of snakes to be concerned about in South America, but he was not prepared for what he was about to see. It was huge, at least 10 ft. long, and the width of a tree trunk, a giant anaconda had targeted Brian as his last meal. Keeping a close eye on the movement, Brian saw the football sized head lift off the ground and make eye contact with him.
“Everything is trying to eat me out here, except for that monkey that threw crap at me” Brian thought to himself.
The snake started to make a circle around Brian with its large powerful body. Brian had seen videos about how strong and powerful these creatures were. Even just a bite from this snake would likely cause infection and death. If it wrapped its body around even one of Brian’s feet, there would be no way he was strong enough to escape its death grip. Brian was fed up, he just wanted to get home, and was sick of running in fear of everything that trying to kill him. Holding the spear, ready to attack, Brian lunged, the snake did too. Brian’s spear narrowly missed the anaconda, and the snake just missed biting Brian’s arm as he attacked. Again Brian attempted to drive the spear into the snake, this time piercing its body. The snaked winced in pain, but this small wound only infuriated it. Opening its mouth, showing its razor sharp teeth, letting out a nasty hiss. Without hesitation, Brian plunged the spear into the snake close to its head, this time inflicting more damage. This produced a large bleeding wound to the snake, and it apparently was enough for the snake to decide this was a battle he couldn’t win. It turned its head and started quickly slithering away from Brian, leaving a trail of blood as it left.
Brian let out a victory cry, yelling up into the sky. He had never felt so manly and powerful. Killing a leopard as it attacked, running from a crocodile that was ready for its next meal, and now fending off a large man eating snake. His confidence was building as he continued on through the jungle. He had spent all day hiking through the jungle, without food or water, and exhaustion was taking over. Brian knew he would need to find or make some sort of shelter, or he would not make it through the night. The foliage around here was huge, leaves almost as big as a person. Brian was sure he could make some sort of lean-to out of the brush. Almost as if by luck, a small clearing in the jungle produced itself, and Brian knew this was probably the best location he could find. He found a couple broken branches and propped them up against a tree. Brian needed to eliminate as many vulnerabilities while he was sleeping, so he tried to use the large trees as a barrier. He began ripping off leaves from the trees and laying them on the ground for bedding.
Once that was complete, he stared covering the branches with the leaves as a sort of roof. He covered leaf after leaf, branch after branch on top of his lean-to. Once he was done, he just had a little crawl space to enter his shelter. The sun was setting, and the animals of the night were starting to let out their evening calls. It was at this moment, Brian realized how terrifying it was to just be there listening to everything around him. He crawled into his lean-to and the confidence he had started building, quickly turned to fear. Trying to sleep, Brian was disturbed with every little noise or rustle outside the shelter. Mosquitoes had infiltrated his lean-to and the constant buzzing was infuriating. But even with all the fear and uncertainty, Brian finally fell asleep.