The Jungle

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: The Imaginarium


The fall of man is down to how it has been raised. Innocence and evil clash where they never should have in this story of the corruption of man.

Submitted: March 15, 2018

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Submitted: March 15, 2018

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The Jungle

 

Part 1

The two boys ran through the jungle, free. Despite its dangers, they ran free. The boys were part way up the mountain. Down below, the base of the mountain was a heated mess, but up the mountain, in the clouds, with a slight chill, the boys continued to run, indulging in peace and serenity. The children had no care for the thorns, snakes and other dangerous aspects of the jungle, fear was not a part of their mentality, their minds were pure, not influenced by reality. No fat had grasped onto their minds, which were as clear as God’s view. The boys were innocence’s messengers, spreading it far into the jungle, which seemed to be tamed when they delved.

The luxurious, colourful environment was a King’s envy. The boys hopped over miniature waterfalls and played stepping stones on the slippery rocks. Magnificent trees towered over the jungle, they were supreme beings that made the rest of the forest seem mundane. The glorious patterns creeping up the trunks made pictures of peace and love.

This place was no place for evil. Tranquillity, serenity, calm, peace, innocence, purity… naivety. The further in, the more beauty was revealed. Only from the sky could the true beauty of the vast garden, the clear lagoons and creeks that led towards them, the brilliant plants that created a rainbow within, and the people who lived, one with the jungle, be revealed.

They shared, laughed, played, epitomising God’s intent of human nature. The world had not shrouded their lives, engulfing them, because they were a part of a society that did not care for the creations that man brings with them. It was natural for the boys to journey into the beautiful wilderness, their mothers and fathers also had no interpretation of fear, so they allowed the boys to explore. They had the entire mountain, restricted from outside the great mound that was a God’s chair for a view of earth, but the boys did not care for that area anyway. They were too indulged in the beauty of the mountain to acknowledge the heat below.

As the boys progressed deeper into the jungle the snakes and thorns became a larger reocurrence. They had reached a point when they had realised they were moving down. This was a point that if they moved further down, influence from the world will begin to make its mark. They knew to stop and turn. But despite the danger, the thorns to only cut them slightly, and the snakes’ menace seemed to be tamed around them. They were as spiritual as the cross that Christianity has worshipped.

The boys returned to the tribe, somewhere on the jungle-covered mountain. The naturality of the native people was immense. They truly belonged, they were not moving around, invading other parts of the mountain or outside the mountain. They were at home and those who excluded themselves from this home were left to their own devices. The fires were minimal, as were their huts, using the gift of the jungle to survive.

There were no leaders or higher ranked members, equality was a key aspect of their attitude. They lived in peace, nurturing those in need, providing care and love for those who needed it. Hate, war and violence were issues irrelevant to them, they were not necessary for this community’s survival. The ones who lived in the heat begged for the hatred and anger, believing it was for their benefit, but it only led to their suffering, which they could not control. The tribe was free from this.

-----

His group had left this place and returned to the heat oppressive base of the mountain. There was an unnatural amount of serenity, and they knew they didn’t belong, afraid of awakening something that shouldn’t be disturbed, uneasy at the thought of not belonging.

The leader of this group, however, stayed on. He had come from down below. He was equipped with a small machete, a penknife, and some other survival tools. He was fairly well built, but it was his face that was his distaining feature. His roughly cut stubble had pathed an unevenly sharp route to his hair, grown out and scraggly. Sweat trickled down and dripped off the tips of independent strands. And his eyes, dark. There was a devilish demeanour about his eyes, hiding a secret that would be unwise to let slip.

He trod heavily through the jungle, his hefty boots crushing their way through the tranquil garden, and the colourful surroundings and plants did not par well with his grey and untoned clothing. His hidden movements pushing him to become more visible, as the jungles great life exposes everything about it; the only way to hide is to become a part of the jungle.

His blade was a tool of passive evil, splicing the life from plants and shredding bushes in his way. The minuscule life of this jungle began to perish; if only an animal came along, something naturally bound to this environment, he could place his aggression unto it and release his true reason for invading this paradise.

His campsite left patches of death each night, and his fires spread mess onto the ground. The black masses of smoke contaminated the pure sky, threating menace at the jungle, suggesting something bad will follow its path.

The jungle was beginning to show signs of despair and upset. Something that shouldn’t happen in a place like this was emerging. Anger was about it. It grew more thorns to scratch harshly and draw blood upon his skin, unfamiliar plants caused rashes to cover his arms and legs, more snakes to spy on his movements. He did not belong, he belonged back down with the rest. Its natural state of serenity was attempting to suppress these unencountered emotions but in a struggle.

Even he knew that he didn’t belong. His underlining sense of insecurity and paranoia slowly building something terrible. His un-restricted nature that the outside world had granted him, made sure that he was cruel. In retaliation to these suppressed emotions, in retaliation to not showing fear, he revealed viciousness.

The more he saw from the jungle, the more he realised it was unnatural for him to stay, but greed and ignorance to mankind had manipulated him into becoming someone who did not care for boundaries or restrictions. Bred in a society where he was encouraged to break restrictions had led to his influence on his surroundings.

Laughing evil was subtly crawling into this cool world, and heat was slowly growing. The leader should have gone with the rest of them, but greed does not fiddle with a man’s mind, it controls it.

-----

Eventually, something did occur, footprints, undeterminable at first, but clear soon enough. The soft dents in the dirt had a place in the jungle, not scars, but memories of something special. The delicate imprint of each toe and foot, however, was a perfect guide for him. The jungle was giving in.

The footprints led to a lagoon. He picked an apple from one of the branches nearby the clear pool. He looked into the glossy fruit and saw a red-tinted reflection of himself. He grinned and took a bite. The sweet taste ran down his throat, and it burned.

-----

Only one of the boys was playing in the jungle now. Rustling, jumping, swimming. The jungle had seemed to have developed a bi-polar personality; harsh to the outsiders and loving to those who belonged. However, the boy in the jungle continued to play, running free. The sun provided a shining, clear path for the child, for which was holy. He ran until reaching a lagoon in which he swam in for a while, once again inspecting the beauty of the jungle, from the tiny creatures on the forest floor to wild birds that laid peace in the trees. Nothing could touch his purity. Nothing could ruin his heart.

Until a rustle. An unidentified creature hid in and behind the bushes around the lagoon, lurking. The child noticed this immediately, for he knew it did not belong, but his naivety and curiosity took control of his mind, steering his actions. He climbed out of the lagoon to inspect further until he found what he was looking for. The creature was no physical monster, but a man.

The leader was startled. He did not move, afraid of scaring the child, he did not want to lose this chance. He made eye contact with the child, who stood frozen, not in fear, but in lack of sense. This situation was never supposed to occur, and somehow, the child knew this. They glared into each other’s eyes. The boys shimmered a hope for innocence, a capsule of light in a world of darkness, whilst the leaders were empty, soulless. Due to the emptiness, the child did not see the troubles that man brings with him, he was unafraid because of his lack of exposure, and this lack of exposure had continued into this man’s eyes; secretive and untrustworthy. For the boy was infected with innocence, and the leader was immune.

Before the boy truly knew what he was looking at, however, he had broken the eye contact and continued his search in the jungle. The leader was so startled by this occurrence he did not think to chase after the boy, he just kept frozen, like an animal facing its predator, except his predator had not just leapt upon his life, but something much worse, a threat.

 

Part 2

If there was one of them, there was going to be more. Find the rest, eliminate the threat. A truly evil sense had engulfed his mind. Murder was now his mission, and nothing would stop the dark forces that took control.

His blade and force were now beginning to make an especially violent imprint onto the jungle. Tearing whatever was before him, wounding the jungle, bleeding it of its life. The leader had been following the faint footprints of the boy for a while. Sometimes these prints were unrecognisable, barely grazing the floor.

As each footprint occurred, another set followed, heavy, fracturing the forest floor. Whilst tramping through the jungle, his clothes became darker, covered in dirt and constantly attacked by flies. He was under siege from the buzzing creatures almost all the time, leading them.

He slashed, crushed and gouged until something significant came to his feet.

-----

One of the tribal members had left the camp to find the young boy and find food with him. His tanned skin and fair hair were like that of the boys. He was pure and cleansed too. Nothing in the jungle could harm him, not even the snakes and thorns, flies attempted to grasp onto his skin, but they continually failed, and the man was free; impurities were scarce.

His calm body pattered through the jungle, he was as clear as the sky, bright, holy, serene, peaceful. No blades of sharpened sticks mounted upon his waist or in his hand. No innocent animals slung over his back. No mud, dirt or blood smudged on his skin. The jungle accepted him as a protector of purity.

However, there is no need for a protector unless there is a predator. The creator must have foreseen this arrangement. The garden was only a landscape of untainted forest whilst the pure inhabitants slumbered. An interruption in this calm would cause a struggle for equanimity.

The leader followed lost trails for some time, before finding a faint set of larger footsteps. This was no child and an underlying sense of fear grew in the leader. This was unusual, fear was something one could not afford to suffer, however, in an unventured land, the leader was pushed into a game of competence in guerrilla warfare; for he had not been exposed to an environment of such purity, along with dangers that lurked within. Down below was a fight up front.

He followed the steps to clear patch of land where great trees did not fall a deep presence upon him. The footsteps seemed to have merged with another. A smaller pair. The leader followed the uneven pair, and eventually, the trees closed in again. The footsteps still together. Single file. Trying to hide their numbers. This was a defence mechanism; the fathers of these prints knew of disturbance in balance. They felt it. He heard, saw and smelt it.

The leader paused. He knew that they knew, but what next. The chase. In the corner of his eye stood a child. Subtlety was no longer a possession of his, and he ran until he had hold of the child, grasping on. The child span round, and this time he saw what truly laid in this man’s eyes. Something dark was only the surface. In desperation, the leader had let down a blockade that would lead to his reality. The child saw several secrets and horrors deep in his eyes. He was staring, unbroken, revealing the truth of this land below the clouds, and he was scarred.

With one hand still firmly wrapped around the boy’s arm, he reached into his pocket to reveal a small number of berries. This was a rare act of compassion, but this compassion was not natural, it wasn’t spiritual for kindness, but a tool for manipulation, a mechanism for persuasion. The boy raised his hand to begin his snack when a call from behind the crouched man occurred. The boys head shot up and he broke free from the startled man.

The leader shot up as he watched the boy sprint into the forest. But as one set of feet rushed away, another was coming towards him. His left hand moved to his belt. His freshly sharpened blade shot out its sheath and he turned. Whilst turning he knew whatever was behind him would not be pleasant; it was enough to frighten the child. The corner of his eye revealed something. Human-like. Tanned. Fair hair. Bleeding.

The tribal member had run forward into the blade. Dark, crimson liquid began to spit onto the floor and the leader. A puddle of blood forming quickly. Blood also dribbled out of his mouth. His feet dug into the ground as if he was clasping onto the forest floor for more life. His tanned skin turned pale, and his eyes drained of innocence. However, he didn’t struggle or grunt or move as his last breathes escaped through his blood-stained lips, he just let it happen. This was his life, and he accepted it for what it was, grateful for what already was. And then, he fell back. The blade slipped cleanly from just below his rib cage. The ground did not feel an impact, as he landed softly, but the dirt jumped into the air and placed a landing point on the body.

The horrid noise of flies and snakes scraped at the inside of the leader’s ears, threatening his sanity. He stood still in a fixed position, he was swallowed by guilt; nothing he had ever felt before. His muscles, limp. His mind, blocked from awareness. Murder was not new, the tribal member was not only a lamb of life but unfortunately a simple mind to the world outside the jungle; leading to the blood of innocence to lay on his hands.

However, he was not the only one who felt the death. The jungles harmony was interrupted such ignorance, it was impossible not to notice. The planted body was stuck to the floor but was not going to grow. Its blood dripped from the knife down to the body, and the jungle was enraged. A sense of belonging was no longer what the hunter had to be concerned about. The nature of this occurrence was not something to be brushed away and hidden in the jungle’s secrets.

The jungle embraced the body, but the leader was not going to tread easily through its paths any longer.

-----

The wind pierced at the leader’s face. The heat seared his blood-stained skin. The moisture of the air took hold of his lungs, twisting at them, choking them. The snakes slithered with sly, threating at his sanity. Flies and mosquitos made meat from his thick flesh. He was burning from the outside in, apart from his mentality.

His fears, paranoias, made him disillusioned at is surroundings. Subtle noises: flies buzzing, snakes hissing, leaves rustling; something was hiding in this jungle, something cruel and untamed, something monstrous. His mind began to eat itself in worry, a beast stalking his every move was tearing him.

But his fear did not only take him down a path of paranoia but instead, divided him, with anger. Dread and anger caused a suffering he had not felt before. Pure hate could not be derived from a combination of these two, but something else, something which was un-natural and un-tamed.

 

Part 3

Visions of a beast, shrouded in darkness, haunted his sleep, leaving him restless. And he only woke to the anxiety that waited for him in the jungle. This passive warfare that the jungle was releasing was ruthless.

He climbed up from another night, to find something wasn’t right. No flies chewed at his skin, nothing tugging at the back of his mind. Was this a sign of compassion, or a false hope. He looked around; nothing but beauty. After venturing further into the jungle, he noticed something on the ground. Not a colour of the jungle, a droplet laid still. Another sat only a few inches in front of it; this continued for a while until the droplets turned into miniature pools. Soon enough it was splatters of blood that covered the floor. The leader's pace picked up with the speed that he ran through the jungle with. His breath increased. His veins pumped harder. Until it was found.

The body of the tribe member hovered only slightly above the ground. The leader’s breath was cut from his lungs. Unable to breathe, he moved back and fell. The body seemed to drop constantly with blood clear enough to see a reflection in, but the blood didn’t stop. The body raised into the air and began dropping blood onto the leader's face and hands. The raining blood shook and woke something within him. He shut his eyes after regaining control over his body. When they opened, the figure disappeared, along with its drizzling gore.

He wanted to be rid of this. This wasn’t right. He crawled out of the small path that he had been led down, still conscious of the rustles and subtle patches of unclear darkness in the corner of his eyes. He had an idea. Cruelty was something that he was going to use back against the jungle. What had happened here had changed him, moving from down below and being exposed to the light in one chaotic mess was a mistake. The ones chosen for life in the mountains were put there to retain the purity in the world established by God, interruptions to this will only lead the fire of the world.

He gathered his belongings and made tracks off to an area of the mountain that was near the peak. The winds got harsher along with the humidity, but he knew that no matter what the jungle threw at him, he could survive it. Somehow, he knew that the jungle was fighting back, but it didn’t have the permission to kill, that would truly ruin its so-called pure nature.

-----

No one would have seen such a sight. A spectacle as such as this one belonged in the sight of the eye down below, not in the skies. The blue and patches of white were engulfed and consumed by a cloud with such destruction at its core, nothing would escape it. Contaminating, grasping, spreading, growing. It was a creature from hell, travelled from the corner of an eye.

The leader looked up at the sky, not under full comprehension of what was occurring. But his fear had disappeared. His anger had been released. But his guilt was growing with the cloud. He looked down. An extreme haze of crippling heat screamed, clasping onto whatever it could. The phoenix blaze was not allowing any mercy. It burned through wood like flesh; for the flesh of innocent lives sizzled in the inferno.

He stood at the top of a small rock, watching the orange and red flashes develop the menacing cloud, in a crooked stare. He had no remorse but fell ill from what had occurred here. A tear shed down his cheek, this seemed to be the only place he had every shown weakness. In a place of control and oppression, he had been manipulated into the man he was today, but he should never have come here.

In the last breath, he knew there was no escaping his mind or the chaos. Fall. Fall. Fall. Burn. His skin melted away with the rest of the jungle. The screams of the forest and its inhabitants were silent though, nothing escaped their lips that conveyed pain or desire for help. They accepted their fate, as it was the fate God had given them.

Even the boy’s eyes didn’t shed a tear, even he knew that this was his fate. His blue eyes just watched the red, and let what was going to happen, happen. The carrier of innocence was no more, just ashes.

 

 

 

 

 



© Copyright 2018 Tom Smith. All rights reserved.

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