Lappe

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: dreamscape
The title is taken from a game animal. Lured by a Trinidad jungle hunt, people are chased down like one in a deadly man hunt by rich thrill seekers. 4000 words.

Submitted: December 09, 2018

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Submitted: December 09, 2018

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Afternoon laid bare a forest clearing, a luxury Benz G-Class is on site. Outside the Benz several people load double barreled shot guns. Completed, they’re handed over to several others, middle aged to old men and well-manicured, dressed in hunter’s outfits consisting of camouflage clothes inclusive of cap, boots and bag. One gun is gold plated.

 

The hunters move twenty feet away from the G-class till beside yet a fourth man. Professionally attired, proclaims to hunters, 'We provide a forbidden experience, gentlemen.' From the men's expressions 'forbidden' didn't register as the expected meaning. Collective faces reflect anticipation.

 

The aids have a quizzical expression. The well-dressed man answers the standing group, ‘I am these gentlemanly men’s host. The purpose today is the hunting of the ultimate lappe.’

 

An assistant, Leonard grins when the man finished speaking.

 

Another assistant a woman, Ary, finds it funny too. ‘Someone should have told me April Fools was this day!’

‘My organization arranges for those with money and more important the taste to partake in,’ the host says.

 

…a shotgun's pellets kicking up the ground at their feet alerts them to what the four already created, rivalled by the deafening blast – a dark atmosphere. The host reiterates by arrangement that his clients, this time the Lodge, are provided by his people to in a test of grit, conquer the ultimate quarry. Then declares, ‘To dare partake in what the so called sane world all but dream and even afraid of, these gentlemen are unlabored, constraints of humanity are broken.’ He adds, 'Excitement comes from the thrill of the hunt and not the kill saying goes.' He proceeds to dehumanize too, ‘Two legged lappe.'

 

The people have shocked countenances.

 

‘On behalf of the Lodge, you are politely bid run.’ The Lodge comprise members of Trinidad’s elite and powerful. Men in the shadows who politicians that took an oath to serve all society’s strata, kowtow to them. It’s like time stopped.

 

Not everyone is cowed. A man obstinately sat crossed legged on the ground forcefully saying a man prefers death by the sword than hunted like an animal. ‘He compared us to game animals!’ continued to the others appalled.

 

The fellow would not budge despite prompting. The standing aids and their tormentors trade eye contact. The air tense. 'Kill me, kill me, kill me!' he fell over. Milliseconds before perforated by pellets. Slain then and there, this next deafening blast can’t swamp the eliciting yells and shock from the remaining four.

 

‘Oh god Phalus!’ yells Leonard.

 

One takes flight the others replicate seconds later. Run they do toward the nearby grown forest. Edderson, the killer, remarks disappointed, ‘Wasted good shot.’

 

From a distance at the forest edge, the hiding mass of humanity fearfully spots the G-Wagen, its boxy frame driving away with all their tormentors down a track. A perplexing development. ‘Not chasing?’ says a man Kenro. Phalus lay in place.

Leonard, ‘Did not just happen.’ Then louder as half angry, ‘Did not just see that!’

It’s decided the prudent thing is getting help.

 

Later the four are walking in the forest, some have phones out. They are covered in sweat, rest was not the agenda. Kenro, ‘To believe somebody says OK to hunting people in an excursion.’

‘To believe a statesman in this…’ Leonard was saying when from cover a blast splits the air and one prey fell dead, Kenro. The survivors are unable to help the deceased and scurry away for their lives.

 

They weren't going to let them have a peaceful departure from this world. Surely left back at the clearing so they could ambush them. Once more all the hiding people could do was watch from a distance. This time, emblazoned on the eyes from the undergrowth three well camouflaged figures emerge, middle figure has the golden gun. Edderson, Melman and Dick walk over and are watched posing and snapping pictures with the corpse, like they would with a lappe.

‘Learned that skill shot from me Dick,’ congratulates Melman.

‘Imitation is the best flattery.’

In a joking tone imitating jealousy, ‘Hey, hey don’t think you can take my crown.’

Tears ran down Ary’s face.

 

Lappe is a local term of the lowland paca. America has its quail, a small bird, while Trinidad a large, rodent pursued as a game animal. Now a term for game people.

 

Wasn’t any choice but to move till they find help. Desperation at a basic level – escape preserving your life.

 

As the little band walk with urgency, their footsteps on the forest floor and breathing adds to the natural forest sounds such as insects. Leonard was trying his cell. Vanderpaul anxious, ‘Come on come on!’

‘The signal bar is nil.’

‘Somebody’s gotta make contact before their juice dries up.’

Leonard, ‘All our cells have enough to make a call. Something’s messing up the signal.’ Something clicked on Ary’s expression. He continued, ‘Juice feels the least of our problems.’

‘Excuses are your biggest. Try it again!’

‘You, me, her have tried ours…Phalus and Kenro didn’t get the chance.’

‘Give it to me,’ Vanderpaul agitated relieves the man of it and feverishly dials the pad.

Ary, ‘Taking it out on him can’t save us. Leonard, you just said it – the signal. If in a bad spot the signal can’t reach outside from the phone.’ Extracting her mobile, unlocks the screen, staring at it. ‘Mine has blank bar and I bet Vanderpaul the same.’

‘Can’t get calls from outside neither,’ he replies. ‘Beyara forest has all kind of obstructions to the signal. A dead zone Ary. Penned in like slaughter cattle.’

‘Watch our phones for a good reception.’ She says.

 

The gentlemen actively track on foot but don’t have anything in sight.

 

The people traverse a moss covered fallen tree trunk over a gap. Serene the forest was...to the eye at least. Were your life not on the line you’d admire the abundant natural beauty. Forest life continues unabated, oblivious to the plight of some humans. By now later on there is no sign of would be killers or is it worse, help? Ary, ‘Can’t shake the feeling they’ll want to reach us before anyone else can.’ She wasn’t referring to salvation.

A discussion on how this befell innocent people - experienced forest guides advertised for in the papers. Job to guide some tourists through Trinidad’s Beyara. Pay was sweet.

 

Vanderpaul slapped his forehead in anguish. ‘Back of my mind nagged how those three were locals not tourists!’

‘Dick the member of parliament set your instincts off,’ Leonard says.

‘Let me get it,’ Vanderpaul tries coming to grips, ‘that host man said the Lodge. Ah set of rich man who run things in Trinidad. They take up hunting people!’

Leonard, ‘When wealth goes to your brain – psychopaths.’  

Ary, ‘And I thought those drug killers up Laventille were bad.’

‘Bastard!’ Vanderpaul had the energy to be infuriated, ‘ultimate quarry means we're the smartest animals eh?'

It’s reiterated this is some fantasy hunt the host was boasting his trap about for money bags. The man said organization, so others in it. Leonard sums up, ‘This is to the death, and these sadists won’t go to Remand.’

 

The hunter connoisseurs engage in tracking techniques – noting broken twigs, flattened bush from their feet. The phone signal remains depressingly nil as if fate abandoned them. 

 

Later the game stalkers eventually get in sight and now perform hunting technique. They are unseen. The game sweaty and exhausted, a double barrel aligns with a quarry, slowly a thumb pulls back on its hammer…

 

Last second Leonard knocks Ary out the way with his own body, in consequence took the pellets instead.

 

Vanderpaul yells. For the two of them seeing this as it were from expressions something took away the core of their souls. This shock is only fleeting as Vanderpaul takes the woman’s hand, pulling her up to her feet quickly and it plays out again. Given no choice tired legs are made to run a distance, no more shots follow. Once they stopped running yet again hidden by the forest, eyes must behold what was alive moments ago treated as a prize stripped of humanity.

Three men emerge from cover and stroll towards the body.

 

‘I spoke with him,’ Ary says. ‘Wanted to realize his dreams in life. Those pigs think they have right to snatch it away?’

 

Reaching it, Dick is addressed by Edderson, ‘Another master hunt. Something to tell constituents eh MP?’ MP. Member of Parliament.

This politician responds, ‘Only a jungle cat with good hearing could have spotted us moving in.’

‘For sure. Don’t know what we would do if they hadn’t invented camouflage attire. Skittish animals are a handful.’ Yes, these upper crusts ‘consider’ fellow humans as wild beasts.

Melman feels compelled to give his two cents, ‘Tell the constituents that are part of our group. Skittish is what makes our pastime a challenge.’ He considers the wound a bit. ‘Nailed the critter in the torso.’

Dick, ‘At that range you don’t destroy a lot of meat.’

 

As before time is taken to pose beside a kill, taking cell phone pics.

 

This is no make believe. Website Mail online has a piece, ‘Could Hunger Games become a reality? Hunting HUMANS may be a hobby for the rich in the next 100 years.’

 

The popular Hunger Games books are set in a dystopian world in which children are selected to participate in a televised death match.

While the terrifying idea is merely fiction, a world in which we hunt humans could be a reality in the not too distant future.

A tourism expert from the University of Central Lancashire says that hunting humans will be a hobby for the wealthy within 100 years. As well as predicting it becoming a sport within the next 100 years, the researchers say that by 2200 it could even become televised - much like The Hunger Games.

In the paper, Daniel Wright, who led the research, said: 'In the year 2200 death and hunting humans will form part of the tourism entertainment industry and a practice carried out by the wealthy-elite.'

The researchers suggest that there is already a trend for 'dark tourism' with concentration camps open to the public, and museums dedicated to torture, such as the Clink Prison museum in London.

This apparent fascination with death could lead people to hunt humans as an underground sport as early as 2100.

Mr Wright said: 'As a result of past and current engagements with murder, death and human atrocities, humans will gradually become more accustomed to death as a form of spectacle, influenced by current entertainment, movies and the media.

 

Pay heed.

 

However, for people to start hunting humans, the world will need to take a turn for the worse, driving a gap between the rich and poor. 

Mr Wright said: 'Changes in our natural environment will lead to great challenges, lack of water, depleted food resources and greater disparity between the wealthy and impoverished; all of which will drive the change in our humanly existence.'

However, the researchers believe that humans in the future will kill others in a 'claimed aim to reduce population size', although there will be a 'perverse thrill and excitement' to it.

 

Wikipedia contains an exact description called human hunting.

 

'Sick friggin bastards,' seethes Vanderpaul. He takes a few steps in a charge. 

‘No, no, no! They’ll kill you.’ Ary says, using her body to hold the man back. 

 

They do, must keep walking. Searing the soul was people they knew spent their last day running for their lives the way game animals do. No sight of their would-be butchers, give in to human physiology and rest, following an argument because realistic cover was way off in the yonder, but won by pointing to the geography means the money bags cannot approach within pellet range without they themselves stripped of cover. The weary survivors leave the foliage and into a fairly large clearing, which the argument was centered on.

 

In conversation admiration is said of Phalus. Ary, ‘A man who'll never be under heaven known as a coward.’

‘I respect his guts,’ concedes Vanderpaul. ‘Telling you from my heart though I wouldn’t want to sit there and be shot. Go down fighting.’

He is equally forthright in the following, ‘Make it out and tell the story, justice for those people.’

‘Hey there’s no I with me.’

‘Damn it stop arguing! If I can take even one down and steal a camera phone. Send your cell the images.’

The phone’s signal was dishearteningly the same. It’s doubtful anyone can reach them even if they called. The rest is short as they dare and get to walking.

 

In time unexpectedly arrive at the barricade. Literal barbed wire in the jungle. No reason government, many governments put that in bush. A possibility Dick pulled some strings. Vanderpaul says the only animal safe are the lappe. No way to cross but instead find a way round.

 

Ary slumps down in depression, squatting on her legs. ‘God save us.’ He retorts, ‘He ain't here. Just us and them.’

 

The hunted are still walking the forest again later. ‘Vanderpaul!’ Ary alerts to the killers several tens of feet away. At last spotted early.

‘Gave the game away,’ Melman alarmed.

‘No worries brother,’ Dick opines, ‘maybe we’ll get the best sport to come.’

 

‘Get going Ary.’

‘No.’

‘Go!’ he demands loudly. ‘Remember what I said…I’ll lure them away.’

Reluctantly she acquiesced by deed only and they run separate ways. The savage triumvirate splits.

 

A while later a shot obliterates some bush. Let’s Vanderpaul, who’d been looking around, know there’s Melman after them, the hunter pursues, the running prey who manages to get out of sight. A mini hunt develops.

 

Middle of the hunter’s search, hears a sound and walks toward it.

Suddenly the old geezer waylaid by an attack from an unexpected direction. The gold murder instrument falls. The sound was a clever distraction. Ary continues her flight, stumbling as she went. The prey gets the better in the fight with a murderous old geezer, controlling the gun, the supine hunter, his visage fuming, gets mocked, ‘Flat on your ass. You bastards inflict pain on innocent people for giggles. You’ll never understand what it is to be a human.’ The prey prepares to fire pointing it his way.

 

A flock takes wing in response to a noise. A distance away Ary hears a shot, tensing up as body language. Vanderpaul is down, Dick’s weapon is smoking. Not without a little mocking of theirs, ‘Weren’t scared too bad?’

 

Soon Ary herself confronted by the not so tender mercy of Edderson. As it were a mythological beast, fangs dripping blood.

‘Chase us around like animals. You fellas would cry if was your family,’ she asserts defiantly.

‘We are the kind left with managing the masses. Throwing a bone whenever you fuss for something.’ The rich have the means of production by their businesses providing needs and wants to common people so in their mind puts them in a league above commoners. ‘So what if this goes down now and then.’

‘You bleed like me.’

‘Turn around and run.’ His gun waist high emphasizes. ‘Phalus was a waste.’ Here a chance to make up his lack of sport.

‘No.’

‘Do it and have a have a chance,’ insists he, worst of the triumvirate. His impatience mounts.

 

Sputum landing short of him reinforces her defiance.

 

The sick man’s pleasure denied.

 

Ary regards Phalus as courageous, no man absconds with his dignity. Ary put hands together prayer like and shut her eyes. Moments later a gunshot reverberates the forest.

 

One last condemnation of man, later the host returns seen preparing tea and biscuit on fancy silverware on an equally fancy small table with an elegance afforded to the English queen. The men are returning, walking toward him a ways off, their kind of demeanor expected in oil paintings of gentry after a fox hunt. In a congratulatory manner calls smiling, 'I trust sport was more than satisfactory.' 


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