The Thief of Ecuador

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Set in the 1500's, a young thief and his pet iguana steals a diamond from a guarded temple. He was chased by the guards until he winds up in the jungle with a wilderness girl who changes his ways.

The Thief of Ecuador

 

By Travis Archer

 

The year was 1550 in the Mesoamerican city of Ecuador. The buildings are made of solid red stone, as they are very large and rigged. There are large temples and ziggurats that are shaped like rigged pyramids, village huts everywhere, and tropical trees and bushes surround the buildings and huts. The top part of the village huts is made out of straw hay while the rest of huts were made out of stiff wood and stone. The roads are usually long and they can stretch from the village to the city. The tallest temple was that of Mesoamerican empire of Ecuador. It was a massive ziggurat in the shape of a pyramid with a long vertical staircase. The Mesoamerican villagers walk around the city with their llamas wearing colorful robes, hats, and ponchos. Most of them collect diamonds and jewels in their own home and most of their tools and weapons are made of solid gold and silver. The women are carrying the babies on their backs and some of the women are carrying urns of water on their heads. The men are carrying their spears, swords, fishing poles, and bows and arrows. Some of them are wearing breastplates, loincloths below their waists, claw necklaces, and masks. The Mayan city has never looked so peaceful and organized, but even a peaceful and organized place like this have its thieves.

 

A beige blur swipes a woman’s vase away from her and the woman shouts, “HEY!” A small green blur swipes a man’s golden claw necklace and the man also shouted, “HEY!” The beige blur swipes away the fisherman’s pole and swings away.

 

The fisherman shouts, “Hey! Who stole my fishing pole?!!”

 

“And my earrings?!!!” shouted the village woman.

 

“And my bracelets?!!” shouted the other village woman. 

 

“Whoever he is,” said the other villager, “He’s gonna get what’s coming to him!”

 

A human silhouette swings a vine on a tall straw hut and lands on the roof. The human silhouette reveals to be a Mesoamerican young man named Manuel who wears a claw necklace, golden earrings, a red robe-like skirt below his waist, black colored sandals, and golden bracelets on his wrist and ankles. The boy throws over his sack on the roof and opens it and sees all the accessories that he stole like a fishing pole, a golden statue, golden bracelets, and some fruits like mangos, grapes, bananas, oranges, avocados, cherimoyas and papayas. Manuel smiles and whispers, “Ah, Jackpot!” Afterwards, he sees his pet iguana named Gualo climbing up the roof with another sack in his mouth and throws it on the roof where Manuel is, wagging his tail as it opens the sack with all the fruits and jewelry inside. “Ayy, that’s my favorite pet Iguana!” Manuel rubs Gualo’s chin with his fingertips. “Who’s a good boy? Huh? Who’s a good boy?”

 

“Hey.” Said one of the villagers from a distance, “I think I see him! Up there!”

 

“Uh oh, we gotta run! Come on, Gualo.”

 

As soon as Gualo climbs all the way up to his shoulder, Manuel grabs the two sacks, jumps from the roof, slides down the hut on his feet, and lands on the ground running through the village without being seen. He then sees the Mayan guards charging at him with their spears and weapons, and Manuel knocks them over with the two sacks. The thief climbs up the stone building, swings another vine towards the roof of a regular sized ziggurat, and slides down to the ground. Manuel and Gualo look on the other side of the building and see the Mayan guards running past them. After they left, Manuel breathes out with relief and whispers, “That was a close call.”

 

He walks away from the ziggurat until he holds his breath as he sees a tall temple of the Mesoamerican empire with an incredibly long staircase. Manuel is in awe, “Woah, the Empire. I bet there’s a lot of stuff to steal in there. Lets go.” Manuel takes three steps towards the stairs until Gualo grabs his ear, which causes him to stop. “Ow! What!” Gualo nods his head and motions ‘no’ with his hand gestures. “What do you mean no? There’s tons of diamonds and jewelry to steal from there! All we have to do is just sneak in, grab what we can carry and come back out. What could go wrong?” Gualo points his claw-like finger toward the guards standing with their spears on the top of the temple. “Oh. Right. Those guys.” Gualo points his tail towards the back and Manuel turns his head, seeing the Mayan guards charging towards him from a distance. “I guess that’s not the only the only thing to worry about.” Manuel grabs a small smoke bomb, throws it at the guards, and it explodes into a giant smoke in front of the guards. 

 

The thief runs towards the side of the temple and looks on the other side, seeing the guards coughing and walking through the smoke. Manuel asks, “Is there another entrance to this place?” Gualo leans on the temple wall until a large stone slides on the other side, opening the side entrance of the temple. “A hidden entrance! Oh, I never doubted you for a second-you smart little lizard! Come on Gualo, let’s go!” Manuel slides through the side entrance by putting his legs in first and jumps three feet into the ground with Gualo on his shoulder. “Gualo, if you would.” The iguana grabs a golden spear from a statue with his tail, points it to the stone, and seals in the entrance by sliding the stone back into place. After the thief and the iguana high fives each other, the ground begins to shake and Manuel runs through the underground as the giant razor sharp needles pop out of the ground on both his left and right side. The thief runs to the edge of the hill and swings a vine towards the edge of the lava river with a rock pathway that leads to the other side. The lava cooks and sizzles with hot exploding bubbles popping out of the surface. “Woah!” Manuel exclaims, “We got to be very careful with this bud.” Manuel jumps on the rock pathway as he makes his way to the other side. But when he steps on the final rock, a lava bubble pops behind Manuel and almost burns him as he jumps away from the river. 

 

He continues to walk into the underground temple until he sees a large white diamond sitting on a statue of an Aztec demi-god. The statue is holding the jewel up in the air on the top of a pillar-like hill with a staircase in front. “Huh, well this should be easy.” The thief steps on a floor plate that goes down and a blow dart hits towards a wall right next to him. “Another booby trap?!” Manuel exclaims. “Come on!” Gualo points his finger at the Mesoamerican symbols on the left and right floor plates that lead all the way towards the other side. “So, all I gotta do is just step on those symbols to get to that diamond?” Gualo nods his head ‘yes’. Manuel sighs, “They always have to make it complicated, don’t they?” He puts his left foot on the first symbol ahead of him, jumps on the second symbol on his left, and puts his right foot on the third symbol ahead. Afterwards he jumps on one symbol after the other rapidly and quickly as the darts shoots side to side. While the darts are shooting, Manuel moves side to side in opposite directions until he makes his way out of the floor plates. “Woah, that was a close one, ay Gualo?” Manuel turns his head and sees Gualo on his left shoulder with eyes wide open and the two blow darts on his back. “Gualo?” The Iguana makes a moaning sound as he drops himself off of his shoulder and slips on the ground, snoring loudly with his eyes closed. Manuel kneels down and pulls the darts out of his back. “Wakey, Wakey, reptile, Papa’s gotta get that jewel.” Gualo slowly wakes up from his nap, and Manuel grabs him by the tail and puts him on his shoulder again.

 

Manuel tiptoed his way up the steps towards the diamond. When he reaches to the top, the Mesoamerican thief cracks his knuckles with his hands and gently grabs the diamond out of the statue. “Yesss!!!” Manuel shouted with excitement, “We did it, Gualo, We did it!” Manuel and Gualo dance around, “Who made it through this temple and got the jewel of Ecuador? THIS GUY!!!! And the best part is…NO MORE BOOBY TRAPS!!!” 

 

Suddenly, the statue’s eyes begin to glow causing Manuel to stop cheering and looks at it with disturbance while uttering the two words, “Uh oh.” The light begins to spread backwards from the eyes of the statue to the mysterious black void behind the statue. When the light stops spreading towards the void, the two giant glowing eyes appears out of the dark while making a loud growling noise. Manuel gasps horrifyingly as he sees a giant stone-like creature appearing out of the void and moving towards him. Manuel says nervously, “Does it have to be another booby trap?” The creature reveals itself to be a giant living stone jaguar with Aztec symbols and spots all over its body and roars at Manuel. “A giant cat made of stone? Seriously?” The stone jaguar swipes its paw at Manuel as he falls on the other side. “Wow, the emperor wasn’t kidding when he wanted this thing guarded.” The creature charges towards Manuel until he throws a stone at its glass eye. Afterwards, the stone jaguar tries to step on him and bite at him with its teeth until he throws another rock at it. Manuel quickly runs away from it with the diamond in his hand while the stone jaguar chases him through the booby traps. The thief grabs a vine and swings himself through the underground temple as the rocks and boulders fall from the ceiling. The stone jaguar pounces towards Manuel until he punches his way out of the side entrance causing the stone jaguar to fall into the ground and break. 

 

Once Manuel and Gualo are outside of the temple, the thief rises from the ground and sprains his knuckles from punching through the exit until he sees one of the Mayan guards pointing his finger at Manuel from a distance, shouting, “There he is! Down there! Let’s get him!” 

 

“Not again!” Manuel exclaims as the guards run down the steps of the temple towards him. The thief runs and jogs through the village and sees another group of guards charging towards him on the other side. “Hold on, Gualo!” Manuel jumps on a fruit basket, grabs a vine, and swings himself around the entire village as he kicks three of the guards in the face with his feet and lands on the ground. Manuel rides on the diamond on his feet as he slides through the streets of Ecuador while the guards on the roof tops of the buildings and huts shoots at him with arrows, yet the thief still rides away on the diamond. When the guards charge towards him, Manuel jumps up in the air with the diamond in his hand, flipping his body to the other side behind them as the guards fire arrows at him, and lands on the ground with the spear in his hand. “Ha-ha!” Manuel exclaims as he runs towards the jungle.

 

One of the guards notices that his spear is missing and shouts with his fist in the air, “MANUEL!!!” 

 

Manuel responds, “Catch me if you can without your spear!” 

 

The thief arrives his way towards the amazon jungle filled with exotic plants, vegetation, tall trees, bushes, palm trees, flowers and enormous waterfalls.Manuel grabs a vine from the trees and swings himself to a tree branch. As the guards are still charging their way through the bushes of the amazon jungle, Manuel makes his way through the jungle by grabbing one tree branch after the other like an ape and then swings another vine. Manuel lands on a tree trunk and slides and surfs his way through the jungle as he grabs a giant leaf from one of the trees. The Mayan guards slides on the tree trunk while still chasing Manuel through the jungle. When he makes way towards the cliff, Gualo holds the Diamond with his tail while riding on Manuel’s shoulder, the thief jumps out of the tree trunk while the guards did the same. The guards falls into a mud puddle and sinks all the way in, while Manuel uses the giant leaf as a parachute as he makes his way down into the jungle. When he lands on the ground, Manuel and Gualo high fives each other with excitement and enthusiasm.

 

“Alright, it worked!” Manuel said with excitement, “nobody is gonna chase us, now.” Suddenly, they hear a disturbing growling noise behind the bushes. “Gualo, is that your stomach growling like that?” Gualo nods his head ‘no’. “Uh-oh.” A spotted jaguar pounces towards Manuel, growling at him and the thief nocks it over with his spear. The jaguar swipes its claws at him while Manuel fights it off with his spear. Then the thief jumps on another tall tree trunk of the jungle while the jaguar climbs up the tree trunk towards him. Manuel runs up the tree trunk, swiping his spear at the jaguar while the large jungle cat swipes it claws at him and snarls at him as it chases him up the tree trunk. Manuel swings another vine around the tree and kicks the jaguar off the tree trunk and into the river. Manuel exclaims, “Adios Muchacho!” 

 

While he is still standing on the tree branch, Manuel looks around the entire view of the amazon jungle, seeing the large waterfalls, rivers, trees, bushes, and exotic animals such as Macaws, anteaters, tapirs, spider monkeys, toucans, llamas, ocelots, capybaras and sloths grazing and roaming through the entire amazon valley. Manuel sighs with digression, “Oh no. This is the place where you can either eat or get eaten. I gotta get out of here.” Manuel pats on his body and notices that the diamond is missing. “Wait, where’s the-

 

The branch snaps out of the tree and Manuel falls into an underground trap underneath the bushes. While Manuel sits inside the hole, a llama appears of the smoke of the exit and opens her mouth towards him, making a loud moaning sound. Manuel screams in terror and the llama puts her back while looking at Manuel. A female voice from a distance approaches towards the llama and says, “ Yama, what’s going on? Is it an anteater, a tapir, a spider monkey, a toucan, or just some poor defenseless…”A Mesoamerican girl named Margarita comes into the hole with her loincloths on her chest and waist carries a spear in her hand and has a red macaw on her shoulder, She stares at the thief and finishes her sentence, “boy?” 

 

“Uuh.”

 

“Who are you? And how did you find this place?”

 

Manuel clears his throat and closes his eyes, “might have I the pleasure to say…” He looks at her again and then makes smooth romantic smile on his face with his teeth showing and his eyebrow raised, “Buenos Dias.” Margarita still looks at him sternly yet awkwardly. “Como estas? Me llamo Manuel. How’s your day goin’, huh?”

 

Magarita points her spear at Manuel and questions, “does anyone else know where I am, Manuel?”

 

“Alright, Chiquita.”

 

“MAGARITA!”

 

“Salut, here’s the deal. I was in a situation, running through the jungle, I came across your territory, and…” Manuel moves his head left and right and Gualo moves around on all fours, looking for the jewel. “Oh, oh no! Where is my diamond?!”

 

“Oh, you mean this?” said Magarita, swiping the white diamond out of her pocket.

 

“Wha-yes! I want it!” Manuel jumps out of the hole and tries to swipe the jewel out of her hands.

 

“Why do you want it so badly?”

 

“Its my ticket out of this dump! Now gimmie!” Manuel swipes her hands at her and Magarita swipes the jewel away from him.

 

“Ah-ah-ah, what’s the magic word?”

 

“Please!”

 

“ Haha, Okay.” Magarita gives the diamond to Manuel.

 

“Ah great, now all I have to do is to get the hell out of here!”

 

“Why do you want to do that? There’s so much beauty in this jungle. I think you’ll get used to it.”

 

“Get used to it? Did you see that Jaguar? He was about to rip me to shreds! Like Mangos!” Margarita’s pet macaw flies on his shoulder, grabs a mango from Manuel’s sack and eats it into its beak. “I shouldn’t belong in here! I shouldn’t belong anywhere! I need to grab and steal as much diamonds and jewels as I can carry so I can get out of this mess!”

 

“The amazon jungle is not a mess there’s so much beauty and life here that you didn’t even realized.”

 

“Oh yeah, how so?”

 

“Come on, I’ll show you!” Magarita grabs his hand and puts him the llama’s back. Manuel and Margarita rides through the amazon rainforest, seeing the colorful tropical birds flying through the surface of the amazon, from toucans, to capped herons, to black colored hawks, to flamingos, to scarlet macaws. The animals watches them ride through the amazon and continues to graze through the amazon. 

 

A green anaconda grabs Manuel by the arm and pulls him toward the slithering reptile, squeezing him in his coils until Margarita comes in touches the anaconda in the bottom jaw, which cause the giant snake to let go of him. Manuel and Magarita continues to ride through the rainforest until a chameleon turns red, ordering them to stop as they see a large herd of tapirs running by. Then the chameleon turns green, ordering them to go, so they did. Afterwards, Manuel climbs up a tree and reaches out his hand for the bananas, but a fleet of spider monkeys throws coconuts at him and one of them pushes him down into the ground, scratches at him until Magarita picks it up and cuddles it. Then, Manuel, Magarita, the llama, the macaw, and Gualo rides on a tree trunk through the river rapids where a pack of crocodile creatures called caimans chases them through the river until they made it safely to the other side.

 

While in the jungle, Magarita and Manuel rides on her llama with the macaw on her shoulder and Manuel holds the jewel in his hand. The rope connects both the llama and the tapir as they ride through the forest.

 

Manuel says, “Okay, seriously Margarita, this adventure has been great and all but, no offense, I just couldn’t take anymore of…this.”

 

“Any more of what?” They see a South American tamandua running on a vine right next to them.

 

“This natural habitat of calamity that fallows you everywhere you go! How do you live like this?”

 

“How do you live like that?”

 

“What?”

 

“You always like to grab jewelry, keep it to yourself and live your life as a thief. By that logic, you would never have the chance to see the beauty what’s around you and appreciate it for what it is. Is that what you really like to do?” Magarita stops her llama climbs up the tallest tree of the rainforest. Manuel jumps off his tapir and fallows her up the tree trunk as they go higher and higher up the surface.

 

“Well…its not like I have a choice.”

 

“You do have a choice. I mean, look at me. I’m an 18-year-old Chiquita living in the jungle with the animals and casting myself away from civilization. Not because somebody wants me to, not because someone ordered me to stay here, not because someone assigned me to this place, but because its my choice! And I live by that choice to experience the wonder and majesty of this place.”

 

Manuel looks down while hanging on a tree branch, responding, “And not to look down and fall into some vicious predator.”

 

“Don’t think like that! Think positive! Just trust your instincts.”

 

Manuel sighs, “You do have a point there.” Manuel continues climbing up the tree.

 

“Everything that I’ve learned about the wonders of this place is what makes me who I am, as a wilderness girl.” Margarita swings a vine towards the upper branch of the tree. “I know what my role is in the natural order, what is yours?”

 

“I haven’t really thought of that in a while.” Suddenly, a large jaguar appears out of the bushes and charges towards Manuel. The thief screams and swings a vine towards Margarita and the jaguar pounces towards Manuel on the tree branch. Manuel backs away from the jaguar while Margarita is behind him. The thief points his spear towards the giant cat and exclaims, “Stay behind me Margarita, we can fight our way out!”

 

“But Manuel…”

 

“STAY BACK!!” The jaguar growls with its teeth showing as it approaches towards them until Magarita claps her hands twice, ordering the jaguar to stop with its eyes wide open and with his head up straight. “Wait, what?”

 

“Ahora sientate.” Margarita says to the jaguar as it almost sits on the tree branch and snarls at her. “Sientate?” The jaguar sits on the tree branch Magarita jumps over Manuel and puts her hand towards the jaguar while approaching towards it.

 

“How did you do that?”

 

“I’ve been taming jaguars for years, and this one seems misunderstood.” The jaguar puts his nose on her hand. The creature licks her hand and licks her cheek as it hugs her warmly and lovingly, purring like a kitten. “Just like you.” Manuel and Gualo look surprised as he walks closer to the jaguar with his hand towards it. “Its okay Manuel, I got him. He won’t hurt you.” Manuel stretches out his hand towards the jaguar and looks away from it with his eyes closed. Gualo closes his eyes with his hands and the jaguar gently puts his nose on his hand. Afterwards, the jaguar licks his hand and then licks his face as it pounces on him. “Awww, he likes you.”

 

“Yeah but I think he likes me too much.”

 

Margarita approaches the jaguar and says, “Jaqqui, could you give us a ride to the top.” The jaguar snarls and nods its head ‘yes’. Manuel and Magarita ride on the jaguar’s back and the jaguar climbs to the top of the tallest tree of the rainforest. It runs up the branches and twigs of the tree until finally it makes its way up to the top. Afterwards, Manuel, Magarita, Gualo, the macaw, and the jaguar see the entire wide-open view of the Amazonian rainforest filled with large waterfalls, vast valleys, enormous mountain ranges, tall trees and exotic plant life. While on the top of the tree, the wind gusts through their faces and their hair flows through the wind. Manuel is in awe, “Wow. This is a much better view of the rainforest.”

 

“I know right.” Margarita responds, “Sometimes, you gotta get through your thieving habit to see the beauty on the other side.” Manuel sighs depressingly. “Are you okay?”

 

“The way you handled this jaguar got me thinking about how you handled me. I’ve been stealing stuff for 12 years, dreaming about how I can live a better life style then what I had before. I’ve been doing this as uncontrollable habit of taking things that are valuable. What if I don’t have to live that life style anymore, what if I can have something much valuable than a diamond?” 

 

“And what’s that?”

 

“You.”

 

Margarita looks surprised and smiles happily, “I’ve been waiting so long for someone to say that to me.”

 

A great migration of tropical birds and macaws of every species flies through the air while Manuel and Magarita looks at them in awe.

 

Manuel and Magarita says, “Whoah!”

 

 Manuel and Gualo look at the diamond. The thief stares at it for one minute and said, “You know what, I don’t need this diamond anymore. I think I should put this back. What do you think, Gualo?” The iguana looks up at him and nods his head ‘yes’.

 

“My Macaw can take that out of your hands.” The macaw takes the diamond and Gualo gives the macaw the sack of stolen goods. Manuel and Magarita hold the macaw in their hands and gently lift it up in the air as it flies towards the Mesoamerican city of Ecuador. 

 

Manuel looks at Margarita in the eye and said, “Thank you, Magarita, for changing me into who I am.”

 

“And thank you for letting me.” Manuel and Margarita tongue-kiss each other in the lips and they continued to ride on the jaguar towards the sunset.


Submitted: February 10, 2021

© Copyright 2021 travis archer. All rights reserved.

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