Evan's Jungle

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Very rough story, not really edited.

Submitted: June 10, 2010

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Submitted: June 10, 2010

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It was the end of finals week at Maine University, and Evan walked alone out the door of the now cavernous room where he had attended his World Lit class all semester. Now that he had left, the only person remaining in the room was his professor who he had just handed his test into. Evan had been up the entire night before studying for this exam that he was almost certain he had just failed. He hadn’t been able to concentrate, all he could think about was his exciting summer vacation he was leaving for shortly. As he walked down the hall, he was thinking about how all of his studying had done him no good. He thought of his hours upon hours spent at the library; most of which lead to him exhausted with his head down in his textbook. This semester he had got into the habit of going to the library when he was having trouble sleeping. Countless nights he would lie down in bed, and thoughts of worry and guilt would float into his mind. It was as if these thoughts were afraid to sneak up on him during any other time than when he was vulnerable, lying in his bed. If these thoughts of regret had the courage to come to Evan during the day, he might have been able to change the things about himself that made him feel so guilty. Evan was losing touch with everyone close to him in his life. He blamed this on the 20 hours of class he was taking, but his friends couldn’t look past that. Evan’s friends couldn’t see into his head to see his mind constantly preoccupied with school; all they could see was outside, physical things. The only memories Evan’s friends had of him now were of how he had become so awkward and antisocial.
They remembered a specific example of a once upbeat, happy Evan sitting with them eating at a table at the student union. Now, Evan was far from upbeat. He just stared blankly past all of his friends as they were laughing and having a good time. Then, he scooted his chair back and walked away without saying a word, and leaving his untouched food on the table…..
As Evan walked back to his room from his last exam, he couldn’t help but feel a little bit of relief and excitement. Earlier in the semester Evan, along with the help of his parents, had scheduled a flight to Brazil with his uncle who was a pilot. Evan was no longer thinking about his tests or his awkward social behavior of late; rather his thoughts were focused on how excited he was to visit South America. Evan had been fascinated by the Amazon jungle ever since he was little. On top of that, he had never even left the state of Maine, much less the country. Evan began to cheer up as he packed his things into his car and drove to meet his uncle….
Evan sat on the plane uneasily as it took off; only he and his uncle were on the small plane. Evan was unfamiliar with flying and couldn’t help but be nervous as the plane lifted into the air. Soon enough though, the plane reached a good altitude and steadied out. Evan’s thoughts of unfamiliarity with flying soon turned to thoughts of unfamiliarity with the rainforest. He imagined what it would be like; he imagined the stereotypical large palm leaves, bright flowers, and loud tropical birds of the jungle. He was excited to find out what the jungle would actually contain.
Amidst this excitement, Evan was very tired; he had very little sleep throughout all of finals week, and his mind and body were extremely fatigued. The hard seat he sat in began to feel strangely comfortable, and his eyelids became heavy. He finally had a chance to relax, but as he was drifting off to sleep the familiar thoughts of guilt about his friends and family crept into his head…
Evan awoke to a loud banging noise. He wasn’t even aware that he had fallen asleep. He had no idea how long he had been out. All he did know was that something was wrong; red lights were flashing on the control panel, and he could hear the engine sputtering loudly. Evan looked over to see his uncle gripping the wheel with white knuckles. Evan had never been on a plane, so of course he had never been in a situation like this. He knew that if his uncle, who was a seasoned pilot, couldn’t keep calm then there wasn’t much hope. What little hope there was between the two in the cockpit was quickly plummeting to the ground, along with the plane itself. Evan began to brace himself for impact by pressing his body firmly to the back of his chair. He looked out the front window and all he could see was a canopy of green, tropical forest getting closer and closer as the plane plummeted. Eventually Evan’s uncle let out a scream as the plane was about to reach the top of the trees. All Evan could do was close his eyes. The last thing he heard was the metal body of the plane ripping through tree limbs…..
Once again Evan awoke, not knowing how long he had been out. He groggily lifted his aching head and saw pieces of wreckage everywhere, surrounded by what seemed like endless rows of green, leafy trees. Evan had never seen trees like these before; they were nothing at all like the conifers he was used to in Maine. These trees had broad leaves that were good for catching rainwater; Evan realized he must be in the Amazon. He struggled to push himself off the ground since his entire body hurt from the crash. He inspected himself and saw he only had minor scrapes and bruises. As he stood up, he looked around: all that could be seen around him was rainforest. This gave Evan a sick feeling in his stomach; although he was unfamiliar with the Amazon, he knew that there were parts of it where no real civilization could be found for hundreds of miles. His heart began to race as panic swept through his mind. Was it possible they had crashed in the middle of one of these desolate expanses? Then he remembered: THEY had crashed. He began to yell out his uncle’s name as he ran in between large pieces of wrecked metal. He had only been running a few seconds when he saw something that made his heart drop; it was his uncle’s lifeless body, face down on the forest floor. He ran over to the body, knelt down, and began to shake its now lifeless arm. Evan kept repeating his uncle’s name. For several minutes he shook the body, as if this movement could somehow jolt life back into it. Eventually, Evan realized there was nothing he could do, his uncle was dead. Evan put his head down and wept. As he wept, he felt guilt deep inside for how he had been neglecting his friends and family. All he had cared about was himself for an entire semester; he had felt as if he didn’t need family close to him. But now that he looked down at one of his family member’s, dead, he realized he did need family. All Evan could do now was hang his head as he sat crouched on the floor of the Amazon rainforest, all alone.
After a few minutes Evan felt something crawling up the back of his leg. He felt it slowly crawl from his calf to the front of his leg, then up to his stomach. He looked down at his shirt to his chest where the thing had stopped, and saw it was a spider bigger than he had ever seen. He couldn’t move and his mouth lay agape as he looked into the spider’s many, beady black eyes. He noticed what looked like brown hair sprouting from its eight legs. Then he noticed its two fangs that stuck out from its head. The fangs almost seemed to be covered in some kind of liquid. This horrified Evan, because this meant it was poisonous; if he were bitten he would join his uncle, dead on the ground. Evan sprang up as he reached his hand up to his chest and flung the grotesque spider off of his chest. He then ran away to ensure he was far enough away to not be bitten. After running and avoiding trees for about a hundred yards, Evan stopped to catch his breath. Evan thought of how he had always feared spiders; and although he would never admit it, snakes too. He wasn’t afraid of anything more than snakes. In Evan’s mind the thought of touching a snake was equal to death. He realized that there were surely several poisonous snakes around in this jungle that he would have to avoid; on top of that there had to be enormous pythons that could wrap around him and kill him. The thought of wandering around the rainforest, avoiding deadly creatures brought Evan a hopeless feeling. As he stood there with all hope draining from him, he noticed something that only made it drain faster: through the infinite trees he noticed the sun was nearly down. He hadn’t noticed how dark it was until now; what little light existed was almost completely quashed by the sea of trees. This darkness made Evan recall stories he had heard of people going absolutely insane after just one night in the jungle. Horrible thoughts of what could possibly be out there in the Amazon began to race through Evan’s head. He imagined the possibility of a jaguar or some other gigantic animal overpowering him and killing him. He thought of how these creatures had every advantage over him; they could see much better than him at night and they were anatomically built for forested terrain. In a panic at these terrifying thoughts, Evan grabbed onto the nearest tree and scurried up it. He got up to a limb, surprised at what physical feats adrenaline could cause. Evan climbed this tree because he knew it was the best chance he had at surviving the night in the jungle. He sat on the limb; he didn’t plan on getting a wink of sleep tonight, he was already far too terrified for that. He couldn’t imagine how much worse it would be in the middle of the night. He sat there and planned on waiting until the first hint of daylight and seeing if he could find help. In the meantime, he waited uneasily as the sun crept down….
The sun had set long ago and it was now pitch black. Evan’s eyes had not adjusted to the darkness. He couldn’t see any of the surrounding trees; he couldn’t even see his own hand in front of him. All he could do was feel the rough tree limb he was sitting on. Despite the fact that the sun was down, it was extremely hot and humid. Evan had become acclimated to the weather in Maine, the weather in the tropics was a complete turnaround from the northeast US. Sweat was flooding from every pore in his body as his legs hung down from the branch and his sweaty palms lay flat; he was doing everything he could to prevent himself from slipping off and plummeting to the ground. As he sat there attempting not to fall, with salty sweat dripping into his eyes and stinging intensely, he heard a rustling off in the distance. His body jerked in the direction of the noise, almost causing him to lose his balance and fall. Then, he froze as he could make out a shadowy figure on the ground walking slowly on all fours. Evan’s heart raced as the figure slowly drew closer to his tree. He noticed he had been holding his breath as the animal crept up to the base of the tree. Evan let out a small gasp then drew more humid air in; all he could make out through the darkness was the animal pinning its ears back as it heard him breathe. It got up on its hind legs and put its front ones up on the trunk of the tree. Evan had never been more terrified in his life. All he could do now was close his eyes and grit his teeth. Thoughts were running through his imagination of what the creature could possibly be. He imagined it walking slowly towards him along the tree branch. He pictured this creature’s piercing sharp teeth that could rip through him easily. He could just feel its hot breath on his face. All he could think of at this point was how he was going to die after an entire year of avoiding contact with his friends and neglecting his parent’s love. He thought of how sad his parents would be when they found out he had died. With his eyes closed he could picture their anguished faces. This picture wrenched Evan’s insides; he couldn’t stand to picture it anymore so he opened his eyes, snapping him back to reality. He looked around and saw that nothing was near except for trees. He wondered if he had imagined the creature creeping across the ground. He began to wonder if he was just going to become the subject of a story about a person losing their mind in the jungle. He decided these thoughts were ridiculous. He decided he really did see and hear something on the ground, or so he decided.
About an hour had passed, and now Evan lay horizontally across the tree limb. His eyes had finally adjusted, and he felt like he could see as well as he was going to be able to all night. He had never been anywhere as dark as this. Any moonlight was blocked by the expansive canopy above. Evan began to wonder how close he was to civilization. He began to fear that he was hundreds of miles away from any possible aid; the thought of this began to make him worry how he would find food and water even if he did make it through the night. At this point Evan was unsure if he WOULD make it through. He had been to haunted houses on Halloween when he was younger, and he had seen countless scary movies, but what he was experiencing now was different: it was real. His terror began to grow as he stopped to really think about his situation: he was alone in the middle of the rainforest, and it was pitch black. He thought about how the closest thing to safety he had was the tree branch he was sitting on. He thought about how if he somehow fell, his safety would be gone and that would be the end of his life. This thought caused Evan to grip on to his branch as tightly as he could, he wasn’t going to let go of what his mind created as his one safe haven.
After a few minutes of gripping onto the branch with all he had, Evan noticed how eerily quiet his surroundings were. He thought that there would be some kind of wildlife making noise, even in the middle of the night. If this were so then it would have comforted him slightly because he would have known he wasn’t the only living soul around. But, the truth was that he was the only living thing for miles. Through the bleak silence that accompanied the complete and equally bleak darkness, Evan heard another rustling noise. This time, the noise didn’t come from the ground, rather it came from a branch above him. He looked up and saw what terrified him more than anything: his eyes had adjusted enough in the darkness to see an enormous python hanging from the overhead branch, staring him face to face. He could see every muscle in its body writhe and twitch as it inched its massive body closer and closer. On the exterior of these powerful muscles inside its long, cylindrical body, Evan could just make out its disgusting green scales. He was paralyzed from fear as the serpent’s thin tongue emerged from its mouth; Evan knew it was using its tongue to “sniff him out”, find him, and constrict him until he died. Evan pictured the snake doing this until he couldn’t breathe. He could just imagine himself being barely conscious and the python eating him alive. Evan wanted to vomit he was so scared. The python’s spade-shaped head was right in Evan’s face; Evan was staring into the black, beady, lifeless eyes of death. Evan let out a blood curdling scream as he jerked away. The next thing he knew, he was falling rapidly. He had lost his grip trying to get away from the enormous snake. He hit the ground back first, quickly followed by the back of his head striking the forest floor.
Once he composed himself enough to get up, all he could do was let out another scream that pierced through the humid, dark surroundings. Evan had no more control over himself and his emotions; he couldn’t help but scream. He had just been face to face with his biggest fear; he had just been the closest he had ever been to dying. He knew now what caused so many people in his situation to go insane.
After Evan screamed and everything had returned to deathly silence, he heard what sounded like a woman’s scream off in the distance. He wondered if it was real, or was it in his head? He wondered if it was the scream of someone else in his situation. He ran towards the direction of the scream to find out. After only a moment of running, another scream pierced through his mind, this time coming from off to his right. He changed his course and ran towards the direction of THIS scream. Finally, yet another gut wrenching scream came from behind Evan; this time he stopped running and dropped to his knees. He decided that the screams were not real, they were all in his head. Evan knew he had finally lost his mind, the black jungle had taken him. Evan grabbed tightly onto his hair and gritted his teeth as he sat there on his knees. At this point all he could think about was how he had pushed away all human contact his whole time at school the previous semester. All his friends and family had wanted to do was show how they cared for him, and he had been pushing it away and keeping to himself. This guilt only added to the horror he was experiencing there, helpless on the floor of the jungle.
Suddenly, Evan heard something running at him from behind. He turned around and saw a massive black panther running at him with its eyes glowing through the night. Little did Evan know, this sight wasn’t real, his mind was creating it. Still, the image in his mind was enough to make him coil back in fear. The next thing Evan knew, he felt a sharp pain in his chest. Evan writhed in pain as he put his hand over his heart and fell to the ground. His heart had literally stopped from fear, and he lay there on the floor of the jungle, dead…….
Two days later a headline in the Miami Herald newspaper read “Small Plane Crashes in Everglades National Park”. The article told about how two bodies were found at the scene of the crash in a heavily forested area. Only one of the bodies had been identified, all the investigators from the Florida State Police knew of the unidentified body was that it was of a middle-aged man. This body was found badly mutilated, face down amongst the wreckage of the plane.
However, on the other body a student ID from Maine University was found. On the ID was the name ‘Evan Wilson’. Much to the confusion of the investigators, this body was found with only minor scrapes and bruises, several hundred yards away from the crash.
After the bodies were taken into the coroner’s in Miami, the participants of the investigation were puzzled; they found that the cause of death for this student from Maine was a heart attack. Everyone thought this strange since this was only a young man with no apparent reason for heart disease. On top of that, his body was found far away from the crash, so fright from the wreck itself could not have been a cause of his heart stopping.
After the investigators had exhausted nearly all of the probable causes, one of them suggested the possibility that the forested area that the student was found in was frightening enough to cause a heart attack, especially at night time. “After all” he speculated, “tarantulas, pythons, and many other types of wildlife are common in the Everglades, maybe these things simply scared this young man to death at night, as odd as that sounds”
The other investigators scoffed at this speculation. “Well he couldn’t have been THAT scared” jeered one of them. “Did he not know he was only a few miles from a highway? He could have been safe if he had just walked for a few minutes in its direction”.


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