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Page 4




Soon Kerry takes the bridge and Clarke retires, and I am left alone. I sit for many hours until it begins to get light outside, then I close my eyes, and lean back against the sides of the boat, and look at the stars. A special acuteness has come over me, and it shall never return. I am aware of the twilight’s light, but the stars still shine magnificently, and nature’s voice calls to me. I sleep, like I shall never sleep again.

I awake again in a few hours, but feel rested.

Kerry is at the helm, and is bleating on about something, I sit up, and my eyes are pushed back deep into my sockets by the blinding sun. I get up, and I see what he is pointing at; our spot. I knew it must be for it was the only clearing to speak of we'd seen in the jungle in a week’s travel. I sat up, and went to the pilots deck, and stood beside him.

'Well?' He says to me.

'It shall be work.'

'Don't let it frighten thee.'

We are fast approaching the shoreline. There is no dock, and I point this out to Kerry. 'Bah! We shall fix that quickly enough.'

Everyone is out on the deck now. I relieve Kerry of his position, and take the helm, while he goes up to the front, and prepares to hop off the boat, and tie her down. I hear Kerry scream at some natives who have come down towards the sand spot where I shall beach her. Kerry yells at them, but they do not understand him. They merely give him quizzical looks that ask him what the hell is he doing in their part of the world.

I myself am a little taken aback. I had my doubts that any people’s could survive in this remote part of the jungle, cut off from society and its vices. I pear through some of the initial foliage, and I can see a few scattered huts. This is where I am to live for the next few weeks. I didn’t know then, how this thing was going to come out. I wish, of course, that I had.

I remember distinctly the sun; it was as it is now - setting. I have already said how much I love the tropical sun. I am in love with it. It caresses my skin with a beautiful light - and beautiful warmth. How I savor this sunset now, for I am aware it shall be my last; I shall at best live another half day. This is my chosen fate now - my only path to atonement.

Kerry shimmies off the side of the boat, into knee deep water. ‘Is it clear to bring me girl in?’ I call out to him. I see Sal giving me a peeved look, and realize I should not have referred to my ship in the feminine. I am beginning to be irritated by her and her by me, but it is usually in my nature to be calm - and non-violent.

‘Right ere’s good.’ I beach the ship with aplomb, and step down from the pilot’s cabin. I see Kerry dashing off into the forest, behind him, his lackey Clarke. He reminds me of a puppy. I rather shall not say that he’s sucking up to Kerry, but eh, he does nag me with the way he nags him.

I come off the boat last, and take up the great rope that Kerry had so hastily dropped, and tie it around a large tree, then follow the others. Indeed, my observation’s were correct; a dump. There are about nine huts, one a deal larger than the others - which shall soon become our town center. There are not many huts with roofs. This does not bother me too much; I have slept in many an adverse condition with the sky directly above me. Anyway, we have brought tents, so I fear not.

The jungle grows the huts in many places. I rather find it one of the more interesting things in this world...the way a vine shall twirl around something a human has brought into existence. It will swallow it. Rather...well...rather like I shall say it is reclaiming its own land. I’m sure it happens elsewhere, but in the jungle, it is most savage. It is here that Mother Nature fights back most vehemently.

My mind is not yet morbid as I watch Kerry and Clarke. They are of course babbling about something. Rather ranting. I’m not sure exactly if I cared then of their conversation, and subsequently do not remember it, but all that matters is I don’t care now, and shall not remember it.

Kerry becomes excited. ‘Work, oh yeah, this will be more work than most of you might realize, but prices must be paid for advances. Get the tents, today we shall rest from our trip, and negotiate.’

I make several trips, bringing my own meager belongings. The only thing I take great care with the .45 pistol that I’ve brought along, in case of emergency. There are dangerous things in the jungle. There are dangerous things in people.


   
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