Monsters in the Trees
After all the screaming was done, Jenny Camacho seemed to relax a little, but not completely.
If I stay here, will he just kill me or continue to torment me? She thought as she looked toward the ranger shack. She knew exactly what he would do and the thought of it sent shivers down her spine. That was enough for her to continue avoiding the sick son of a bitch. She knew she just had to move on.
Fighting to keep her thoughts centered she started following the trail again. This time she had a more determined goal. She wanted freedom. However, death seemed more and more likely than a rescue. The forest gave the maniac his much needed coverage. He could kill her once and take a day doing it before anyone would know. That’s when she realized that the beauty and greenery surrounding her had begun to take on a more ominous nature. The tall trees humped over like attacking creatures and the vines looked like serpents and snakes. All the larger leaves dangling started to look like monsters in the trees. The wind was circling her as if it wanted to make her dizzy and knock her down.
Jenny Camacho remained silent for a moment, lost in terror. The beauty of the forest had totally changed. She had a new concern. The socio-path and the dangers hidden in the forest, disguised as beauty.
After a few more dark thoughts invaded her mind she just snapped out of her melancholy.
“I got to keep moving.” She half whispered.
She was very thirsty and her throat kept reminding her of that fact. She wanted to drink down the entire river, but she didn’t want to stop. It was then when she came across a small pond. It could have been a duck pond, but it didn’t matter. She had to drink.
Jenny was drinking from the pond and describing the unpleasant taste at the same time. Because of the water splashing in and out of her mouth, she made little noises, but was unable to put together a coherent word. She was just trying to tell herself that the water tasted like dirt, but it cured her thirst.
Then, there it was. Staring, the reason she was being chased down by a crazed lunatic. It was her reflection that stared right back at her from the water. She looked at her reflection with confusion and frustration practically leaping out of her eyes.
She hated it. Her nose was too small, and there was too much forehead. Her hair hung there like lifeless string, and she was thin, perhaps too thin. At least that’s how the water described her. It was also the reason she was being hunted. The socio-path thought he was doing her parents justice. He had it in his mind that youth and beauty could be maintained. Time steals away beauty and there is nothing anyone could do about it. The lunatic decided that he could do something about it. If he could kill you while you are at your best, the photos will serve as permanent proof that beauty could be imprisoned. There would never be a photo or an image of an uglier you. The memories of all the dead women will be at their most attractive state.
Jenny Camacho pulled herself back away from her image. She grabbed a flat, smooth stone and hurled it at where her image once appeared.
She heard some noises coming from the brush behind her. It was so minor the noises that under ordinary circumstances, there wasn’t cause for the slightest concern. But this was no ordinary circumstance, and she had to run without doubt. She jumped over a small grouping of vines and landed directly in front of a wild dog. It was a smaller dog, but it was barely inches away from her face.
She gasped in surprise and skidded back as far as should could. The wild dog crooked his head and started panting. There was no violent movement coming from the dog. In fact, it was staring at Jenny just like a puppy would.
“Good boy,” she softened. “I’ll leave you alone.”
The dog whined a little.
“It’s okay,” she continued. “I won’t hurt you.”
Footfalls filled the area as Jenny tried to remain still. The wild dog thought that she wanted to play so it jumped right into her lap.
“Please, please be quiet,” she whispered.
The dog barked.
The dog’s ears stood at alert. It heard the noises coming from the duck pond, and decided it had to take a look.
“Come back,” Jenny half whispered.
The dog dove right over her, leaving the concerned Jenny behind. Ducks and other wild birds were scattering everywhere, squawking in confusion. It was then when she heard the wild dog become vicious by nature. The dog was challenging the lanky man, bellowing his defiance.
“God help the dog, please,” said Jenny as she took that time to put some space between her and the socio-path.
The maniac was wielding a long weapon. Jenny caught it from the corner of her eye as she slipped into the dense part of the forest. She had this urge to go back and help the wild dog, but she couldn’t do it. She staggered down a small path overgrown with poison ivy, her mind and body reeling.
There it was. The yelp that came from the wild dog was a clear indication that it lost the battle. Jenny stood there briefly, waiting for him. She had her fists clenched in a new found rage.
What am I doing? She thought.
Her body suddenly began to stiffen. She seemed to lose control over her feet as she tried to run. She tried everything she could to move, but there was nothing she could do. It was as if her legs took root and she was turning into one of the forest trees. She looked down in horror, but didn’t see any reason why she couldn’t move.
She was frozen in place and she couldn’t comprehend any of it. She then heard a whistling sound coming from the left side of her. Her neck, although feeling like a tree bark, was moving slowly toward the sound. Her arms started swaying like tree branches in the wind. Her legs started feeling the blood flowing and suddenly she was able to move.
RUN! Her mind shouted in rapid successions.
So she did.
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© 2014 Frank Atanacio
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