Screaming into the Darkness of her Despair
Jenny Camacho stood for a few moments, watching the forest in silence. Finally, turning quickly she headed for the clearing next to a rapid stream. That stream was almost surrounded on all sides by lush green ivy and towering trees. Birds and wildlife danced between the branches and the buzzing sounds of insects blended with the soft sigh of a breeze that wrestled with the foliage above her head. The air near the river seemed different. It was filled with the perfume of exotic flowers and the fresh smell of river water. Jenny stopped and looked at the beauty for the first time since she escaped her captor. She stood still, taking it all in and savoring what Mother Nature had to offer. Breathing deeply, and for the first time she thought of the only word that came to her mind, breathtaking. Through the breaks in the trees the sun nearly blinded Jenny as she forced herself to turn away.
Despite the fact that she was being chased, she couldn’t help but to consider the forest as a garden rather than an untamed jungle. It was filled with beauty and wonders she would probably never experience again.
There were dried branches being broken by heavy footfalls. Jenny didn’t know whether to run and hide or call out for help. Fear got the best of her and it was as if fear just gathered there and concentrated itself in that one area.
There was no time to enjoy the beauty of such a remarkable spot. Truth be told there would never have been a time in her life that she would have to explore the scenery of this clearing had she not been captured by a raving socio-path.
She felt as if she was one of the only two people in the world left, the other being her captor. She decided to run away from the footfalls and into the thick brush. Each movement she made was like dropping bread crumbs down to the ground so the socio-path could follow. She turned back and she noticed several large birds were watching her expressionlessly. Her presence must have been an intrusion on them, but she had no choice. She feared for her life. The branches that she pulled to clear away kept snapping back and slapping her across the face. Even though it was very painful she knew that the branches were simply appropriate for this garden forest.
At times she had to stop purposefully to take the vines and thorns out of her hair. The scratches were not deep enough to draw blood, but they hurt just the same.
Jenny never discounted the fact that the over hung branches and dangling vines that touched the soil would have made one hell of a place for an ambush. Her captor could have been sitting in waiting. Even though she washed that thought out of her mind it still left an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach.
The footfalls were no longer audible. Jenny wasn’t sure if the socio-path stopped to rest and take in the beauty, or he turned toward another direction. However, she didn’t want to take any chances so she continued onward. At times she oddly felt her mind slipping subconsciously between her concerns of being captured again and her enjoyment of her surroundings. She moved inward, following what appeared to be an overgrown trail leading toward an up hill climb. It had to be a sign that the trail must lead to something. She was exhausted and her heart continued slapping her chest. She thought about resting for a moment, but she couldn’t give into that notion. She knew that behind all this greenery, there was a madman waiting to make her victim number twelve.
While continuing her climb, she came across an abandoned ranger shack. The shack was neglected and overgrown with vines and small trees, but the foundation was still basically intact. She slowed and walked toward the crumbled door that was still held up by two of the three steel latches. She pushed the door in and it finally gave way to age.
The shack was quiet, almost too quiet. Placing her left hand on her chest she walked in. The quiet, which seemed so unnatural before made her feel squeamish, but she ignored it and continued her forward movement.
A wise person would withdraw. She kept repeating that phrase to herself over and over again. A wise person would withdraw.
What greeted her eyes was a slaughterhouse. Butchered wildlife covered in maggots were littered everywhere. Dead animals just choked the space between the walls and a back entrance. Some of the animals were wild dogs, gutted and the fur peeled back as if they were being skinned. Some of the smaller animals were picked to the bones by other wildlife. Her eyes were freeze framing every image until she realized there were no human remains. The sick son of a bitch that butchered these animals hasn’t graduated to humans yet.
Footfalls! She heard them again. They were louder than before which was a clear indication that he was closer. Crossing the dead animals, she tore open what was left of the back entrance and mustered her way out of that silent tomb. She made her way past several abandoned ranger vehicles and back into the waiting arms of the forest. When she turned to face the shack for the last time, she noticed a tall, lanky figure tossing the rotting animals out the back. Each making splashing sounds as if they were water balloons bursting on impact. Carefully putting one foot in front of the other she hurried up the hill and caught the trail again.
On the side of the trail there was a small black bear, sprawled in a pool of dried blood, with a kitchen knife stuck in its neck. The animal’s eyes were closed, and it looked as if it were only sleeping. However, Jenny knew that wasn’t the case. She started running again when she heard loud noises coming from the ranger shack.
She was getting very tired of running that she saw her own shadow pass her, staggering under her load of anguish.
Jenny Camacho felt the urge to just give up. End it all. Let the socio-path do whatever it is that he wants. She fell to her knees and for no apparent reason began to scream as loud as she could. The scream made the forest ring with her anger and her pain.
Why run, why run at all? Why live, why bother?
Jenny Camacho continued screaming into the darkness of her despair.
© 2013 Frank Atanacio
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