The beast roared angrily behind me.
I ran rapidly through the jungle, my heart hammering hard against my rib cage, pumping very fast as the wave of adrenalin rushed through my visibly -shaken body and my feet getting tired by the minutes as I run away from the danger. My life depended on my speed . The angry sound of the beast was not far from me. I looked over my shoulders. It was still chasing me with with one clear objective-to catch me.
It was just a few metres from me. I increased my speed , almost flying in the air now.
Somehow, luck smiled on me .Its fearful sound receded quite far in the background as I increased my pace.
Gosh. I was confused . This adventure was proving to be more than I had bargained for. When the three of us entered the forest ,we were totally
mesmerized by the forest's eco
system. We were thrilled by the sounds of the twigs as we stepped on them and the incessant humming of the bees in their hideout. The bees were not the only sign of life in the thick forest. There were insects, spiders, slugs, salamander, in addition to broad -winged hawks and pileated woodpeckers. Monkeys howled to its troop members and birds gave welcoming chirps to their flock. The brush rustled with small mammals and insects skirting along the forest floor.
The towering trees formed a robust canopy, blocking almost all the sun
light, from reaching the floor, with their amazing heights of about 150 feet, in addition to housing hundreds of species within a few acres like the rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis) Cecropia and Giant red Cedars. There are also parasitic and creeping plants in the dense forest with large leaves and vines. Everything seemed normal, so cool , to the point that we began wondering if the beast was asleep. We almost forgot we were on a dangerous mission, as the sheer beauty of the forest welcome us.
As we moved in a single file , we were keenly aware of the fact that every step we took could be the last step of our lives. We had one particular spot to reach and one particular goal in mind but the beast was frustrating our plans and the last glimmer of hope we had, to rescue the shaken- villagers from the rule of the beast, was fast fading away.
This beast had terrorized the villagers over the years , coming under the cover of darkness and stealing young children away. Fear descended upon the villagers as everyones life was in danger. The beast had changed its tactics. It came to the village , not only under the cover of darkness but even in the day,to steal children in the full glare of the people , causing fear and panic.
The villagers were worried and offered a mouth- watering reward to anyone who could trap and kill it. I decided to go after the beast with two of my friends Jigg and Jones. Been the only girl of 16 among the two boys, Jigg, 18, and Jones 17, I was first discouraged from going but my determination to go far outweighed the concerns of the people for me based on my sex.
I had managed to survive in the heart of the forest up to this time but Jones was not that lucky. He was captured by the beast when we were moving in a file along the forest's path. Unknown to us, the beast was lurking behind our back and seized the opportunity to pounce on Jones. He struggled with it, aided by us but its sheer force was massive and Jones was gobbled des
pite our collective efforts to rescue him. Now,it was time to run for our own lives.
Jigg quickly ran towards the opposite direction making me the only option for the beast. I ran along the narrow pathway. I could hear the breath of the beast behind me. It was getting very very close . I dodged to the opposite side as the beast jump in the air to grab me. Jigg, run back, run! Run!!.it's coming this way.
Jigg returned and begun to run back. Somehow, the beast missed us. We were very much aware that it was lurking anywhere within the mons
trous forest . The beast was hungry for fresh meat. It looked similar to a lion with jaws just as powerful, but his skin was dark and thick, like those
Armoured suits worn by Roman soldiers of old. Its claws were similar to those of some prehistoric predator, they were about ten inches to the tip and sharper than a butcher's knife. He squinted his red eyes towards our direction, with tensed his muscles ready to pounce at the first sight of us.
Time was running fast . I got closer to the deep hole we have dug the pre
vious day, the top of which was covered with grass to hide it. I stood there for a few minutes and saw the approaching beast . It was coming towards me with calculated steps. I was gripped with fear. If I didn't do this right , I will be dead the next minute. Actually the deep hole was the second option. The first option depended on Jigg.He was expected to strike the beast unaware as it focused on me.
Time was ticking fast. The beast approached me. Suddenly, Jigg shot his bow and arrow in the direction of the beast. It bounced off its hard leather skin and did very little harm to it. The attention of the beast was diverted. It turned on Jigg and within seconds pounce on him.
I hurled my spear towards its direc
tion.I got lucky. The spear found a weak spot in its thick skin and pierced it. It was wounded ,so was Jigg, with claw marks all over his body. I had no moment to attend to him. My life was at stake as the beast turned on me , this time, more aggressively, and more poised to kill me. I broke into a run as the beast turned on me, with more powerful advances now. I needed to drive it to the spot or this will be the end for me.
As I was speeding to reach the spot where the hole was, I was tripped by a tree stump and fell to the ground. Before I could stand up, the beast jumped on me. I shouted,”Help!, help!!, Help!!!" Then I heard my mother calling me, "Cate! Cate!! Cate!!"
I woke up and saw my mother in my room. I was relieved. It was not real, just one big dream.