Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Nathan Hunt

La Mort

His heart was beating, filling his tight, sweaty neck. It played the savage rhythm of the jungle around him.
He threw his left leg in front of his right and bounded his way through the leaves and vegetation and ran. He ran so fast. He could hear the tracks getting louder behind him, thudding down with greater might than before. His heart swung up to his ears as he leaped over a rotted fallen tree, and beat steadily faster. The ground ruptured behind and a huge bang filled the rainforest with threat.
He glanced over his shoulder before ducking under a low-hanging vine. It was dripping with cool water and it splashed on his red face, adding freshening moisture to his skin caked with salty sweat.
He slapped his filth-ridden paws down his face spreading the liquids on to his neck. He briefly closed his eyes to let the small pool of heaven sink in, but in the space of a split second, he felt the end of his muddy boot hook into the horseshoe fissure of a mossy stone and without warning, he tumbled forward, head aimed for the ground, as his knee ploughed into the sharp point of a rock. It tore a long, deep gash from left to right catching bone as well as flesh.
A hiss filled his ears as his stalker grew excited with what had happened. A waterfall of hot, red blood and chips of patella cascaded down his leg as he rolled onto the rocks surrounding him. The earth was now saturated with not only water. The soil became browner, the water redder, and the air became thick with the fear and pain that exuded from him.
His tired heart was now pounding at the corners of his head, trying to explode through the orifices. The land had curved downwards and he started to slide in the red mud, sharp rocks slicing his dirty clothes and bag. The cutlery in his rucksack clanged noisily and the plastic clip holding the belongings to his person had shattered, littering the now soaked topsoil. He dug his left foot into the ground in an attempt to halt or reduce his velocity, showering him with small pebbles. The hissing had quietened, and the branch ceiling of the canopy oozed with sticky sap. This, along with the fresh, pulsating blood, had made the terrain so unstable.
The hill levelled out as it reached the bank of a river, and foliage fell back, leading the way to the chilled, murky water. He slid to the edge of the treeline and bowled sideways into the green, frothy water. The shocking bite of the cold water was both a pleasure and surprise, it being that much cooler than the humid air that encased the whole island. The frightening sound of the pursuer had now vanished and there was calm, broken only by the busy sounds of the jungle.
Gradually, his heart rate dropped, and fear was slowly replaced by relief. He winced at the thought of his injured knee and tugged himself out of the water whilst it turned a bright shade of red around him. He took hold of a vine and pulled, the blood still a torrent. Smoke was slowly filling the sky above the trees – the camp! The hill and river must have brought him back near the beach. He lugged the rest of his body onto dry land and clambered forward on all fours.

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