Green Inferno

By @jmalini2603

Green Inferno

By @jmalini2603

this is an English project

Chapter 1

this is for an english project

Context: Two journalists (Maxwell and James) and a photographer have travelled to Colombia to follow and document a group of migrants and their journey to the US border for a potential story of theirs. They had lost the group, travelling through the Darrien Gap to human traffickers and have since been lost and on the run from the dangers of the jungle. The Darrien Gap is an uncharted, untamed part of the jungle which serves as a buffer zone between Colombia and Panama, it is known for a plethora of dangers passing through such as wildlife, smugglers, guerilla groups, cartels, and much more, all of which our group of three have encountered or have yet to encounter. Days have passed by since they had first been on the run and madness is ready to ensue.

“MAX!” My cries echoed in the jungle.

“MAX YOU ************

He was simply trudging forward, deeper and deeper into the jungle. Like a man possessed he trekked on further with whatever standard of haste he had in his delirium. Despite him leaving before we had even woken up, we caught up to him. His rustling through the leaves somehow outweighed the jungle ambience, chirping, the bellows of the monkeys and the monotonous drone of the insects around us. Though honestly, I couldn’t say it was a surprise. He had kept to himself for quite some time ever since the last time we had narrowly escaped death (and it truly has been too many times to count at this point). We had all been sent out to cover stories in places which had been ****** by famine, war, disease, you name it. But this place, this hellish place. There’s something about this place that has shaken us all to our cores. We were no longer the observers of a story; but, now we were one. 

“MAX WHERE IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING?”

Finally, he stopped. I heard the rustling of leaves and footsteps on the ground as James had caught up behind me. He took a few more steps ahead of me and just as he was about to grab onto to Max’s shoulder a slight chuckle could be heard. It was Max, and his laughter only grew louder and louder. Until he had turned around and faced us. His mouth agape with some kind of weird half-smile. His eyes were sunken deep into his skull. You couldn’t see his eyes, just two dark shadows under his brow where his eyes used to be. His face looked like a skull with a thin layer of skin over it. If it weren’t for his nose you truly could think he was a walking corpse if he already wasn’t one. I never realized how dehydrated he looked, how haunting he looked. We were all sweating profusely but whenever we had the chance we drank like fish. I never realized he hasn’t been. His face was almost as if it were a reflection of his sanity, teetering on the edge, ready to fall apart.

The laughing had stopped and he started walking closer to James who had at this point started to walk back slowly.

“Where in the Hell am I going?” Maxwell had inquired.

“Where in the Hell AM I GOING?! I could be asking you the same thing, James.” He didn’t even realize that I was the one calling him but honestly, I’m just glad I’m not the one being interrogated by Max given his current instability.

 “Yeah, where are you going?” James had replied. “We gotta stick together man. All three of us, with the **** we’ve already been through in this godforsaken place you can’t just go wandering off on your own like that. For all you know we’re so close to finally getting ou-”

“Out of here?” 

“Yes… Out of this jungle”

“Do you really think that’s going to happen? You asked me where In the Hell I was going… Well, that’s your mistake we’re already here.” 

“And where’s here exactly”

“Shouldn’t you know?” Max had started walking around, circling James as he began to talk, I started to step back from the whole situation myself and maintain my silence. “You claim I’m wandering in this ****** jungle. You ask where I’m going. Well, frankly-” He began to chuckle slightly “this is kind of like the divine comedy. And like Dante, we wander through the horrors of this inferno, this Green inferno. Though instead of finding our way out we only go deeper and deeper until we meet the devil himself, imprisoned in his own domain. There is no law and there is no higher power here. Especially with what we’ve seen unfold here. Truthfully, I couldn’t care less about what happens or where I even go at this point. The only thing that’s keeping me moving right now is my primal instinct of survival, but even that is fading away. Consciously I have accepted that fate and you should t-”

“WHAT ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT!?” James had interrupted. “Are you hearing yourself now? You sound like some kind of cartoonish movie villain or something. I’m not gonna accept **** other than the fact the second we finally see civilization we’re gonna get off of this continent and I am going back home AND I AM TAKING A SHOWER!” 

Both of them fell silent and a long, daunting stare followed. It felt like an eternity, watching the two of them, they looked as if they were ready to square off at any moment. I just had to chime in,

“So are you two lovers gonna kiss already or are y’all gonna keep staring at each other like that?” I couldn’t help myself from laughing as both of them gave me a sort of angry look. And simultaneously they told me to “Shut up” and in all honesty, that made me laugh even harder. It was little moments like this that kept my sanity and kept me going. Little moments that made me appreciate, well… the moment, and kept my mind off of survival, or the opposite… My laughter subsided and James and Max had maintained their angered or disgusted looks that they had directed towards me. 

Maxwell squatted down and rested his chin on his palm and exhaled a deep sigh.

“I’m gonna die here… We’re gonna die here… Listening to this ******* cameraman’s stupid jokes.” He covered his face with both of us his hands as if he were weeping, but he wasn’t. Though in a moment’s notice he quickly jumps back up with his eyes wide open, finally you could see them. 

“Do you guys hear that?” Max asked.

Despite the cover of jungle ambience, there was a faint sound of an engine, something small, like a motorcycle or a dirt bike, and it was getting louder.

This is an excerpt of a chapter which would be a few chapters in some sort of longer story.

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