Simon stood rooted in the middle of the road not quite sure whether to go on after her or to step into his hilux and drive off, he was both confused and amazed at the way in which she had seemingly risen from the dead and melted away ‘she was injured for crissakes. He looked at the spot in the forest that had swallowed her and the very thought of going into the thicket after her made his blood run cold, he was terrified of snakes and he was sure there were plenty of them where she had gone.
“Don’t let her get away you bloody bastards, bring her back now”
The voice seemed to be coming from behind him, he turned quickly to face the direction from which the words had come, no one as far as he could see, but he was pretty sure there was someone else beyond the thick bushes.
“Hey!” he called out.
And then he heard them. It wasn’t just one voice. Voices, they were loud and moving closer.
“We’ll get the little bitch, hurry up you fools.”
As the voices became louder the foliage in the distance shook and swayed.
“She’s not far off, move faster you.” Another voice.
The approaching voices were quickly becoming louder and they sounded angry.
“She has nowhere to go.” Different voice.
Simon was now petrified, it all came together now, he understood why she was so frightening, why she was running, she was trying to escape from someone, them, but why? And he was dead certain her pursuers were about to emerge from the forest any second.
They were very close now, he could hear the undergrowth give way as the men moved nearer and the trees swayed from the motion. Simon was frantic he looked back at the spot where the girl had disappeared into the forest across the road, she could be anywhere by now, no sense going after her, he faced the voices again and at that moment a man emerged from the bush.
His torso was bare and his skin was sweaty, save for a loin bark cloth that covered his groin he had no apparel, his chest heaved as he breathed heavily.
Simon looked straight into his eyes, they were bloodshot and murderous.
Unblinking the man stared back at Simon, for a few seconds the two sized up each other and it was in those few seconds that Simon noticed the machete hanging loosely from the man’s right hand.
Simon’s heart raced making his head throb in the sweltering heat, the machete glinted in the sun causing Simon to swallow hard.
His gaze was still transfixed onto the machete when four others poured from the forest and grouped around the first man, they were just as scantily dressed and each held a weapon of some sort. Simon could make out a spear and an axe but he couldn’t really notice much more in the blinding sun as the sweat filled his eyes making him blink uncontrollably, he wiped the sweat from his eyes with a shaky hand and stared back at the savage bunch.
“Where is she?” the words were more of a threat. And they came from the savage who assumed authority and was clearly the leader, Simon noticed he wore a headset made of long plumes.
“You’re going to tell me where she is.” clearly the savage was used to giving orders.
This time he raised his spear aiming it directly at Simon.
Simon turned and sprinted towards the truck, he was running as fast as his legs could carry him, he needed to get to his truck and drive away from this nightmare.
The distance back to the hilux seemed endless and he wasn’t sure he would make it, he was almost certain the savage bunch would circle him and cut off his route of escape.
As fate would have it he tripped on a rock and stumbled, Simon lost balance and went crashing to the ground.
Chapter 4 release date: 24 Jan 2009