Ten F* days in the Wild.

Submitted for Contest #74 in response to: Write a story that takes place across ten days.... view prompt

1 comment

Dec 30, 2020

Adventure Inspirational

Alert: Strong Language

"Good afternoon. I am Micha Williams, and I am here at the Saint June General Hospital in Backwoods city. Today I'm interviewing Isaac Mahbub, the scientists that got kidnapping ten days ago," said the black reporter wearing a gray tailored suit. She was in a spotlessly clean room where at the back could be seen a man lying on a bed. She made a sign to the camerawoman to approach the bed.

"Good afternoon, Dr. Mahbub. First of all, how are you today?" The reporter had a soft voice and a beautiful smile, the kind that could melt ice.

"Good afternoon, Miss William, and please call me Isaac. I am better now. I still need to stay some days here to heal some minor wounds, but the worst had already passed," said the young man, full of bruises and superficial cuts. He had gray hair near the ears and neck that contrast with his naturally tan skin.

"I am happy to hear it. Excuse me, but I need to ask you about the recent events. What happened to you that led to being lost in the woods?" The reporter had a charming way to do the interview that was impossible not to answer her.

"I am not sure about the reason that made those madmen kidnapping me," said the man moving in the bed to become more comfortable. "At the early hour of the day, I was leaving an international pharmacy congress. The organization's crew had promised me that a car would take me to the airport. There were a black car and a man in a suit holding a sign with my name on it. I believed it was the promised car, so I followed him." The man's face darkened.

"The criminals were organized. When did you notice that something was wrong?" Asked the woman with a sober expression.

"I was tired after a weekend of lectures and conferences, and it took me almost a half an hour to notice the strange route the driver took. It was my first time in the city, but I have a good memory for directions, and it wasn't the one that would lead to the airport. We were leaving the city. I was locked in the backseat of a limousine with a thick glass separating me from the drive, and nothing I asked receive an answer," said the man with the tone of someone used to give lectures.

"Where they took you to? What did you feel at this moment?" The reporter reveals a genuine concern about the man's story.

"I was mostly afflicted, but I tried to keep calm to prepare myself for what could come. After almost two hours on the road, and we end up on a small farm. The driver parked the vehicle in a barn and came to take me from the car with a pistol pointed at me. I cooperated, and he guided me through a tall cornfield to a secret plane runway, a clandestine drug lord runway. There was a single-engine plane with three men inside. They look like those movie's mercenaries. I enter the plane."

"You were really brave, Isaac. What did they talk about on the plane? Did they threaten you at any moment?" The reporter sign to the camerawoman to do a close up on the man's face.

"I was afraid, but I know that any hesitation could be worst for me. As soon as I enter the plane, a blond man talked to me. He told me that if I did what they asked, I would be released. They were members of a group called Liberty for All, and they needed me for a huge project. Of the two men, he was the only one talking to me. The other kept me on the tip of his gun and in complete silence." He moves again, trying to find a comfortable position. "They didn't give me anymore answer about the plan, his goals, or our destination when we took off."

"I need to remember that ten-days ago, a storm hit this area at the mourning, delaying in more than two hours many flights on the local airport. How did the storm affect your story, Isaac?" The complement was professional but didn't break the comfortable atmosphere of the interview.

"The pilot was flying really low. I could see the roof and treetops by the windows. I believe he did it to not appear on the radar of other planes. The storm hit us suddenly twenty or so minutes later. The plane started to shake like an old washing machine. I asked to land or at least give us some parachutes. They look at me furiously, but after a few minutes, still shaking, they gave me the parachutes. It was my savior because minutes later, the plane, without a visual, hit something, and the plane crashed."

"You were kidnapped by criminals and entered in a plane that crashed in unknown woods within a large storm. Did you remember anything from the crash?" The camerawoman did a close up at the report while she makes the question.

"I remember all. It must have taken only 10 seconds, but for me, it was much more. The plane broke the wing and part of the motor in something, and the pilot rose the plane that went up spinning. Everyone got terrified, and I took the opportunity to open the door and jump. When I was young, I practiced skydiving. In the time it took to stand up, open the door, and jump, the plane had risen more than fifty meters. I use what I knew from my skydiving days, and even spinning mid-air, I opened my parachute and land on a tree," said the man shaking.

"It was a miracle you survive after jumping from a plane in those conditions. Did you hurt yourself in this escape? Did you see how the kidnappers ended?" The camerawoman switch between Isaac and the reporter.

"I got really dizzy, but besides this, just scratches from the tree branches. I couldn't see much about the plane. I saw it continued in the air for a few more seconds before fall. I heard the crash seconds later." The man sigh before proceed. "I had to leave the parachute in the storm and find a shelter. There were lightning and thunder, and the tree I got stuck was a strong candidate to be hit. When I released myself, I run to the near safe place, a log leaning against a large rock. When the adrenaline left me, I fell to sleep."

"Jumping from a plane during a storm demand much from a man. It must be stressful for a man used to labs and classrooms. What happened when you woke?" A nurse enters the room to check the patient, and the camerawoman recorded the scene.

"In my youth, I practice extreme sports. My adrenaline's days were over when I entered college." Isaac showed a humble smile. "When I woke, the storm was over, but a strong burning smell was in the air. I took the parachute from the tree before seeking the smell. It was afternoon, and I knew nothing about where I was. It took me hours to find the origin of the smell: the crash site."

"It must be hard to gaze what could be your fatal destiny. How was the crash site?" The nurse left the room with an angry face that the camerawoman didn't record.

"It was terrible, and I threw up with the sight. There are no survives. The pilot died in the crash, one of the men got trapped in the plane propeller. I found one dead in a tree. The last one got hurt and died ten to twelve meters from the broken plane. He probably suffered for hours before perish. Then the night comes, and I decide to stay there. It was dark, and there were a fire and things I could use to pass the night. It was the worst night of my life."

"Camping next to bodies and the wreckage of the plane, certainly one of the worst places to pass the night. What you took from the crash site to survive the days that would come in the woods?" The reporter sits on the bed's edge.

"At first, I only make a hammock with the parachutes, just something to don't is attacked at night by animals. I decided to stay at the crash site on the firsts days. I believed I had better chances to be found taking advantage of the clearance the plane fad open in the dense woods and from the smoke that rose for hours. I found some candy bars on the wreckage that I ration for two days. One of the dead had a flask that use to keep me barely hydrated. I tried to save my energy. I only dig a pit to ditch the bodies because I fear the smell could attract beasts." said the man, ashamed.

"Surviving a disaster like that without proper supplies is an extreme situation. You have to make crucial choices constantly. When you notice that staying there would be a death sentence?" The reporter sign to do close in the bruises and wounds.

"On the third day, my food was ending, and the smoke was over for 24 hours at that point. I gather everything that could help me in a backpack and left the place. I remember what I saw in movies and look for a water source. I had no reference to help, so I sought lower lands. I had a knife, some flares, a piston with plenty of munition, a cord from the parachutes, my parachute, the candy bars, and my cellphone with a little charge. The odds were against me."

"Remember that Mr. Isaac isn't an experienced adventurer or survivalist. He is a pharmacist with a PhD. in vaccination and immunization. How you managed to survive the nights and to keep the animals away?" The reporter spoke slowly, to give time to Isaac to drink some water.

"I think I got lucky. There was a powerful flashlight in the plane, and I sleep in my parachute's hammock wrapped like a caterpillar. During the two days it took me to find water, they protect me." Isaac made a quick sign of the cross in his chest. "When I found a river, at last, I was fragile and full of cuts as my clothes weren't proper for long walks in the woods. I never felt happier with a sip of water."

"To give a context, a body only can survive a couple of days without water. When you found the river was the fifth day of your journey in the Coldwater's Reserve. What did you do when you found that river?" Micha got closer to Isaac in the bed.

"At that point, I needed to rest for a full day to recover some energy. I was dehydrated and exhausted. I had only eaten bits of the candy bars, as I didn't how to hunt or how to recognize edible fruits or roots. I was so desperate that I use my blouse to trap a fish. Hours to catch a little one, and even more time to lit a fire with a bullet. I am grateful for this fish, as, without it, I never would survive the rest of the journey," said the man with large eyes gazing at the camera.

"You are an example of survival spirit and determination. How was the next day?" Micha displays a professional and personal way to do the interview.

"I woke with the sun, determined to follow the river until I find some sign of civilization. I didn't know about the large size of the reserve at the time, but I had to try my luck. I knew the risk of walk through the river's bank. Animals seek water, and I had a great chance to meet them in the banks. In fact, I found wild animals by the river two times. Both times I scare them away with two shots in the air. I have never shot in my life, and my hands were shaking like grass in the wind. I was tense, and any sound made me spooked. I barely sleep at night. My mind was broken."

"Alone, living with bits of food each day, in a wild place full of dangerous animals, only a prepared mind could stay whole in this situation. How you survived walking on the river's banks?" Isaac moves again in the bed, looking for a comfortable position.

"I survived only because of the birds. I was always looking up, hoping for a travel plane passing, my best chance to attract a rescue. I saw many birds and some of them I saw eating fruits. I thought that if they could, so do I. I had already eaten all candy bars, and catching a fish would take me hours. So, I use the same blouse I used to trap the fish to carry the fruits. I can't say what I eat, but they give me the strength to keep my journey," He said proudly.

"Remember that he only did this because of the risk situation he was living, and all the circumstances. Eating strange fruits, roots, and mushrooms in the woods can be dangerous if you don't identify them properly. What happened while you were by the river?" The alert of the report fills in, giving Isaac time to drink more water.

"I walk for two straight days before I saw a plane flying through the sky. It was sunset, and I use one of my flares to send a message. I was not sure- to tell the truth, I believed they didn't saw my alert. More than one week had passed, and my hopes were waning. I was scared of my own shadow. I had shot sometimes at shadows and in the direction of strange sounds. The next day I was walking with the last of my forces, tripping in rocks and roots." His voice choked.

"When the moment seems to be the worst is when the miracle happens. How was your rescue, Isaac?". The report leaves the bed to allow the camerawoman to approach.

"It was something straight out of a movie. I was walking for hours until I saw a clearance. The clearance was cover in rocks that enable the large trees to settle. I knew I couldn't walk more as I need to rest my feet from the painful shoes. I lit one flare in the middle and sat to rest, and ended sleeping of exhaustion. I woke with strange noises around me, and the flashlight only showed up moving shadows. I kept woke all night with my finger on the trigger, ready to shot. I shoot many times, and I don't know if a hit something. I was out of my mind. At some moment, I lit the last of my flares, thinking that, whatever it was, cornered me. The sun was rising, and I saw the chopper coming. I cried like a baby." Isaac's eyes fill with tears.

"The team of the reserve was receiving all day yesterday some denounces of lights and shooting. They sent a helicopter to investigate last morning and discovered Isaac in the Rock Clarence. He was promptly carried to the closest hospital to be examined and provide further explanation. The doctors said that in two days, Isaac'll leave the hospital with a full recovery. Do you want to say something more, Isaac?" Micha definitely knew how to keep a beautiful smile.

"I want to thank the Couldwater's reserve's team that rescues me and the doctors and nurse that treated me with all care. I would like to give a piece of advice too: pay better attention to the cars you enter and learn the basics to survive, this can be a difference to live or die in an accident. Thank you for allow me to tell my story, Micha. All I want now is to rest from this nightmare." Isaac smiled, showing genuine relief.

“I, on behalf of World News, thank you for giving us this exclusive interview. Be better soon, Isaac," said Micha leaving the room. "The Coldwater's Reserve has opened a lawsuit against Dr. Mahbub for his damages against the wildlife, fishing without a license, and camping in a prohibited area. The Coldwater's reserve is a permanent preservation area, and many unique and in danger species live there. The case can reach a process worth millions. Further updates, here in World News. Micha Williams from Blackwoods," said Micha in a torrent of words to the camera.

"What?! You sons of-" said Isaac at the back of the scene before the camerawoman stops the record.

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1 comment

The Manticore
22:15 Feb 12, 2021

Well crafted mystery and scariness for this one, Lourenço. The tag doesn't say funny but the ending is a little funny. Good, detailed look at what an interview is behind the scenes; we always see the edited footage or transcript, not so much seeing facial expressions or tones. We wrote a story for once this week, about museums and grief and things. Might be funny. Would you give it a read when you're around again? Thanks!

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