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Creative Nonfiction

I tossed my cigarette butt into a pool of water that had formed right at my feet.

 - Yes, I said, the rain has already passed away  and I think it would  better go to that cave behind those two trees, over there.

 And so, I lifted  the two days of laziness,  crabapples and one-eye-opened naps. 

I looked at the sky turning blue and at the few drops of rain that slipped between the leaves and the iridescent sap of the tree.

 That intensity did not last long, because at that very moment I heard the branches of the trees sway. "It must be the wind," I thought.

So,  I came out from under that tree.

 Look up at the sky: it was clean, light blue and serene.

 I turned my gaze to the other trees: some flowery, others curdled with apples, oranges, loquats, and so on,  that I did not know for sure what exactly they were supposed to be.

 I looked up and realized again that , now,  only a few trees were moving.

 -it must be a bird, a  mountain cat or  .., and raised his head to look at the surroundings.

 - I see nothing. I better climb the tree to see exactly what it is.

 And it went up about twenty or thirty centimeters more, but there was only one chaicita flying, there was no wind either - I observed with more attention, and this time opening my eyes better, looking to all sides.

 At first I could not see anything, the branches blocked my vision. I climbed more than twenty centimeters and between the branches of that leafy tree, I realized that it was still moving.

 - Could a cat make such a fuss?

 My curiosity made me stop smoking, and I even put my glasses on to see better. Sharpen my hearing.

 And I put to see a backpack walking.

 And hear voices that came from afar.

 My soul froze.

 -  Could it possibly be them, for God’s sake? I asked myself, looking for a last cigarette in my pocket, the one I never found.

 I climbed onto a trunk of the tree that sheltered me.

 I couldn't see anyone.

 - It's them, and my  blood started to jump inside my veins, led by a broken heart machine,  literally.

 They would be close, moving the branches, as I continued to feel the warmth of the afternoon.

 It was a group of people dressed in green clothes with military spots going into the jungle, walking in the mud, jumping over fallen logs, covering their heads with their hands.

 It was them.

 - What are you doing here armed? Will they want to hunt me?  - I thought,  ragged  breathing.

 My stomach twisted inside of me.

 I was cold  sweating, just thinking that they could catch me.

 Staying in the tree was like hunting birds, with one shot it kills him. And I am the bird- so I immediately came down from the tree. And I went into the thicket.

 Between two trees I saw the entrance to the grotto.

 I immediately lowered the forty-centimeter climbed and on the tip of my bare feet I went to the grotto, stepping on stones and muddy up to my knee.

 I dodged the branches, and covered the entrance again with branches and more branches.

 It was not a very large grotto but you could see through a hole in the techno that would allow the passage of it, that there were some bats, a wild mouse and many spiders.

 He did not want to be found and through, so,   I began to explore the grotto, finding then at the entrance some large and high fences behind a stone that covered it. Squatting to hi, I began to hear voices approaching, which made me hi, or pentair that I was cornered:

 -How much will they pay us?, Asked the peasant with the wet hat, looking away from a drop of rain that dripped in front of him towards the corner of his eye, blocking his vision.

 -When we catch him, replied the chief, better accommodating the blue plastic backpack that he had on his back, stepping with his face to continue among the molles that was ahead.

 Each of them cut the strained lianas from the trees with machetes, opening the way and stirring each fallen tree leaf with their eyes, sniffing like dogs and silently to find my footprints in the mud.

 The men looked at each other.

 I saw him fix his hat, step if-step no. He ends the sweat with the brown sleeve of his shirt that I imagine one day was white that fell off, the boss's eyes passed over a stone that concealed an entrance tilted by two trees.

 The  boss  looked at the entrance: there were traces of fallen tree leaves, and the many branches that I put in the entrance

 --There are many branches, he said, observing their arrangement: attacked.

  I  threw a stone at the rest of the group, who immediately turned back.

 They looked at the  leader of the group,  who was pointing to the entrance.

 They surrounded the trees and the stone.

 The entrance to the  cave  was dark and with water covering their sandals.

 The leader took a flashlight out of his backpack, covering it so as not to make a noise.

 He turned it on.

 At first, his flashlight only illuminated the cracked walls, covered by cobwebs and some bats hidden in the ceiling woke up, taking flight.

 My hands did not want to detach from the walls.

 He was getting closer and closer. He was petrified and my wish in this instant was to turn to stone.

 Until the flashlight hit a shadow.

 The soles of my feet would sting, and if I scratched I made noise - and they would surely find me.

 Or rather, I was shaking as a falling leaf, because I knew what could happen.

 The leader, who carried the lantern in his right embrace and leaned against the wall of the grotto, shook his head in the direction of the shadow.

 .  The others, nodding affirmatively, dispersed inside the grotto, one going to the left and the other two to the right, while the leader silently drew a pistol from his backpack, putting the flashlight in his mouth.

 - We are armed and there are four of us. Do you give up or do you prefer to be hunted? asked the leader.

 I started to break out in a cold sweat.

 I had forty dives, something overweight and my bald head gleaming, my eyes coming out of the orbit from so much fear that I felt about being killed for speaking to me, you will see it.

 His jaws were tightly closed.

 The stiff legs did not allow me to move my step to get out from behind the fence where my body was compressed and sweating until my tongue seemed stuck in my teeth.

 My glasses are slipping from my nose, "I'm going to lose them," he thought.

 They kept talking, this time closer:

 - How much did you say it was?

 -         One hundred thousand pesos .

 -         For each one?

 -         Yes.

 "Surely it must be the value of what they are going to gain if they catch me," he thought, trying to balance me in that gap.

 Until my cap fell off, among the dried feces of the bats glued to the ceiling at that time of the day

 - It is my end – I sentenced with my legs shaking .

 The leader, upon hearing the noise of the fall, the leader realized that he was right at his feet. She picked it up, reaching out with his hairy arm to lift it up.

 -Is this cap yours?

 The leader approached them to me, as if to give them back.

 And instinctively, I reached out to  take  the cap back.

-         Fine, you crazy bastard,  come pick it up,  a voice coming from behind told me.

-         J turned my head around.

I had no chance at all, as the stupid  leader   brought  my cap  down, trampling and destroying  it, burying it in the mud and shit.

So, now, what can I do ?

J think the best thing to do us to leave it.

 The leader whistled.

 It was the signal to catch me.

 The other members came out of the shadows and without much work, they grabbed me.

 At that very moment, I felt a tiny  blow passing through   my head.

-         What is it ? - asking myself in mistrust.

And a big shadow covered my body and much more my soul, as it almost run away from me.

 Instinctively, I put my foot between the man's feet, making him fall, taking advantage of the low visibility in the cave.

,’ what the hell ! – he exclaimed, standing up right away.

In  the fall, he dropped his gun.

-         I have to grab it! – I said to myself, starting to take the four- kneeled leg to crawl .

But the  leader came near me,  with  a pistol in his hand.

 So I looked at the floor.

 There were vipers, a bunch of them, flying all over the sweet-smell  cavern, like a honeycomb. – a good distraction to take advantage of.

-         What can I do? What can I do ?

 The leader  put his hand in front of his head, in order  to avoid the vipers.

-         That’s my chance to grab the fallen gun and kill  him – I thought.

But nervousness is also an enemy of perfection.

The leader has seen me.

And took me from the collar., strangling my neck.

I was thoroughly dominated.

-         I have to fight for my life ! – I thought, and finding guts from I don’t know where,   I punched him in the face and  his belly, making him release my neck as he bent his body, almost plunging.

-         My chance ! – I said, stretching my legs in order to reach the gun.

Using all my surviving strength, I managed to take the gun, and pointed it  the gun to  his forehead, thinking that it would not  be enough, as he was not alone.

 Then, I noticed that I was wrong when I saw the shining blade of a knife, hidden in his stocking.

-         He will surely pull it out – I said to myself.

 And he did it..

-         Oh, no! I think I am in trouble.

He nailed  it to my back.

-         Oh no ! You are not going to…

And  I pulled the trigger  of  the gun still  in my hand

 The vipers were scared.

 And they ran towards the entrance of the cavern.

 Just as the other two were approaching the cavern.

 - What is that? They asked.

 "Vipers! Many vipers!"

 And the other two fired, with the typical shaking hands of cowards

 I don't know where I woke up, after what happened.

 However, the green walls of that room looked slippery.

 -          where I am ? - It was the first thing I asked, when I realized that I was imprisoned by tubes, wires and all sort of things attached to me

 I could not breath properly, less stretching my  paralyzed  arm  by  a needle that entered it, connected to a plastic bottle of serum that the nurse had put me.

 - I would like to open the window - I just said, not wanting to know if there was someone in the room to listen to me - it's dark- complete, with the firm hope that the light would be made.

 There was no noise, not even a slight  uproar  to indicate the presence of someone on the other side of the door.

 what could I do?

 Waiting was the only solution.

 I don't remember if I waited a long time, or if I waited with my eyes closed, because the shadows that covered my reddened, inert body made me hear the singing of the doves outside.

 And for the first time in my life, I felt such an intense vibration to dominate every cell of my body, caressing my senses that began to transcend over the shadows, illuminating the room, spilling the softness of the song in all its dimensions, breaking down the imposed barriers of matter.

I could not see myself therefore, I was unable to recognize my existence, farther away ,  undefined  by my senses.

 Therefore, I  had no notion of time, nor space.

  I  did not have the understanding to realize the situation or the moment.

It was a mess!

Would I be in another world, or maybe dead?

Who am I? – I asked plenty of times looking at that  starless ceiling of that room could be   so insipid, so cruelly indifferent, even when I was bedridden, ill and disabled.

 But that did not prevent flying on the wings of imagination.

 And I got out of my mind

 Of the room.

 And even my body

 I crossed rivers and mountains, I crossed oceans, I touched the snow with my useless hands.

 I wanted to feel it.

 I wanted to live more

 moment, make it eternal, infinite like my very essence, still sick.

 Kissing stars and bathing with the smile of the moon.

 Wandering alongside the sound.

 Plunge into the void.

 Sublimate in each one of those experiences, forgetting the past and denying that licit present.

 And thus fragile, I began to move my fingers first, slowly, feeling the fabric under my nails, and the heat of the insecure movement, bydefinition.

 After enjoying that moment, I began to move my hand, which was withdrawing itself, doing cartwheels.

 And the arms, which were free, showed me the immensity of space and the distance between me "the patient" and me "the person with identity" - lost in my past.

A sudden voice hot into the room.

-         He will survive – the voice said

I have ever seen the face belonging to the voice.

I  think I fall asleep again, the whole time

When I got out from the place, someone said to me:

-         You were in were in fourth coma stage. Like a deep sleep

For four weeks.

I have no remembrances of that period of my life.

I just can remember that leaving it was confusing, because nothing seemed to be what it really was.

I saw people and places that in reality had never existed, which was not different from the dominant emptiness in essence, and insipid to the memory.

 A year later, after many medications and  physiotherapy,  I  returned to the cave.

 I had to do it, facing the pain - not physical, but that pain that shrinks my soul until I almost lost it.

So, I remembered everything.

That, was the real cure, the one I needed most.

March 22, 2021 20:51

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