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from Assassinato Selva by Steven Smith

Copyright © 2019–2020 Imogen McKenzie

Chapter 9

Daylight crept through the vast jungle greenery, a morning mist nestled among the small bushes at knee height. Edith had been walking for nearly six hours straight, her legs ached and her eyes sunken into her head. It had been ropy at times, the small flashlight she carried helped, and caution had to be taken with every step in the dense parts of the jungle. She had averted danger and made it to first light. Stopping and resting her back against a tall tree, cracking a fresh bottle of water open Edith hadn't realised just how parched she was. 

The half litre bottle was gone in seconds, she quenched her thirst and studied the area around her. 

She shook her head in dismay, wondering just how she had ended up in this situation. Edith had been honest, if not at times brutal her entire life. How could she suddenly feel so worthless in this moment of time? It was awful, Edith didn't know how to react or how to feel, an utter feeling of desperation crossed over her. "How could she not know?" 

  

Edith tossed aside the empty bottle and rolled out the map from her belt, studied her map intensely, checking her compass she could see that she was over half way back The village though, was still a potential seven or more hours away, maybe she could reach it by mid afternoon? 

She rolled the map back up and sighed before getting back to her feet, wearily trudging on in her quest to reach the tiny village. 

  

As morning dragged on Edith felt drained, she needed to stop but wouldn't, moving was the only way to ensure she got to the ferry as soon as possible. Her thoughts overloaded with anger and bemusement, it was just inconceivable to think that Katie had simply missed vital facts, that she had made this potentially dangerous error of judgement. 

Edith was furious, she felt betrayed and wanted to strangle the dumb blonde, "How could she not know? The fucking place has the nickname Murder Jungle, its not exactly going to be a fucking massage and a tequila is it?" She was seething and trudged through the jungle batting the leaves away from her face as she stormed through a more dense part of the jungle. 

Edith heard something move behind her, something large and it moved very fast. She turned sharply snarling fearlessly ready for whatever may be coming her way. A few moments of stillness were filled with the noise of jungle wildlife, Edith snarled and glared all around her, waiting, watching. 

Nothing jumped out and no more strange sounds crept through the leaves, Edith slowly turned and continued on her way. She wasn't convinced though, and drew a long combat knife from a holder strapped to her right boot. It had a seven inch blade and a jagged rear edge. Edith was quite adept with weapons, she spent most of her teenage years in Cadets, it had certainly toughened her up, although, she barely needed any more toughening. 

  

Edith did not know her exact location, hoping her map reading skills had put her within but resting became a necessity. Snacking on various fruits and keeping hydrated had been the plan so far, but her water was low and her stomach growled with hunger. A big juicy burger with cheese, onion and lettuce would be a dream come true right about now, that would be the first thing she'd order once back on the mainland 

It was doubtful the village here on Ilha Azul Lago would have any decent food or meats, they barely had electricity Edith pondered. 

She sat down with her back against a tree and her knees raised up to her chest, the backpack on the ground next to her acting as a kind of armrest for her elbow. Edith could feel her eyes droop, she couldn't fight it. "Fifteen minutes, it's all I need," setting her watch to a countdown interval of fifteen minutes she closed her eyes. 

  

Edith suddenly woke in a blind panic, the sun beating down through the tall tree's and warming the bare skin on her face and arms, even the nylons ...






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