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from Assassinato Selva by Steven Smith

Copyright © 2019–2020 Imogen McKenzie

Chapter 11

"There is definitely something following us," Vicky shrieked in a high pitched voice.

"Will you chill out, it's probably a rat or something," Katie returned trying to calm Vicky down.

"Rat? Ewww I hate rats," Vicky shuddered and continued to inspect her surroundings, keeping her arms tucked tight into her chest, "I friggin hate rats," still muttering under her breath.

"Watch out for these thorns," Katie stepped over the thorny entanglement at the last second, holding out her arm she helped Keeley step over the razor-sharp growth. Vicky meanwhile was only half paying attention, catching the toe end of her brown hiking boot on the braches and tripping herself over. Vicky fell flat forward and was partially stopped by Keeley mid-fall, the thorns dug into Vicky's leg as she stumbled, tangling her up in a spikey mess.

"Shit! Damn thorns, fuck, get it off me," Vicky struggled and tried to wriggle free, Katie quickly knelt and grabbed Vicky's knife, "Hold still your making it worse," She held her friend's knee trying to stop her from moving her leg around. Katie carefully cut the troublesome vines and freed her friend's leg, Vicky cussed and plucked the thorn heads that had remained stuck in her leg, "I've had enough of this shit, first the tour guide buggers off, then Edith storms off in a sulk, and now we are trudging through a shitty jungle with no idea how long it will take us to get back," Vicky began to sob in a dramatic bout of self-pity. Keeley had to restrain herself from giggling, Vicky certainly had confidence with most of life's matters, but occasionally the diva crown would slip and childlike tantrums burst out of her like a pan boiling salted water on a gas hob.

"Cheer up Vick, could be worse?" Keeley sniggered. Vicky scowled at the youngster as she padded a tissue on the small wounds to her leg, "Not funny Keel, how about helping me up instead of sniggering, eh?"

Keeley's smile was wiped and she held out her hand to help Vicky up, she was hauled up by the youngster and the trio continued on their journey, but it wasn't long before Vicky was moaning again. "What the fuck was that?" She almost jumped out of her skin, which in turn scared the life out of Katie and Keeley.

"What now?" Katie was losing patience with her friends diva-like theatrics. "Something touched my leg, I swear girls something is behind us," Vicky was cowering and becoming incredibly tense. Katie ushered her friend between herself and her cousin, now Vicky had protection from her two friends, in front and behind. "I'm not making it up, something was stroking my leg, I swear," Vicky pleaded seeking assurance. "Okay, well you should be alright now, I'm in front of you and Keels is behind you."

"How long do you reckon until we reach the village?" Vicky grew curious, Katie stopped walking again and pulled out the waterproof map, scouring the paper with her index finger Katie tried to estimate a time scale. "We would need to set up camp for the night about here which I reckon is-" Katie was interrupted as suddenly Vicky slumped to the ground in a moment of confusion, Kelley stumbled back unsure what had even just happened and Katie dropped the map and reached down to grab Vicky's hand in a moment of instinct. But Katie saw the fear and confusion in Vicky's eyes, a moment in time where it all seemed to happen in slow motion, Vicky's eyes pleading to her friend and Katie unable to respond amidst the chaotic split second.

Vicky was dragged away like she ...

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