The wind blew a sudden chill down my spin. I looked around me at the forest green. I am fairly familiar with the forest in the back of the orphanage but I didn't recognize this part. Oops, I guess I ran out a little too far today, I thought to myself. The lush green of the forest was always beautiful and the smell of it was amazing especially after rain fall. I leaned over and breathed deeply preparing to run again.
My head snapped up when I heard growling from up ahead. I slowly crouched down and crawled my way towards the sound intrigued by it. I heard the pounding of the four heartbeats as if they were right next to me, shouting at me, inviting me. My heightened senses took over: the smell of excitement, adrenaline, sweat, salvia, and… blood.
Who could be fighting in the middle of the forest, a forest, I might add, that people have gone missing more than once, and at near twilight. I heard more growling and roaring then I wondered what was fighting?
I was almost on them now; I peeked over a small bush to get a view of them. I didn't know what I expected but it was absolutely not what I had been expecting.
They were jaguars! They were magnificent. The perfect spotted bodies with powerful muscles. They attack each other and defended themselves greatly. Each of them were getting lucky shots at the other. All of them were breathing hard, covered in blood, and still attacking and getting ready for the attacks. There seemed to be a tag team two verses two.
As I watched I felt my body straightening and starting to go towards the raging animals. Fear slammed into me, I couldn't control my body! I kept moving even as I yelled and tried to rebel against my body, it moved on, getting closer and closer to the ferociously, uncontrolled and wild jaguars.
I was going to be ripped apart, shredded, and probably eaten to if I got any closer to them. Inside I was screaming at my body to stop, turn around, or go any where but towards the jaguars. My heart pounded, my breathing got faster, harder, and more sallow with every step bringing me closer to my death.
Then I stopped almost on top of the combating jaguars. My body stilled. What was I going to do next? What lead me to get this close to these jaguars? I felt myself take a deep breathe.
"Stop!" I heard myself saying, closing my eyes I hoped and prayed I wouldn't be killed. Everything stilled; the forests, the songs of the birds, even, to my surprise, the fighting of the jaguars. Gradually I opened my eyes.
I stared at the intelligent eyes that stared back into mine. They had golden eyes with hints of green and gray. Eternity could have passed in the time we stared at each other. Then, as if commanded by an invisible voice, the jaguars bolted in opposite directions, two to the right and two to the left.
I stared at the spot where they ran from for a couple of minutes before I sat down suddenly. I swallowed several times trying to get up, but shock kept me sitting on the ground. I looked at my hands, unsure what to do; they were shaking! I willed them to stop, but they wouldn't stop trembling.
I sat there in a daze just listening to the echoes of the jungle around me. They were comforting, as if I belonged there. Their feelings of peace slipping into my skin calming my thunderous heart and ragged breathing. The smells offering me warmth, relief and reassurance. Like the feel of home, I thought to myself, but the forest was no home for me, no where was.
My mind lingered on the subject only a little longer before it switched back to the jaguars strange behavior. I laid down to think some more on the issue. I replayed the scene over and over again in my head, but still nothing about it made sense. I didn't get it. I sat back up frustrated that I still hadn't gotten any where with answers. I really shouldn't care for the why's and be grateful that I'm alive, but something about the prospect of it seemed off, but not just that drew me to the jaguars as if it should be important to me.
I sighed and looked around shocked to notice the sun had set. I took off in the direction of the orphanage. Oh man, Miss Fowl's going to be royally pissed off at me, I thought to my self.
I bolted into the back door that leads to the kitchen. The orphanage wasn't the best place to live. The smell of kids was strong in the small building. There were at least 25 kids under the age of 12 and only 5, not including Ms. Fowl, kids older; me being in the middle at age 16, well almost 16 any way, but close enough I only had a week until my 16th birthday!
I walked into the main hall and ran into the person I least wanted to run into. Ms. Fowl stood there glaring at me.
"I'm sorry I'm late Ms. Fowl, it won't happen again," I said looking into a woman well over the age of 20. Ms. Fowl had short brown puffy hair with glasses to big for her face, her eyes sharp dark brown, a very large and pointy nose in the middle and lips with very vivid red lipstick on them, which had also found a spot on her teeth. Her clothes not any better than her face a dark green fuzzy sweater, a long brown plaid skirt, and dirty grey socks with brown loafers to top it off.
"Like I haven't heard that before," Ms. Fowl said with alcohol on her breathe "As your punishment you'll have to set up the dinner table by yourself. And clean up by yourself, too."
She stomped off to her room after giving me a hard look over. I turned around and headed for the dining room. The two older ones did the cooking after I turn 16 I'll have to help in the kitchen too. I started setting out 31 plates, cups, spoons, forks, and butter-knives. I was finishing setting up the table when Jessica, 13 years old, and my roommate, came in.
"Where have you been? I've been looking everywhere for you." She shot at me with her new sassy tone. My back facing her I rolled my eyes.
"I've been running," I commented facing her. "Why have you been looking for me?"
"No big reason I just thought you should know I'm going to barrow you pink tee-shirt for our first day at school tomorrow." She batted her eyes at me pleadingly.
"You can have it. It's too small for me any way," I sighed not caring for the ugly pink shirt I hated ever since I had gotten it.
"Great. Thanks." She sat down in her dinner seat.
"Dinners ready," I shouted.
I cleaned up after dinner was finished, alone. I was drooping tired when I got to my room later.
"How come you were back so late? You know every one has to be home before six." Jessica asked.
"I just lost track of time," I shrugged.
I looked around me blinking. It was my dream again.
It was dark, but I could see every detail as if it were day light out. Trees spread out around me in every direction with a small clearing in front of where I stood, but this time there were people in the small meadow. They all were looking up at a massive man on the other side of the clearing. He was a dark man, with narrowed golden eyes, similar to mine but mine had a blue tint in them, his eyes had the look of someone who has seen much violent and gore. He wore his black hair long but tied at the base of his neck by a strap of leather, I think. He wore clothes like that of an Indian chief. His body language demonstrated confidence and absolute leader quality.
"Listen all. We have kept our existence from the humans for centuries. We will not have these two boys expose us, but I'm sure this human who saw the fight did not see its value. However what we do not realize is the significance of what she did." He examined the crowd listening to him as if his word was law.
"What was it she did that is important to us, father?" A boy from the right of the massive man asked. The small boy looked no older then ten, but no doubt he was his father's son, he looked like a miniature clone of the massive man.
"Well, a normal human would have ran the opposite way, away from the fighting jaguars not approach them and shout at them to stop. Jacob, Andre." Two boys straightened up at the call of their names.
"Are you a hundred percent sure that she was not from the other tribe?" Massive Man questioned.
The shorter boy answered.
"Yes, if she had been, she probably would have transformed to help the others or ran off with the others, but she stood there frightened as a rabbit caught in a lions den." He added with a chuckle which he quickly formed into a cough when the Massive Man didn't look amused.
"I see," the Massive Man replied. "You said she looked to be in high school?" He continued when they both boys gave an affirming nod. " Alright since you two were the only ones to see her and the only high school in 50 miles is your high school I want you to look out for her but do not try to be friendly with her just keep a safe distance and get a good description for me this time. Also I want you two to stay clear of that part of the jungle, do you understand me?"
"Yes, sir," both boys replied.
"Alright, now it is a late hour let us all return to our homes with our families and call it a night." The Massive Man ended the meeting. I walked among them undetected and unnoticed. I walked towards and followed the Massive Man and his son.
They didn't know I was there, none if them did even if I walked right in front of them, waved my hand in their faces, or shout at them they would have no clue I was there.
The boys walked in silence for a little then I saw them nearing a cabin. As soon as we got close to the cabin the Massive Man opened the cabin door. Alex walked in and out of sight, but the Massive Man paused in the doorway and looked straight at where I stood. I glanced over my shoulder thinking maybe there was something there that he was staring at. Realizing nothing was there a shiver ran down my spine, he looked as if he knew I was there, but he couldn't know I'm here, could he?
No, I told myself when he finally goes inside the cabin, he couldn't because this was a dream, none of it was real, not the people, not the forest, and especially not him.