FULL SUMMARY: This story is a colab between myself and BlackandWrite. We started it about four or five years ago (we think) as a way to challenge each other as writers and to help with creative juices for our other stories we write separately.

This is how it works: There is no *actual* plot. I write the chapter for the character Lucy and BlackandWrite does the chapter for Sean. We did not consult each other on the chapters, each person had free reign on where to take the story, we would just send each other the chapter and wait for the reaction of the other who would have to continue the story, regardless of where it was left off!

If we get a good response from readers, who knows, we may start up the writing again. Each chapter is quite short but it was a lot of fun to write as it can end up going anywhere! Leave a review and let us know what you think.

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CHAPTER 1 – LUCY

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Branches tore at my skin, vines wrapped around my ankles and in some parts I sunk into gooey sections of the jungle I didn't want to think about. I was getting used to the quiet dimness of the jungle when I broke into a clearing in the sun and was forced to stop. I shielded my eyes with my arms, bending over double, feeling like I was blinded. Breathing heavily, I stood again and put one hand up to my eyes, trying to see how long the clearing lasted for. I hated being so exposed. As my eyes adjusted, the next patch of dense underbrush appeared about fifty yards away. Looking left and right, as if I was crossing a road, I took up my frantic pace again.

I wasn't really conscious of time, as I had no way to monitor it – apart from the sun. And it being midday and all, didn't really help. As I accumulated more stabs and scratches from the undergrowth, all I could think about was every step that took my forward, meant hope. It meant my chances of surviving increased. My chance at freedom increased. And the Center was left further behind.

I barely noticed the shrill screeches of the birds overhead, all I concentrated on was my breathing. It reverberated through me. It meant I was still alive. A loud volley of shrieks caused me to lose my rhythm of running and my hand grabbed at soft fur, rather than a tree trunk. Gasping in surprise, I jerked my hand back as a ring-tailed monkey defended his home.

As I struggled to rip through another vine hanging in the way, and as my adrenaline finally wavered, I heard it. Voices. I froze, but my heart beat furiously within me. As I listened carefully, still partly tangled in the vine, I managed to hear them again. They were coming from in front of me. It wasn't possible! If they caught up to me, it would be from behind, I was sure of that. But the voices became clearer still, and I could tell a few accents that weren't from South America. Then one male American voice loudly complained that he had forgotten to bring the bug spray. I smiled. They were tourists. The ones likely pursing me would a) never forget such a thing and b) wouldn't make a deal about it given their current mission to re-capture me.

Finally, I had caught a break. Tourists meant civilization. I twisted myself out of the vine and tried to walk forward. But the vine wouldn't let go. I looked down at my waist and chest to see the form of a Tree Boa Constrictor Python weaving slowly around me. I had broken out of the Center with a personal mandate to make as little noise as possible, and in my steadfast determination, I only let out a small, terrified sob. I was so close! Through the panic that had seized me, I forced myself to think. Looking up into the towering canopy, my eyes then darting to closer branches, for sharp objects…what was I thinking. Sharp objects growing on trees, right. I still had my right arm and legs free, as the python wasn't fully grown. I had nothing to defend myself with, apart from the clothes I wore.

I looked down at my feet and realized I was up to my ankles in a murky water. They must be near the river. I finally got an idea as the python wound down around my left leg, squeezing me tighter. I braced herself on a nearby tree with my right arm and tried to lower herself down into the water. But the tree trunk was slippery and my grip failed and I fell the rest of the way on my back, landing on a submerged tree root. However the python bore the brunt of this impact, and, combined with the fact they were both semi-immersed, it loosed its grip and I burst out of the water, ripping the snake from me. It slithered away quickly into the water. Gasping and almost soaking wet, I stumbled back towards the direction of the voices. The voices had faded though. I strained to hear them, but couldn't. Now I panicked. I took off at a run and within a few minutes, I reached another edge of the jungle. This one met with the river.

A few yards or so above me, was a jetty leading to a purpose-built canoe. It's purpose? To carry tourists with too much money. It was almost full and I quickly jumped and scrambled up onto the jetty. As I stood up, I realized my clothes were ripped, dirty and mostly drenched from the murky water. And where were my shoes? In haste and in vain, I tried to straighten out my clothes, smooth back my hair and walk towards the boat without the desperate race I had just finished. As I did, the Amazon rain forest did what it did best. It rained. So nobody really noticed my attire or the fact I climbed aboard into the back seating, trying hard to calm my breathing. As I began to settle slightly, I felt someone sit beside me. Without looking, I could tell it was a male, but I knew it wasn't anyone who was pursuing me. If it was, I'd be tranquilized by now. The boat began smoothly pulling away from the jetty, but I kept my head firmly turned away from anyone on board the boat, anxiously scanning the river shore lines.

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A/N: Thoughts? Reviews?