Buried5 mins 12.2K 5 mins 12.2K
There I was, standing in front of a big rusty metal gate. I looked both sides but all I could see was a fence, for as far as I could see. I had been threading my path through the dense jungle for quite a time to be here. Why was I here? Had I been looking for this place? Was this the end of my journey or a mere distraction? Had I always wanted to come here? Was I fleeing something? Or someone? What was this place? I pulled out a torch from my backpack and started to look for a sign or landmark. There were no signs or planks. About this time, I heard a monkey started to howl from not very far somewhere.
‘Great! Now I got to be aware that a tiger is lurking nearby too’, I thought to myself. I felt a buzz in my backpack. I opened it to find it to be a wristwatch, military-grade. ‘Why am I traveling with a military-grade wristwatch?’ I thought to myself as I shuffled through the settings to switch it off. The clock was stopped at 13:17. ‘Wait, is it day or night?’ I looked up at the sky. All I could see through the canopy was darkness. There were no sunrays or stars. Suddenly I felt a drop of water on my face, of the size of a grape. Then I heard a rumble of thunder. It was so fierce that it shook the nearby treelines and some birds flew away from its branches. I realized the situation was about to be much difficult.
I stood for a while under a ginormous eucalyptus tree to be spared of the hailstorm. I had mud shoes on my legs, but I realized that they were filled with water. I leaned back on the tree and pulled out my right shoe and poured it out with a sigh. My foot was deep in the forest floor, covered with green moss. It was wet but still felt warm. I heard an owl hooting away from above the canopy. I took another foot as well and put that foot in the moss too. The warmth of the forest floor filled me with such joy that I couldn't realize when I was standing there with both my arms open. Although the hailstorm was tearing through the jungle like a hot knife through the butter, I was standing there looking at the sky, smiling.
After a while, I realized that it was not going away any time soon. I had a choice to make. I could have stood there and waited for the storm to pass or find a way through the fence. I chose the latter. Not too far from the gate, I found a tear in the fence which was almost touching the ground. I pulled out some bushes and vines to make way then lay on the ground to peak through the tear and to my surprise, I saw a pond. I got puzzled even more. ‘Why is there a pond in the middle of the forest?’ ‘Who made the fence?’ ‘Who is protecting it?’ So many questions. I took my backpack and threw it over the fence and then crawled through that tear which was probably made by some bore or hyena.
Although the gap was narrow, it took a little effort to pass through it. The side of the pool was unusual and mushy. I flashed the torch at it but couldn’t make anything of what I was looking at. The ground was soft, like flesh. I felt like I was standing on an animal. At that time something else caught my attention from the pond, green grasses. Loss and tall green grasses, growing out of the pond and almost covering the opposite side. They grew so tall that an elephant could hide within it. I turned the light towards the other side of the pool and could see some things were sticking out of the ground like a mangrove forest floor. I went there to see what they were and to my surprise, I found tusks, hundreds of them, everywhere. I also found dead bodies of massive elephants and other animals buried on the ground. I didn’t step back with fear when I realized that I was standing on a buried elephant’s belly.
I went near the pond to look at. The rain had stopped and there was an eerie silence everywhere. I stood there to look at the sky and saw clouds, restlessly running through the open sky, still no sign of sun or moon. I then tried to look through the water to know how deep it was but couldn’t guess. I saw something, down there at the bottom, lurking in that murky water. I couldn’t resist and started to take off my clothes. I swam into the middle of the pool and stopped and just float there. The water was cold and refreshing. The treelines around the pond were standing there like a canvas painting. I took a deep breath and started to dive. It didn’t take long for me to feel that squishy and mushy soft feeling again. I knew I was standing on another animal. I got off for another breath and dived again. With the torch I saw that it was a lion, laying lifelessly under the depths of the pool. I flashed the torch around and realized that the whole pool floor was scattered with hundreds of dead animals. I didn’t want to stay there for another moment. I got off the pool to see all the shores were filled with dead animals; elephants and lions, thousands of them. Who was burying these animals? Why weren’t they decomposing?
I climbed the rusty metal gate without even waiting to think what all those meant and jumped to land on the other side.