by U.B. Schultz
This is where you can find my works in progress and advice that I have for other writers.
I pull myself over the steep cliff ledge, and begin to find handholds on the sloping bank quickly. My muscles burn from the strain and my eyes are watering because of the wind. But I keep pushing myself. Today’s climb definitely beats any of the others I’ve taken, but right now I’m climbing for my life, so I don’t have time to reminiscence over this.
A gunshot cracks through the air, snapping me back to the situation. A gang of arsonists who’ve been terrorizing my home town are furious with me for having screwed up their last plan. The thing is, I couldn’t let them burn down the marketplace. It’s where most of us make or livelihoods, so this would have been devastating if I hadn’t changed out their chemicals they were going to pour everywhere for water. They found out it was me and so now I may get killed. The good news is, they have no idea what they’re doing. They aren’t even locals. The men have heavy English accents that makes it incredibly obvious.
The bullet pings off of the ledge about twenty feet below me as I scramble over the edge. I pause for a moment, panting, just to catch my breath, and run into the jungle. A resting macaw is disturbed as I run past. Ruffling its feathers, the bright red bird squawks indignantly and snaps at my bag. “Sorry little friend!” I call over my shoulder and jump onto a low-hanging branch.
I have to get to the highest ground as is possible. The Pyro’s may be slow, but there are about fifty of them chasing me so I need to get as far away as possible. A loud curse cracks through the air like a whip as I struggle up a large tree limb covered in green moss, tangled vines, and wait, was that-? It was.
Sitting innocently in the middle of a cluster of ivy is a bomb. I pick it up carefully, knowing one wrong move could trigger it. By now the gang is about a hundred meters away, so I put it in the pouch of my slingshot, pull it back, and it thwips through the air with a sharp whistle.
The explosive hits the ground with a soft thunk and combusts five seconds later. The arsonists were about fifteen meters away and were knocked over by the blast. I scramble across the branch and slip away into the dense tree tops. The green and brown canopy blankets my escape. The rustling of leaves in my wake causes a swarm of gnats to buzz angrily at their afternoon nap being interrupted. They buzz away in the opposite direction.
Moments later, I hear shouts of surprise and frustration. I smile. The rainforest floor is not a great place to be right now, what with all the deadly insects, poisonous animals and silent predators, and they just figured that out.