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[Story] The Inescapable Part-3
Short Recap of the Inescapable part 1 and 2:
Jack and his friends are on an island for week long excursion. Jack meets Maya on the island, their friendship blossoms and they are falling in love with each other. Another addition to the group from the island is Henry, who is also on the trip alone like Maya. The group of 10 friends decides to wander in the west of the island only to be soon hearing noises from around them.
The dried leaves and wood on the ground crackled from all directions. They were surrounded. The group was now practically hugging each other and trying to look for the source of the sound, they were afraid. Shrubs around them were taller than them making it almost impossible to see anything beyond the distance of 1 foot. They had to rely on their sense of hearing to understand the distance between them and the predator that was making the noise.
"What is it?" shouted Julia.
"Probably some wild animals, we can scare them off once we see them", assured Steve.
"These are not animals, these are humans carefully walking towards us. Guys, come closer to each other, form a circle facing the forest so we have eyes in each direction. No matter what happens do not look back, just look at what is in front of you. Look them in the eye when you see them". Henry had taken over as the leader. Everyone followed him and they were now standing in a circle, backs facing at each other and waiting to be ambushed from the bushes.
"Ahhhhhhhh", screamed Maya. She was the first one to witness the man with a wooden spear in his hand. He came straight out of the bushes and stood in front of her, staring at her.
"Maya, look at him", whispered Jack. "Look at him in his eyes" he continued. It was an old technique used on wild animals to scare them away. Wild animals are afraid of confrontation, as they are seldom confronted by their prey. If an animal would not run away but stood there and faced them, it would make them believe that the entity they are messing with could be dangerous. 9 out of the 10 people in the group were experienced campers and they knew what Henry or Jack had asked to do. Maya, being the only person who was camping for the first time, was possibly the most afraid person there.
Maya looked into the eyes of the man in front of her. They were big and popping out of his sockets. It scared her even more but she kept looking at him. By this time there were already about 4 dozen naked tribal men standing in front of the group. They were still partially hidden due to the bushes but it wasn't hard to determine the size of the attacking party. The gang knew they were going to be captured or worst, killed. The question that was horrifying everyone was Who were these men, and if it was the same tribe from the small island, how did they come to the larger island?
In a few minutes all 10 people had their hands tied with a rope behind their back and were being escorted by the tribe. Jack dropped his tracker on the ground. Their mouths were left open and they were able to communicate easily. Maybe they think we cannot plan an escape by talking, Jack thought to himself.
"At every few steps, we will drop our trackers, starting from the last person in the group which is me. On my command drop your tracker Maya as you are after me and the rest follow suite"
"Are you out of your mind?, the guides can trace our location based on the tracker and will come rescue us there", Maya insisted on not following the plan.
"Right now, no one will assume that we are missing or kidnapped as it's only a little passed noon. When we reach wherever it is that these savages are taking us, they will probably strip us off everything we are wearing and may destroy the tracker in the process. Hence it is better to leave clues. The first person will keep wearing the tracker till the end" explained Jack.
They kept dropping their trackers at every 750 steps they walked. Jack would call the name and that person would drop his/her tracker. Fortunately for him, the gamble of distance worked. He was afraid that they might walk further than the last dropped tracker and the guides might lose their trail. That did not happen. When they reached the destination, 2 of the group members Rubin and Nancy had their trackers on them. Jack instructed Rubin to drop his tracker right outside the tribal camp. He hoped that Nancy's tracker won't be destroyed by the tribals.
As they entered the tribal camp, they noticed large vessels filled with water kept on a wooden fire. It looked like a typical scene from a movie or cartoon where the purpose of those pots were to eventually dip the prisoner and kill them in the boiling water. A shiver ran down the spine of each one of them. There were about 100 people, men and women sitting and talking around the camp. It looked like a market place where the neighbours came together for gossiping and shopping, or even to dine. They are here to feast, and we are the food! Jack thought to himself. They were made to stand in one corner with a wooden wall made up of giant logs behind them. The wooden wall was spread upto 20 feet on each side of them and was about 10 feet high. There was no escape. A wall behind them and 140 people in front of them including the ones who carried them from the jungle, they seemed to have no chance to run away but they were not going to give up. Jack was constantly contemplating the options available to get out of there immediately. All campers carry a pocket knife of high quality. Jack was carrying one too but it was not reachable as it was in the front pocket of his shorts.
"Anyone able to reach their pocket knife?" Jack inquired in the group as he watched the tribals gathering around him. There was not much time left.
"Already on it. Half way through the rope", Mike replied.
"Thank God. So here's the plan. Mike once you are able to free yourself pass on the knife to Steve from behind you". Jack noticed that were made to stand in a horizontal line and were tightly packed with each other hence if done carefully, there was noway the tribals would see their hands moving behind their backs unless of course someone was standing behind them. He quickly glanced behind him, it was still only the wall. A sigh of relief and back to thinking the next move. He did not know what to do next. The tribals were standing only a few feet away from them. The water was beginning to boil as well.
An elderly male from the tribe came forward with a wooden shaft. He scanned the group now standing in front of him. He came close to Maya, his face was now touching Maya's face. Maya stepped back a little. The old man sensed her fear. He smiled, but it wasn't a pretty site. He swiftly grabbed the back of her neck with his free arm and pulled her closer, now her face resting on his shoulder. Maya tried to free herself but couldn't move. The old man was strong. Jack was furious but he didn't want to do anything in angst. He might just jeopardise their chances of escape if he were to do something now.
"Maya, don't fight please", he pleaded.
The old man immediately smacked Jack's knee with his shaft making him fall down in agony. A sharp scream came out of the now helpless and wounded Jack. Tears ran out of his eyes as he suffered slowly through the unbearable pain. He tried to get up but couldn't. His hands were tied and his knee was hurt. He gave up on the effort and stayed down. The old man shouted at him in anger. He didn't understand anything.
Maya was crying profusely looking at Jack. The man she had fallen in love with was suffering. She gave up her fight to avoid anymore tussle. The old man came closer and started sniffing her neck and hair. He sniffed for a while and then let her go. No one had any idea about what was happening. The old man then continued the drill with all the women one after another from the group. He then brought Emma forward holding her hair tight. He licked Emma's neck. Everyone could see the horror in Emma's eyes. The old man then moved back a few steps and stood in front of her. Not knowing what was about to happen next, Emma stood there flabbergasted for being let go. Swooshhhh came the wooden staff on her head. The old man had hit Emma and killed her instantly. Her limp body fell on the floor with her now distorted bleeding head. In a second everything had changed. The chirpy Emma was no more. A synchronous cry came out from every member of the group as they saw her die. Anger, Sadness, and the feeling of uselessness took over each one of them.
The old man then gestured his soldiers to take the body. The soldiers picked up the body and threw it inside the pot. Their friend's dead body was now being cooked for a feast. Mike had managed to get his arms free at this point. He passed on the knife to Steve as planned. Mike looked around. Everyone was crying and frightened. He looked at Jack closely. Jack was looking back at him. Jack sensed what Mike wanted to do, he nodded no and begged him to let go off the idea. It did not help. Mike stepped forward, took out another pocket knife from his front pocket and pierced the knife right through the neck of the old man who was now facing the pot in the opposite direction. The old man's body began trembling. The blood started shooting out of the popped vein in the neck. He was going to die, he couldn't make a noise as Mike closed his mouth with his right arm. Everyone was busy looking at the pot while the old man died. Mike was lucky. He stood up immediately and started cutting Henry's rope. Henry was carrying a Boker knife, which was way more lethal than a pocket knife. As soon as he was free he took out his knife and helped free the rest of the gang. Once he was free as well, Jack stood back up and looked at the tribe. Every single tribesmen was now looking at them. They all looked angry. The women of the tribe started to walk behind. The men came forward with their spears. Where did the spears come from? Jack thought. They took position to throw the spears at the gang.
"Behind the wall. Get behind the wall as soon as you can and then run away from it", shouted Henry.
Everyone immediately raced to their right or left to save themselves from the flying spears and eventually go behind the wall. The wall although only 20 feet, felt really long, it would take time to reach the end of it. The spears came flying at them. The first set of spears missed everyone. The gang was counting on their luck and praying for it to not run out. The second set of spears were the unlucky ones. One of the spear went straight through Rubin's neck. There was no scope for him. Aneta noticed him fall. She stood there stumped for a couple of moments, and finally ran back to Rubin.
"Aneta Run", Rubin tried to speak but the words didn't come out. He fell on the ground and did not breathe again. Aneta sat down by his body. The tribesmen were running after everyone now. One of them reached to Aneta and was about to grab her when a sharp knife pierced through his stomach. It was Henry. Henry did not wait for the tribesman to react. He grabbed Aneta by her arm and pulled her. Aneta got up, crying, and ran with Henry. By this time everyone was behind the wall except for the 2 of them. As they were about to reach the end of the wall, 2 tribesmen came and stood before them. Henry swung his knife in action to scare them. The did not flinch. One tribesman charged towards Aneta. Henry came between him and Aneta only to realise that a small pointed bamboo had pierced into his stomach. The tribesman was carrying a hidden weapon and was trying to kill Aneta. Henry swung his knife for the kill and got him. The tribesman's neck was sliced by the blade in one swift movement. Henry then jumped on the second tribesman, piercing the knife through his throat, killing him. Henry fell on his knees and collapsed. He would survive if immediate medical attention was to be given to him but he had no energy to fight. Aneta witnessing the whole ordeal stood by horrified and unable to move. Henry raised his knife and said,
"Take this and run, do not fear, just plough it inside anyone who attacks you".
"But, but what about you" Aneta did not want to leave Henry.
"Just go, please. For Rubin's sake".
Aneta took the knife and ran. She managed to get behind the wall but did not see any of her friends. There was a corner behind the wall where she stood invisible to anyone and watched the men from the tribe running after something. She then realised that the men were running behind her friends. She could only see Jack, Maya, Steve, Mike and Julia. She could not find Nancy. After witnessing 3 of her friends die she did not have the courage to see a 4th dead body. It was time to take some action. She snapped out of the fear and stormed towards her friends poking knives into men who were in between her and her friends. She was faster than most men in the tribe. Maybe they never have to run, after all this place is tiny. She thought to herself. She reached another man who was running behind her friends, pierced the knife into his neck and took it out in a moment, the man collapsed. She was now being followed by atleast 15 men but she kept running towards her friends.
Jack and Maya saw Rubin fall and Henry saving Aneta near Rubin's dead body. Steve, Mike and Julia were already behind the wall and running away from it when Rubin died. Jack did not wait, pulling Maya by her arm began following his friends. Jack wasn't able to run faster so he insisted Maya to run faster and catch up with the others. Maya had replied, "There is no way I am leaving you alone. We will beat these bastards together". Immediately after, Maya picked up the pocket knife from Jack and punched it through the throat of the tribesman who was about to attack Jack from behind. Looking at his now fearless girlfriend Jack decided to ignore the pain and began running as fast as he could. They were now almost running together with Steve, Mike and Julia.
"Have you seen the others?" asked Mike as he saw Jack, he barely managed to talk while running.
"I saw Henry and Aneta together" replied Jack
"What about Rubin and Nancy?" shouted Steve.
"I don't know", lied Jack. He actually did not know anything about Nancy but he knew Rubin is no more.
"What's the plan, we cannot outrun these maniacs?" Julia was looking like she could collapse any moment now.
"I really don't know", Jack added sadly.
It was a goose chase. The tribal men were running behind them and thankfully without the spears. They had run out of their spears while shooting at them near the wall. The group was getting tired. Jack looked back and saw more than 40 men still chasing behind them, getting tired and falling behind. For the first time, he had hopes of surviving. He saw the possibility to outrun the tribe. He was about to tell his friends when he noticed someone running faster than the tribesman and saw the tribesmen fall as she passed them one after another. It was Aneta. Aneta looked like a woman on mission. Her mission was to terminate every man possible in the tribe. She was literally picking them up and slicing their throats as she ran forward. It seemed that while the men behind her were not able to reach to her, the men in front of her were now running away fearing their lives. Jack let himself smile and looked at Maya.
"Aneta has our back, do not worry"
Maya looked behind her and saw Aneta reaching upto them at super fast speed. She noticed something that Jack missed.
"Where is Henry?" she asked.
Jack looked back again and did not see him as well. While the prospect of winning against the tribe was thrilling, the idea of losing yet another friend was devastating. He tried to be on the positive.
"Must be hiding somewhere".
"I think so", she knew in her heart that she was lying.
"Guys, we can outrun the tribe", Jack announced as he saw all the men falling behind.
Just as the others looked behind to assess the situation, they heard a loud gun shot and one of the tribesman went down. Soon another gunshot followed killing yet another tribesman. The tribesmen now frightened for their life began to retreat. No more gunshots. Everyone was shocked. The gang stopped running as they saw they were no longer followed. Aneta joined the gang in a few seconds and fell on the ground. She was exhausted. Immediately after her, the whole gang collapsed on the ground.
"Who shot them?" asked Mike
"Where is Nancy?" asked Steve
"Is Henry okay?" asked Maya.
"What was the cannibal tribe doing on this island?" asked Jack.
"How did we possibly outrun the natives?" asked Maya, without waiting for the answer to her first question.
To be continued...