Danger In The Unknown

Excellence Award in the 'The Write Note 2021' competition

“Mowgli? MOWGLI! My friend, WHERE ARE YOU?” I hollered into the wilderness. Silence. There was no response.
Rain punctured my bloodstained skin. In the distance, thunder boomed and lightning crackled. The waning moon sneered down on me as a shiver slid down my spine like an electric eel.
Suddenly, a rustle penetrated the ominous silence, turning my legs to jelly. Jaguars. Black Panthers. South American Rattlesnakes. These were only some of the known bloodthirsty Amazon beasts. Hair standing on the nape of my neck, I gingerly placed one foot before the other, indebted to my torch.
An unmistakable, menacing hiss pierced through the disturbing silence enveloping me. Whipping around, I came face to face with the Green Anaconda. The torchlight glinted off the snake’s fangs, dripping with crimson blood. Its body–half shrouded in darkness–had perfect camouflage.
Before I could respond, it lunged at me. I dodged. It slithered towards me at a breakneck speed. The three-metre long constrictor crept up my spine, biding its time to coil around my arms, binding them together. I tried to wrestle it onto the ground. However, my squirming only reinforced its strength. The feeling of moist scales across my bare, naked skin was pure torment.
Just as I was about to surrender to my fate, Mowgli’s uplifting voice resounded in my head. “Attack its weakest point–the tail.” Mustering all my courage, I sank my teeth deep into the snake’s rear end. Hissing, the anaconda loosened.
I fled blindly through the dying moonlight. My heart pounded at a hundred beats per second. Adrenaline coursed through my veins. Everywhere I turned to, I pictured a bed of Anacondas, exercising their muscles. Intermittent streaks of lightning lit up piles of vivid white skeletons littering the ground. This was Hell on Earth.
Out of the blackness, I spotted a ramshackle hut–illuminated by a single flickering candle. The atmosphere here was instantly different. Eerier. Colder. The sickening citrus scent of uncut lemongrass mingled with the distant smell of blood. Tendrils tickled my feet as I treaded lightly towards the narrow door. The howling wind seemed to be mocking me as tarantulas, bullet ants and who-knows-what scurried away in apprehension.
Trepidation gnawed at my insides; the taste of ash and stale air that lingered on my tongue did not help either. Gulping, I tiptoed inside.
The door slammed shut behind me with a BANG! I flinched. The entire hut shuddered. Shooting occasional glances behind my back, I skulked around–the bamboo floorboards creaking under my weight. Waterfalls of perspiration cascaded down my forehead, forming lakes on the decayed, termite-ridden floor.
“Country rrroooaad, tttaakke mmee hooome, to the plaaace wwhhere I beeeeloonng!” a wailing voice reverberated across the four, barely-standing walls.
Goosebumps instantly dotted my pallid skin. Dancing elephants of anxiety somersaulted through my intestinal tract. “Is that a witch, demon or person?” I whispered, rooted to the spot.
The anonymous singer faced me. She spoke four words: “Welcome, my new housemate.”

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