Once upon a time, wait no that isn’t a good start. A couple of years ago, there was an old area, shrouded in mystery through the foggy trees of the amazon rainforest, and kept buried beneath the moist ground. It was said that beings from legends used to live there, until a ancient tribe lead a party to slaughter them. It was successful, but legend says that three creatures remained, untouched by human civilization. No one dared to go look for this place, afraid of the possible terrors, so the are was declared untraceable.
Until, I found it, of course.
Not many still know about its existence, but I had a friend of my father who brought me there. It was the summer of 2016 when I came to a shady dock in Brazil, where a boat was tied onto a nearby wooden pole. It was a small boat for 2, with a glass windshield upfront and two cozy chairs in the middle of the controls. A man stepped out, looking as calm as a millpond. He was 44 at the time, about 5’10”, with a lighter and cigar always kept stowed in his pocket, ready for any situation. He had black and gray hair, with a beard growing under his chin. His skin was piled with mosquito bites and crinkles, and his green hungry eyes were always looking for something up in the trees, but never able to find what they wanted. He wore khakis and a yellow brazil soccer jersey. His boots were dark brown from being in the water so much, and his jersey had a hole in the back from who knows what.
“So, you must be Lucas Myers, eh? I’ve heard alot about you, kid. The name’s Fisher Hawkins, by the way. Come on, don’t be shy, step on in!”
He chuckled, his voice a mix of smoke and delight. I coughed and waved my hand in the air as he breathed on me, the smoke from his currently lit cigar trespassing into my nostrils.
“Oh, forgive me. Forgot I can’t have a cig around the young lads.”
I wore my new red pajama bottoms to feel more cozy in the heat, and a blue and yellow striped hoodie with a plain white shirt underneath. A suitcase wheeled next to me, the bag containing my clothes and money to use if necessary. My dirty brown hair was unbrushed and messy, and my also green eyes looked around in curiosity. I also kept a Ipod in my pocket with a big assortment of music to listen to with my earbuds. I preferred either electric or 80’s music. At the time of this story, I was 10 years old, a big city boy and afraid of the jungle, for the most part. Even now and as a kid in this story, I’ve always had a fascinations towards snakes. I know, it sounds bad and stupid at the same time, but I’ve gotten used to the weirded out people. Always felt like they were mysterious creatures, slithering around minding their own business. Maybe I’ve just listened to my father’s stories too much about his childhood and some old legends.
I shuffled into the boat silently as Fisher untied the rope and turned the boat towards the murky depths where his lake house was. From what I’ve been told, it’s pretty nice, with strong enough structures to withstand and nearby animals or debris that comes its way. I turned to the side as the boat steered left, following the path. I shook my head violently, maybe to stop feeling dizzy. Fisher turned around and stopped the boat.
“Why don’t ya sit down kid, the chairs are the best part of the boat after all.”
I never liked talking to anyone besides my father, he was the only one I felt comfortable expressing my feelings towards. I slowly walked over to Fisher in the control area and sat in the chair next to him, instantly being embraced with a comfy cushion that seemingly sucked my body into the chair. I smiled and gave a thumbs up. Those things were the best chairs you could ever get from a boat, and they stayed dry most of the time.
“That’s more like it, now we can get a move on.”
Fisher turned the ignition back on and the boat started moving along the path again. The rest of the way I sat in silence, the only sound heard being the whistling of the trees and the boat’s engine. Fisher didn’t seem to mind, and started to hum an old tune, I believe it was Who Can It Be Now? by Men At Work. I always liked to memorize popular 80’s tunes. When we arrived, my eyes sparkled in amazement. “Whoa…” I softly whispered to myself. It was much better than I imagined while on the plane ride here. It was like one of those rich modern style houses you’d see at the beach or in costa rica, with the glass window rooms and a large kitchen in the front, with a pool (or a lake in this case) out back. A path of organized, gray rocks lead down the back, going into the river and beyond.
“How did you get this place?” I asked, my curiosity kicking in.
“My parents used to own it, said it could be mine one day so I could enjoy the beauty of nature and not be cramped in a city.” Fisher said, parking the boat at the dock. Compared to the dock where I was picked up, this one was much nicer. Small pots of roses, white and red, were on either edge of the dock, and the wood looked recently replaced.
“Why do I feel like all of my Dad’s friends are rich but just don’t show it?” I mumbled to myself.
“Cause that’s the life of our rich families, Lucas. Being friends with other rich people for the best experiences around the world, and then not bragging about their money,” Fisher said, tying the boat to the dock with two separate ropes incase one snapped. I never really understood that saying, but I didn’t think too much about it. I just shrugged and followed him as we walked up the path.
“Now then, let’s get your room setup, shall we?” Fisher exclaimed.
I kept my head down, only looking up from the stone floor to see what Fisher was pointing at during the tour of the house. I wish I had put my head up, since the house was so beautiful during my second visit and had gorgeous paintings I hadn’t noticed the first time. From what I payed attention to during the tour, the place was much bigger on the inside than from how it looked on the outside. The den had a velvet carpet and snug chairs staring into the fireplace, and the kitchen looked like a fancy bar complete with assorted frying pans, plates, and silverware. I wheeled the suitcase down the hall as Fisher lead me to my room at the end of the hall. He opened the blue door to reveal a king sized bed, decorated with three brown winter blankets stacked ontop of eachother, and fuzzy pillows that were really flexible, unlike the unmovable ones I see at most stores. I walked over and pressed my hand on the bed, and was overtaken with comfort and warmth. It was like my heaven. “Thanks.” I quietly said to Fisher. I felt the need to be more open towards him, but at the time I just wanted to get settled.
“By the way, I’m gonna head back to town in a few minutes. I need to get more supplies for your stay, so do ya have any requests?” I shook my head no.
“Alright, well if you want to you can walk around the trail in woods for awhile, just don’t get lost.”
With that Fisher left, leaving me alone inside the house with no transportation. For the first 10 minutes I sat on the bed, figuring out what to do. I decided the trail wouldn’t be a bad idea, so I threw my shoes on and headed out back.
So this is the part where things get interesting, at least for me, and not in a very good way. I’ve been hiking for a mile now, starting to feel sweat down my neck, and I spot this giant cave maybe half a mile off the trail, next to some suspiciously tall trees. Yes, it’s a jungle, but these trees were easily taller and thicker than the rest. Once I reach the cave, I looked inside, trying to see if anything was inside of it. There was nothing but the echoes of my footsteps heard inside. I slowly walked in, the light fading away quickly. I took out my Ipod to shine the front around, but it seemed that the cave was empty. There was red paint (or blood) on the walls, but whatever drawing or handprint used to be there was completely gone, replaced by dust and fading visibility. However, there was a small string a foot from my face. It looked like a spider string, barely visible and moving with the wind outside. I swiped it to the side, but instead my hand caught onto the string. For a moment I was confused, maybe it was a stronger type. I pulled at it harder, this time towards the left, until I heard a clicking sound and the snap of the string. A huge explosion went off somewhere above the cave, sending me to cover me ears. The ringing kept going when I let go. I grabbed my Ipod and looked towards the ceiling, except there was no ceiling. It was a pile of large rocks, and they were falling fast. I ran towards the exit, hopping over small rocks, until I tripped over a small root sticking out of the ground. When I tried to roll over and pull my foot out, a large boulder slammed against my right foot. I felt a snap, and I screamed in pain. It had to be broken, there was no way it couldn’t be. My lip quivered and my hands violently shook. The exit was sealed, and I was stuck in a dusty cave, left to starve until someone found me. I tried to move my toes, or scrunch up my right leg, Nothing happened. I couldn’t even feel the pain. I stood up and looked at what I was dealing with. There was a newly formed opening in the roof, enough to fit two people up. The sun glimmered in the cavern, giving me a sense of hope.The functional Ipod laid on the ground next to me, the small device a screen of darkness. I reached over and grabbed it, and took the headphones out of my pocket above the ground. I turned it on and turned to 80’s and Such in the playlist menu, and listened. There was nothing I could besides cry in silence, but I didn’t want to do that. So I waited, looking at the ceiling, listening. Every minute felt like an hour, time moved so slowly. Eventually I gave up and rested my head on the cold ground, wiping away the dust and closing my eyes. This is just a bad dream, I said to myself. When I wake up, I’ll be back in my cozy bed and just have pain in my right leg from the dream, which happens sometimes. Yeah, that seems about right.
It wasn’t a dream.
The moment I woke up I was filled with flaring pain, I winced as I reached down to hold my leg, but remembered a piece of advice my friend once told me. He had said to never put weight or constantly move a broken leg, as it increases the pain and makes the healing slower. I sat up from my position, and found myself in a tree, high up towards the clouds. I could barely see the ground from up here. I crawled towards the edge of the trunk, and looked at the view. The sun was rising in the distance, sneaking above the mountains and clouds, the warmth basking on my face. It felt really good. Some birds were also visible, singing their morning songs. I crawled back to my spot and sat there, thinking how I would get down.
“Oh good, you’re awake. I’ve been waiting.” A voice from behind me said. I jumped, almost falling off the tree, but something caught me, and put me back on the tree. I was met face to face with a 50 foot snake, with yellow skin and a white belly. It’s body was thick, at least an inch in width.
“I didn’t know snakes could talk.” I said, trying to conceal myself with my jacket.
“Guess your learning sssomething new, then,” The snake said, slithering closer to me. It smiled, almost in a friendly way, which put me even more on edge.
“What’sss your name, young one.”
“L-lucas. Lucas Myers,” I said, stuttering in fear. My hands were shaking, my mouth was as dry as a desert, and my legs felt like jello. I couldn’t move, paralysed by confusion and fear of the future.
“Your afraid, aren’t you? Of me?” The snake asked. I simply nodded, gasping for breath.
“This is just a dream, this is just a dream, this is just a dream…” I kept on repeating.
“It ssseems that I didn’t introduce myself properly. My name isss Faith, and your Lucas. You are confused since you’re talking to a giant, 50 foot snake, yes?” Again, all I did was nod. Faith slowly started to work its tail around my legs, the soft coils bringing me a sense of comfort, warmth, and relaxation. I breathed in a deep breath and relaxed.
“O...kay. Okay. Why did you help me?” I asked.
“Do you really think I’d leave sssomething as adorable and precious as you trapped there? No. Plus, I do need a sssmall favor.” Faith giggled at the last part, sending a chill down my spine. The coils now covered everything except my head, the comfort keeping me from wanting to run. Faith squeezed the coils against my body, making them press against my skin. I smiled. It felt amazing, like being pressed against a mass of heavy blankets.
“What uh, favor do you need, exactly?” I asked. There wasn’t any point in running, not like I could anyway, so I decided to figure out what Faith wanted.
“It’s a sssimple request in my opinion. I want to be normal.” The question confused me, but a lightbulb went off in my head.
“Wait, like, leave the jungle and head into the city?” I said. Faith nodded.
“That’s a pretty crazy idea, you know, since your a 50 foot snake. I don’t think I could get you anywhere without someone screaming their head off for no apparent reason. Atleast, that’s the simplest way I can put it.”
“I would love to prove you wrong, but I mussst be going soon, or else I’ll be caught watching over you.”
“Is that not allowed or something where you come from?” I asked.
“You could sssay that.” Faith wrapped a coil around my eyes, preventing me from seeing anything.
“Do me a favor, young one, and jussst look into my eyes.”
When the coils was removed, I did as told, and was met Faith’s gaze. Her eyes turned purple, the color putting me in some sort of trance. My eyes matched hers, and I slowly felt my body turn numb, falling victim to the hypnosis. “W-what is going on…” I slowly said, my words becoming fainter with each breath. My mind was slipping, as if I hadn’t slept in 24 hours. The coils tightened, only making the thought of sleep worse. I wanted to say something, but all that came out was small squeaks and jumbled noises.
“Ssshhh, just ressst your head and close your tired eyes. I promissse not to harm you.” Faith’s words were soothing, like a melody or a lullaby. I slowly closed my eyes as my head fell to the side, my entire body held hostage in a bondage I did not want to be broken from. The coils tightened one last time, and I watched the light fade from my vision as the dark void creeped into view, making sure I would stay asleep for as long as I needed to. The last three words that came to my mind echoed over and over again until everything became silent.
I screamed when I woke up, which was odd since I didn’t remember having any nightmares. Maybe it was the hunger punching a hole in my chest. I rubbed my eyes and looked around to figure out where I was. It was the old dock I was on when I met Fisher. Man, how long have I been out? I thought. I stretched my arms and legs, seeing that I hadn’t moved them for...how long? I remembered everything in picture perfect detail. Faith, the tree, the cave, her abrupt leave. A cast was on my leg, a black one with a white stripe on the bottom for writing. A pair of crutches sat on the bench next to me, along with a note. All it said was the word, “Phone,” with a cross on the bottom right corner. “Who the heck put that there?” I muttered. I heard the honking of a car, so I stood up, grabbed the crutches, and hobbled over to the van in the distance. Inside was my dad, who was currently sporting a hawaiian style outfit, the fashion he preferred to wear.
“How many days has it been?” I asked.
“Since what? Oh, the injury. Fisher called me yesterday, saying that you had gone missing out in the jungle. Luckily you weren’t too far off the trail he made. When he found you, you were sitting on the ground, sleeping on a tree like there was no tomorrow. Said you were smiling in your sleep, too. He checked for any injuries, and sure enough reported back that you had broken your right leg. Now how did you do that, son?”
“A cave, there was a tripwire, and it collapsed.”
“Well, you got out somehow and it’s not too too bad of an injury. Guess this means extra video games for you at home.” I nodded, examining the cast to see if Fisher wrote anything on the stripe. There was a phone number on the cast, written in bold, black letters. “875-230-3040.” I mumbled, wondering whos number it may be. I turned to my Dad as we pulled out of the dirt road and onto the road leading to the airport and then home.
“Hey dad, did you bring my phone with you?”
“Why yes, I did bring it. Do you need to make a quick call?” I nodded yes as my father handed me my phone. It was an IPhone 6 Plus, with a blue protector case. I dialed the number on my cast, and let the phone ring. No answer. I tried again, this time crossing my fingers. Someone picked up the phone.
“Hello? This is Lucas Myers.” I weakly said.
“Hey kid, it’s been a while, but I gotta go for now. We can talk when you get back to New York City.” With that she hung up, leaving the phone to buzz for a solid 30 seconds while I tried to understand how she knew where I lived. I turned it off and faced my dad again for the second time.
“Did Fisher, happen to see anyone else at his house while I was asleep?” My father looked at me for a split second, and then went back to focusing on the road.
“Yes, I believe he did see someone. It was a girl, maybe a year older than you, with short black hair and blue eyes. She was wearing a white T-shirt and rainbow polka dot pajama pants. She wrote something on your cast while you were asleep, never knew what it was. Was that why you needed the phone?” I slowly nodded, blush burning my face red.
“What was her name?” I asked. If my guess was correct, then I was about to have some serious questions for her. My dad cleared his throat and spoke six words that sent my heart racing.
“Faith. Faith Hollick. That’s her name.”