Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Think (09/02/10)
TITLE: A Jungle of Thoughts
By Serafia Cross
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I backtracked the events in my mind to play them out again because I must have missed something. I am the best warrior in my tribe and well-respected among my own people and outsiders. I speak their language, and there is peace among us. How could this happen? How did this happen?
She insisted she visit my brothers who were not yet saved. I should have insisted harder that she stay in the village. We rode on the same four-wheel drive, and I made sure she sat in front of me while I reached around her on both sides and steered the vehicle. If a tribal member wanted to shoot her, he could only do so by being directly in front of our vehicle, but I was driving, and I knew this place. I knew the land and every inch and crack and roll of the hill. If someone was waiting for us, I would have seen him and jerked the vehicle another direction. If he wanted to shoot her from behind, he had to go through my muscular body. If I was shot, I could tolerate pain long enough to get her to the safety of a village. If I failed, I would dismount the vehicle, tell her to drive on and not stop, and then I would hunt down her would-be killer and die somewhere along the way; that was my last option in that scenario.
We got through the wilderness and had to leave behind the vehicle to trek through the thick forest full of natural and inhuman dangers. I had to lead the way since she didn't know her way, but I kept a firm grip on her shoulder. If I heard the discharge of a gun, I would shove her to the ground until I knew it was safe. If the ground beneath her became quicksand, I would yank her to safety. If a tiger launched out of the growth, I would toss her aside and tackle the cat and strangle it like Samson did in the Scriptures. If the cat overwhelmed me, she knew to run—run back to the vehicle and drive as fast as she could as far as she could.
When we reached the secluded settlement of my family's village, I hid her and told her to stay until I was certain all was safe. I nodded to the guards high in the trees concealed by leaves and vines with guns and bows in their painted hands. Freshly roasted hog hung on a stick across a large fire in the center of the village. Most of the men had gone hunting. Only the women and children remained, and they were safe and harmless for the missionary's daughter. When the men came back, they would hoot, shout and clamber long before they arrived at the village. I would have enough time to sneak her into a tent and hide her there until all was calm.
The children stared and gaped when I brought her to them. They pointed, covered their mouths and laughed and touched her ash white skin. She hugged them, opened the basket she insisted to bring along and handed out rolls and small dolls. She laughed and smiled and played with them. Peace at heart, I looked away to the woman across the village I hoped one day to marry in the Lord.
A gunshot. The men had returned. The children screamed.
I spun around and watched wide-eyed as the missionary's daughter crumbled to her knees, looked down at her bloodied chest then back up at me again before she collapsed.
I cradled her as she died and tried to think how this happened. She smiled and reached a bloodied hand to my dark cheek. “You're thinking too hard. Things happen.” I couldn't fathom how I couldn't save the daughter of the man who saved my soul.
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