Chapter 2 ‘Splat’ Page 8
Their surroundings continued to change. The trees grew taller and the moss thicker. The ground vegetation was dense and tangled and Jason swore it was trying to trip him up on purpose. The air was wet and muggy. Condensation dripped from the trees, making it seem like it was forever raining. The boys were convinced they were never going to be dry again. Their clothes clung to them like wet newspaper. The sun was gone now and the bright blue sky above had turned a deep black The boys climbed a large wet tree and perched precariously in its branches. Water drizzled down from the leaves above. It wasn’t going to be a very comfortable night. They stared out into the sinister black that enveloped them. The valley and its’ uncertain darkness scared them both. It was mysterious and had a feeling of danger. Despite how they felt, they knew they couldn’t give up the hope of getting home. Much to Tommy and Jason’s surprise they did however, manage to fall asleep. Exhaustion seemed to be a permanent part of their lives now.
It was Jason who woke first, but not by the warm morning sun shining down on him....something was sitting on his face! He didn’t know what it was and he certainly didn’t have the nerve to open his eyes and have a look but he could feel it. Jason laid perfectly still, hoping that whatever it was would get bored and go away. With his luck though, it’d probably build a nest and lay eggs. After several lifetimes... okay so it was only a minute but it seemed like forever to Jason... he slowly opened his eyes and was astonished to find perched on his nose the biggest dragonfly in the history of the world! It was massive! The size of a cat! The dragonfly was sitting casually on Jason’s nose cleaning its wings. It stopped its personal hygiene and looked at Jason with large unmoving black eyes. The dragonfly seemed extremely disinterested in him and not at all bothered by the fact it was parked on his face. It gently shook its wings and went back to it’s grooming. Jason wanted to scream but didn’t.
At the same time as Jason was contemplating having to spend the rest of his life with a freaky mutant bug on his face, Tommy was waking up. He looked over at Jason and his new friend.
“Jason,” he said. “You’ve got a little something on your face.” Tommy tried not to laugh.
In a very hushed and panicked voice, and trying not to move his lips at all, Jason mouthed one word.... “HELP!”
Tommy shot up, grabbed his pack, and swung. Unfortunately he miscalculated slightly and instead of frightening the insect away, the pack made direct contact with Jason’s face. The sound that followed echoed through the jungle like a thousand eggs being cracked at once..
Tommy cringed and slowly lifted up the pack, only to find a most ghastly sight. Jason covered in squashed dragonfly! Jason glared at Tommy and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
“What’s the big idea!” he hissed.
Tommy made an apologetic face. “Sorry. I was trying to scare it away. I guess I kind of missed. Sorry.”
“Oh really,” snapped Jason. “I didn’t notice!” Tommy wondered if he was out of Jason’s punching range. Jason quickly sat up. Tommy flinched. Jason could feel the guts sliding down his face. This was the grossest thing he’d ever experienced.
“Nice job!” he snarled. “Now what am I gonna do, huh? How am I suppose to get this stuff off me!”
Tommy pulled a leaf off a nearby branch and held it out for Jason. “Uh... this might help. Sorry,” he said again. Jason snatched the leaf from Tommy’s hand, grumbling angrily under his breath. Tommy couldn’t make out the words but he was sure they weren’t very pleasant.
Several leaves later, Jason had managed to get some of the disgusting bug goo off, but there was still a lot left. He could feel it starting dry and get itchy. Without a word to each other the boys climbed down from the tree and resumed their journey. Jason wasn’t about to forgive Tommy just yet.
After a few more intensely silent miles of walking they entered a small clearing in the jungle. The ground was neatly and evenly covered with large leaves. Taking no notice of their new surroundings the Barker brothers proceeded into the clearing and with a sudden whoosh instantly disappeared.