67 - En El Nombre Del Rey Y De La Reina De España

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Kirt Heinrich

Here I was on the surface of this lake after I had to surface when I ran out of breath. Before I swam up, I saw something that caught my attention. There was a box on the lake bed. I didn't see only a box, I also saw numerous skeletons and poles that were shaped liked rifles on the lake's bed. Wanting to look at those things, I took a deep breath and dove back into the water. I pushed myself down the lake's depths and neared the bed once more. I lingered around a skeleton for a while, inspecting it. The skeleton looked like that of a human. It had a crack on its head - a large one. Soon, I realized I began running out of breath. I stroked the water with my hand and surfaced, gasping for air. After taking three deep breaths, I dove back into the water. This time, I went close to what looked like a rifle. I lifted and inspected it. The rifle's metal skeleton had deteriorated and it was rotting, with weeds growing all over it. It was dilapidated and ruined. There was no chance that it was going to work. It was a musket, probably belonging to the Portuguese army or the Spanish army. I looked around me and saw that this lake bed was some battlefield of the past: there were many skeletons and muskets like the one I inspected — some intact and some snapped in half— lying around. Now, I had to go back to get some breaths. So, I pushed myself back to the surface and took another set of deep, long breaths before diving once again. This time when I came back to the lake bed, I went to the box and saw it. It was ancient, and algae grew over its disintegrating metal shell, although it hadn't disintegrated enough for a hole to be formed on it. I went back to the surface of the water to grab some air. When I came back, I felt the rough exterior of the box. There were many ridges on it with algae growing in them. Again, I ran out of breath so I did what I had been doing whenever I ran out of breath: I went back to the surface to steal more fresh breaths, before coming back. Now, I began to calculate the dimensions of the box. I placed my hands on it, and found that the box could only be lifted by two strong men: it was too heavy for one to lift it alone. I was intrigued by the box. I wanted to know what was inside it. I knew that it was probably from the 16th or 17th century, so if there was any foodstuff inside, it would have been rotten completely. But it was the imperishable goods that might have been inside it that interested me. I hoped to find at least a knife inside. 

When I came back to the surface, I swam to the shore because I was exhausted by diving many times. After I got to the shore and stood up after wiping water from my face, I saw some people on the other shore. There were three people whose faces I couldn't see clearly because I'm short-sighted (thanks to Myopia). Now as much as I was excited to see people, I ran away because I was naked. I had thrown off my clothes when I ran towards the lake to jump into it in order to get rid of those ants that bit their pincers into my skin. After running back to a spot behind a rock, I put on my clothes and ran back to the shore from which I saw the three people who were far away on the other shore. By the time I reached the shore from which I saw them, they vanished. I wondered where would they have gone. Was I hallucinating when I thought I saw those three people? Were they Timothy, Alice and Hernanda or Timothy, Shifaly, and Hernanda? Hallucination seemed to me as the best logical explanation for their disappearance.

Shifaly Udawatte

"Did you see that Timothy?" I said, pointing to the shore of the lake where we stayed since the last few days. We lost our way in the jungle when we went to grab some fruit that day and we reached the other shore of the lake. The reason we lost our way was that those stones couldn't properly make the markings on the trees. For that reason, we couldn't find our way to the correct shore. When we reached that shore we saw a man on the other side. I asked Timothy if he saw the same thing I was seeing. The man looked naked; probably he was a tribesman. When we shouted, trying to grab his attention, he ran away. 

"We've got to get out of here." Timothy grabbed my hand and ran. Alice, who didn't understand what was going on, followed us.

"Why don't we try to meet the man?" asked Alice, panting as she ran with us. 

"If that guy is a tribal man, he might bring his tribe and they might kill us," said Timothy as he ran ahead of Alice, his hand still clutching onto mine. 

Something seemed odd about the 'tribesman'. His body appeared white. The indigenous people of South America look nothing close to 'white'. 

Felipe Altamirano Alvarez Espadachín

I was climbing up a hill on a road with many switchbacks. The rain was heavy. I could hear it patter my car's windows. Even though the wipers were laboring in removing the water from my windshield, the water still managed to obscure my view of the road ahead of me. I still persevered in driving towards my destination, despite knowing that what I was doing was suicidal. At the back of my head was the opinion that Julio Montes — another classmate of mine who taught Latin American Culture at Georgetown University in Qatar — had about La Negra. He believed that La Negra was a demon. And he told me of many incidents that could 'prove' that La Negra was a demon. He told me that many Bolivian soldiers had journeyed into La Tierra Del Sangre in order to investigate La Nera, but they never returned. He believed that only an evil spirit could live for so long since the fifteenth century, and commit such gruesome acts without being discovered or photographed. From what I researched about La Negra, I was confused. Was it a demon or was it a serial killer? Investigating La Negra was more important after the disappearances of those two policemen. By now, I was on top of a tall hill. From my left window, I could see the see a steep drop

Alice Boe

Timothy asked Shifaly and me to hide behind a bush. We insisted that we would go with him, but he said that it was better if he went and investigated who the 'tribesman' was. We slowly crept up behind four trees that were a ten-minute walk away from the shore in which the 'tribesman' was. Timothy went towards the shore from then on. Shifaly and I were afraid. We just did what Timothy told us to do and stayed there until he returned. He was gone for a long while.

When he returned, he came smiling. 

"What is it?"I asked.

"It was not a tribesman, it's Kirt," he said.

"Kirt?" asked Shifaly.

Kirt Heinrich

Timothy frightened me and I frightened him when we saw each other. Twenty minutes after that 'hallucination', I was still by the rock, thinking of how I could retrieve the box from the bottom of the lake. That was when I saw someone peep through the bushes right in front of me. "Who is that?" I asked as I got up and walked towards the bushes, taking a stone in my hand. That was when the person hiding behind the bush took a stone in hand and got up ready to hit me. Just before we got into combat, I recognized the person who I was about to fight with. It was Timothy. I was glad I met Timothy. We dropped the stones and hugged each other. After that he went to get Alice and Shifaly. I met Shifaly and Alice. It was so heartwarming to see them. They were the three people whom I saw before. I wasn't hallucinating! I met my friends whom I really searched for. 

We spoke for a while, and I told them about what I discovered in the lake. They told me of their struggles before they met me.  I didn't tell them about the hooded creature because I feared that they would think of me as crazy if I told them that. I asked them if they saw Hernanda. Timothy told me that he thought that he saw her, only to realize that he was hallucinating. I was really worried about Hernanda.

That evening, Timothy and I dove into the lake and brought the box out. Removing some weeds from the top of it, we read the words 'En El Nombre Del Rey Y De La Reina De España' engraved on it.

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