77 - Disappointment

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The Narrator

When she woke up, Alice heard the pitter-pat of rainfall outside the window. She could feel the coolness that permeates the air when it rains. It was refreshing - that feeling.

However, her facial expressions morphed back into that of hopelessness when she realized her situation. She was in some room of Casa Amada, chained to the wall. She could remember its face: blackish red, with a stench of decay. The thing that struck her the most was its green eyes. They were as green as an Irishman's eye. Alice stared at her feet, which were shackled. She could see the wound caused by the spikes in the clamp of the leg-hold trap. They had sunk deep into her flesh. She tried shaking the chains off, but it didn't work. The shaking only caused her more pain as the metal brushed against her wound. The shackles were tightly clamped on to her limbs. She looked around. It was pitch dark inside the house. She looked at her hand, which was barely getting blood because of the tightness of the shackles. Her watch was gone. There was no way she could know the time.

She sniffed. There was an overpowering, ugly odor in the room. She looked around and saw stacks of skeletons on the ground. There were a lot of rats, maggots, and flies there.

She bit her lower lip and tasted blood. It was her blood - the blood from the cut that she got when the creature thrashed her unconscious with the wooden part of its ax. She then remembered the legend Shifaly told her. La Negra. Her heart skipped a beat. What if the hooded creature is La Negra. Alice quickly journeyed through her memories, trying to remember every detail that Shifaly narrated in her telling of the story of La Negra. It was a being that was cannibalistic, and she inhabited a part of the rainforest. Shifaly also told Alice that La Negra is known to wear a hood. This can't be!

"Help!" shouted Alice. She tried again in Spanish, "Ayuda!" She was met with no response, only the sound of her distressed voice reverberating throughout Casa Amada. She moaned, lamenting the fact that she was trapped.

****

Next Day. Evening

The radio jockey said, "The weather forecast department says that there's another major storm heading towards Bolivia. All inhabitants of Roboré, Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Pailón, and San Jose De Chiquitos are all advised to stay home. The Brazilian Meteorology department as confirmed that this rainstorm would be the largest that any country in South America has witnessed. Supermarkets have begun stockpiling on all essentials. All citizens are advised to get hold of all essentials as soon as possible."

The wipers of Felipe's car were working intensely, shoving water out of his view. The news of the incoming rainstorm caught him by surprise. As he was driving through the highway, he glanced at his watch, worried if he would reach Las Taperas in time. He could hear the howling of the winds from within his cars. The howling heralded the arrival of a storm of epic proportions. His phone rang, but it was in the back seat, so he had to ignore it.

He had gone to meet with the American woman, Claire Dakota. He assured her that when the drug gangsters were dealt with, the Police would escort her back to Santa Cruz, where she could meet Headmistress Longhorn. Headmistress Longhorn had arrived the day before. The Police informed her too about the drug gang, the skirmish, and told her that when the drug gang is dealt with, they will escort Claire Dakota on her way back to Santa Cruz.

The sky was grey because of thick storm clouds up there. The wind blew off a branch that nearly struck Felipe's windshield. Fortunately, no vehicle was hit by the flying branch. It was carried off to the other side of the forest by the fierce winds. "Oh boy!" muttered Felipe as he saw the flying branch break through the foliage on the other side of the road.

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