84 - The Road Accident

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5 Days Later

Kirt Heinrich

If only we were unchained, we could have dug our way out of the house. The tools were all just in front of us: a rusted but seemingly functioning spade and wheelbarrow.

Five days had passed. The monster hadn't come back after she left us that night, tied to a pole underground, in the smelly makeshift basement. I began referring to the beast as 'she' ever since Alice told me about La Negra. She believed that that monster was La Negra. Using the story that Sergio narrated to me — the one about the death of his wife — we pieced together that the same beast which probably ate Sergio's wife was the same which we encountered. Where did she go? 

Our throats were parched, crying out for water, our lips chapped. We were hungry to such an extent that strange temptations to bite and eat our flesh filled our minds. Gladly, we both had the will power to resist such monstrous inclinations. But thirst and hunger were driving us mad.

Alice's injury had dried up, but the lips of her gaping wound didn't close. There was a greenish-yellow fluid seeping through the cavernous injury. The wound was decaying, and from the overwhelming stench that filled that room, one could tell that Alice's injury was infected. 

Alice was severely weary, worn down by a spell of fever. 

During those days beneath the earth, we kept each other company. We talked to each other until we were too exhausted to do so. We talked about school, reminiscing about how beautiful life was before that fateful field trip. 

"Do you remember how we used to sit around the campfire and tell each other stories back in the woods in Wyoming?" Alice told me in her parched voice. "It would have been better if we went there instead of us coming here to Bolivia to eventually die!"

At times I was too wary of talking, so I just nodded my head, listening to what she was saying. 

"I loved him very much. But that ... Timothy just went for her," she began.

"Shifaly?" I asked, knowing that Alice was jealous looking at the boy she loved very much, Timothy, in love with Shifaly.

"She was probably more beautiful than me," she said, hanging her head low. "You don't know how heartbroken I was on that day, Kirt, the day I saw him confess his love to her! My heart ripped into shreds."

I did not respond to her. 

"I made a card for him, with a poem I wrote for him, but when I went over to give him, I heard him confess his love to Shifaly."

"Alice?" I asked, wondering what was going on with her. She seemed almost insane. I was being driven mad too. 

Anytime then the fiend could return and take one of us away to be tortured and cooked to death. 

We gave up on any attempt to escape. There was no point. Trying hard to free ourselves of those large, heavyweight, thrice-reinforced metal chains was a hopeless endeavor. The more Alice and I tried, the more we injured ourselves because the metal had scraped against our skin. 

"Is this all our lives have come to?" I then asked. "To die a painful, miserable death? To die like a pig, roasted alive by a monster?"

That time she had become weary of talking too much and was listening to me. 

"I wish that we all went to Sri Lanka instead of Bolivia. I regret deciding to come here."

"I only wish I die before La Negra could skin me alive," Alice muttered.

"She's probably dormant for a while until she gathers strength to hunt again," I said.

"Or probably she decided to become invisible to feed off of watching us suffer before brutally murdering us like that indigenous boy." She spat on the ground.

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