Exhaustion hit me like a sledgehammer. Trudging down the long route of the forest hike, I longed for an icy-cold drink. I kicked a pebble and scowled. Why did I ever agree to accompany Frank on this forest hike?
“Hey Joe! How about a race down the last one kilometre?” Frank asked hopefully, “Or are you too scared to lose out to me?”
I agreed reluctantly and soon, we were racing down the torturous forest trail. In a few minutes, we were a long distance away from our hiking group and just a few metres away from the finishing point.
“Yes! Yes!” I urged myself, panting like a pathetic fish out of water. Cool icy-drink. I could perpetually imagine the taste and the feel of the cold water flowing down my throat, cooling me down.
Suddenly, a faint cry snapped me out of my reverie. I stopped in my tracks as Frank ran past me, grinning from ear to ear. I frowned, knowing he must be feeling ecstatic that he had finally overtaken me. I turned my head around, stared at the green undergrowth. Not a sound could be heard in the distance. What was that? My mind was aching from a throbbing headache and I could not think straight. Then another shrill cry rang out in the distance. I shuddered. A chill ran down my spine as the huge tall trees cast elongated shadows amongst me.
“A hungry jaguar or a huge, fierce bear?” I wondered, as my aching mind struggled to snap back into reality. I shook off and ridiculed the thought of wild animals as curiosity overwhelmed my fear and I decided to investigate the undergrowth around me.
Creeping stealthily towards the tall, green undergrowth, my heart pounded at an amazing speed but my mind continued to will my feet to move forward. As I peered into the undergrowth, I was met with two shiny and bright eyes staring back at me.
“Ahhhhh!” I screamed hysterically, as wild thoughts flooded my mind. “A Bengal tiger,” I mouthed the words slowly. Then, I shook my head vigorously. What was I...
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