Journal Log: Argentina
Date Made: 1999
Name: Andrew Parks, now goes by Alejandro
Vampires in the Jungle
It’s one of those things. I was in the right place at the wrong time. I had received a graduate fellowship to study this particular flowering plant in the Brazilian jungle at one of the universities graduate outposts. I was beyond excited. That summer would define my thesis topic. Little did I realize it would end up defining my whole existence.
I was in Rio for two days taking in the sights, hearing the music, watching the women. That city is so beautiful, so full of life and energy. It was nothing like Bloomington, Indiana. Nothing like anything I could have experienced at home or on TV. As I was waiting outside my hotel for my bus to arrive an old, really dark-skinned woman motioned to me from across the street. I watched her curiously as she made the sign of the cross and walked over to me. She was wearing a long colorful skirt that hung all the way to her feet. Her top was white and hung loose on her body. Her neck was adorned with handfuls of necklaces, including crucifixes. She was hunched over making her look much smaller than she really was.
Kneeling down I looked into her fierce steel-blue eyes. She spoke in a language I did not understand. It wasn’t Portuguese because I could speak that, along with Spanish and French fluently. Making the sign of the crucifix again she shoved a silver cross necklace into my palm and walked away muttering, her hands flailing in the air as she walked along. Confused I looked down at the necklace and then tried to find her in the crowd. She was no where; she had vanished. I never cared for jewelry so I quickly shoved it in my pocket and forgot about. I know now, she was trying to warn me. Warn me of the darkness in the jungle.
At camp it was muggy and humid. The outpost was set at the border of the jungle with several hanging walkways further inland to smaller station houses. There were six of us there and we would all sleep in one bunk house. Thankfully we worked in shifts so there were never more than three people at a time sleeping. I liked working the mid-night shift. Mid-night meant you started at three am and worked until 3 pm the next day. I did computer work for the first part of the shift, then once the morning lit up the jungle I would collect specimens and check my test samples at the smaller stations. After my shift one day everyone decided to go out for drinks at the bar in the village. It wasn’t even really a bar, just a shack and several benches sitting out in the street.
I had one beer and then headed back to camp. The next day was going to be a big day for me. I was hoping the experimental data I was running on a couple of my specimens would give me some results. Everything was quiet when I went back to camp. I feel asleep fast, even though the air was thick and muggy. Later a strange sound woke me up. I thought maybe someone else had returned, but the bunk house was empty. Thinking I must have imagined hearing something I closed my eyes. Then I heard it again. Getting up I looked out the window. There was an orange-red glow hovering on one of the walkways heading into the jungle.
Curious I grabbed a flashlight and headed outside to see what it was. As I moved, it moved further and further into the jungle. Before I knew it I was off the walkway standing knee-deep in thick foliage and the orangey light had disappeared. Shining my flashlight I turned in a circle looking for any sign of it. There was nothing. I could not even make out the path to return back to camp. Frustrated I decided to sit down and wait for the morning light. When I did a flash of color sprang before my eyes pushing me backwards. When I opened my eyes there was a large black beast on top of me with it’s head cradled at my neck. My first though was it was a jaguar, but as my hands felt its body I realized it was skin, very cold skin. My neck suddenly felt warm. My head suddenly light-headed. Pushing at the body on top of me I tried to get it off, but it was like iron. Frantic I flailed under it. Its hands pressed down on me holding me still. Soon everything was so far away. The sound of the jungle was faint and the sound of my breath even fainter. I could feel it. I was dying. I had barely just begun to live and here I was dying in the jungle miles away from home. Miles away from anyone I loved.
With a hard wallop the beast was pushed off of me. I heard rustling in the leaves, but was too weary to move. My life was slipping away causing a strange calmness to settle in my mind. I could hear voices next to me. It was a man and a woman. They were arguing about me. The woman was clearly upset the man had feasted on me. She told him this venture into the woods was not about hunger, but about salvation. She commanded him to leave her sight as she could no longer bear it. In an instant his voice was gone. I heard her soft footsteps coming towards me and then warmth filled my limbs.
Next thing I remember were bright lights. The colors were so vivid I could barely stand the sight of them. Shielding my eyes I tried I forced myself to look at the blazing colors of pinks, purples and oranges filling the sky, but to do so was extremely painful. To my side I heard a husky voice say ‘Come away from the light. It is no longer part of your world.’ Turning I saw a pale, exotic looking woman with long black hair and hazel eyes looking at me. Her expression was a mixture of sorrow and regret. Gracefully grasping my hand she pulled me away and said, ‘I am Natalia. I will look after you for now.’
As we started walking I pleaded with her to go back to the camp, to my research, to my life; anything to avoid going further into the dark jungle. Shaking her head she told me, ‘You can never go back. You are vampiro. All that was, is now gone.’ My life that could have been flashed before my eyes. A deep sense of dread filled my chest. I wanted to cry, but could not find the tears. As we walked further into the dark jungle I looked back from where we had come longingly into the world of light I was leaving behind. In that moment I realized that morning was the last morning I would ever see.
Note: Andrew stayed with Natalia till 2003. She was searching for something in the ancient jungle ruins. He would not divulge her plans.
This flash fiction is a part of a vampire series I am doing for #fridayflash.
Vella and Jeremy Vampire Tracker Part 2
Vella and Jeremy Vampire Tracker Part 1
Ammon The Moon Flute Player The Cliff Dwelling Part 2
Lis, Andrew and the Flute Player The Cliff Dwelling Part 1
Lis Desert Vampires.
Andrew Vampires in the Jungle
Veronique Vampires at the Moulin Rouge
Veronique and Natalia Snow in Paris
Vampires ~ Flash Fiction ~ Friday Flash