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This is a short story I wrote for my GCSE English course. It's meant to be as an excerpt from a longer story which is yet to be written.




Without further ado, here we go:




James slowly opened his eyes, only to be blinded by the sun leaking through the rainforest canopy above. As his eyes adjusted to the light, he slid out of his hammock, and into his boots. These boots had been his since he was 13, a gift from his father, and in the four years since, they had seen their owner change into an almost unrecognisable version of his former self. He hadnt chosen to change as he had; rather change was thrust upon him, like a broom into the hand of a servant. He didnt like it, but he had to accept it.




He expertly climbed the fallen tree that blocked the path down to the river, and set off down the track. His thoughts were far away, trying not to focus on his current predicament. He was thinking of his life before he ran away. Him, his sister and his father would spend their days working hard, just so they could afford a meal in the evening. They would save up just enough each week to buy a bouquet of flowers to lay at his mothers grave on the Sunday. It was a strain, saving up the money, but they felt it was the only reminder of her that they had, so they kept at it.




As James neared the edge of the river, he was blinded for the second time that day. The sun was powerful in this part of the world. While he waited for his eyes to adjust, he reminded himself to keep his thoughts focused on the present, the less he got bogged down in the past the better. Once he could see, he waded into the river to check the traps he had laid the previous night. One of the three had disappeared, another had caught a fish, but it had been ripped to shreds by one of the many piranhas in the water. The last trap had caught a fish, and small as it was, it was enough.




Just as James turned to start the journey back to shore, the whine of a powerboat engine pierced the silence of the jungle. James ran, a hard thing to do in thigh-deep water, and prayed for his life. As the water got shallower, his speed increased, his feet pounding the wet sand. His lungs were screaming for air as he reached the edge of the jungle and dived into the undergrowth. Crouched down low, he allowed his lungs the relief they so desperately needed. With his eyes fixed on the river, his hands reached for his pistol and found it instantly; a skill that came naturally after years spent with one eye on the horizon.




The boat rounded the bend in the river and came into James view. It was a beautiful boat, the pointed hull cutting through the water as if it wasnt there. The image was slightly spoiled by a huge gun bolted to the stern. He had to move; he was deep in the undergrowth, but anymore than a cursory glance in his direction by the driver would spell death for him. James frantically searched for an escape route, but every direction was blocked by fallen trees and thick vines. The only way out was back into the water, or up.




Hand over hand. Foot over foot. Gun between his teeth, James ascended the tree at an incredible rate. Eventually, he settled on a branch overlooking the hiding spot where he had been laying barely a minute earlier. He pressed his feet against the trunk of the tree as he manoeuvred down the branch. His fingers gripped the bottom of the branch so hard his knuckles turned white, if he fell now, not only would he break a few bones, he would alert the driver, who would surely kill him.




He tried to get a look at his enemy, in the hope that it would better prepare him for their almost inevitable encounter. He was a stereotypical Vietcong enforcer, a mountain of muscle with a small head perched on top. Something about him unnerved James, the way his arms moved slightly out of sync with each other, the way they rested at slightly different angles. It was if they had once been ripped off, and sewn back on by someone who didnt quite know what the human body should look like. As a result of this, he looked somewhat akin to an action man that had been played with a little too often. James could barely believe his eyes. He was scared.




Without warning, the man turned around and cut the engine. He was now floating in the river, barely twenty metres from where James was concealed. James heart rate almost instantaneously doubled. The man climbed towards the gun, and sat down in the seat, aligning the sights as he did so. Suddenly, he pulled the trigger. The silence of the jungle was instantly shattered by the chatter of machine gun fire. Bullets ripped through the air, slicing through the leaves and slamming into the trees, exploding into showers of bark and dust. The sound was insane. Mud and leaves erupted where the bullets hit the ground. A tree fell, snapped by the impact of a bullet right in the centre of the trunk. Suddenly, James didnt feel so safe. He curled up, covered his ears and closed his eyes. Almost as quickly as it had begun, it was over. Barely a hundred rounds had passed out of the barrel, but to James it felt more like thousands.




Stupid little boy the enforcer spat in his thick Vietnamese accent, the words rolling off his tongue with a harsh croak. He restarted the engine, and cautiously set off towards the shore. He paused every so often to push the boat away from the many rocks submerged in the shallows. Eventually, he arrived. He tied the boat to one of the rocks, and jumped down into the water. Small waves splashed around his ankles as he drew his pistol from its holster, the polished metal glinting in the sun.




Come out, come out, wherever you are! the enforcer sang. Something about the tone in which he did so deeply disturbed James. Maybe it was the way he seemed to enjoy what he was doing, like chasing down and killing teenage boys was something he did in his spare time, for fun. As the enforcer contemplated the best way to start looking for James, something fell from the tree, and crashed down on the mans head.




James slowly pulled himself up and inspected his handiwork. The man was out cold, a, huge gash adorning his shaven head. The enforcer had broken James fall, saving him from breaking his legs. He was lucky, few centimetres to one side, and it would have been James who came off worst, the blow would only have scratched the side of the mans head, leaving James, crippled, on the floor and the enforcer very, very angry.




James quickly searched the man. He didnt have much; James guessed that most of his belongings were on the boat. All he had on him were the keys to the boat, a few rounds for his pistol, and a few coins in his pocket. James didnt feel like having the enforcers friends coming after him when he woke up, so he ripped a couple of vines off of nearby tree and knotted the mans wrists and ankles. After double and triple checking the knots, James set off towards the boat.




He jumped in, threw his pack on the deck and sat in the driving seat. For the moment, he was happy. He wasnt dead, and he had a decent method of transport for a while. Jamess thoughts slowly turned to the future as he sailed off towards the horizon.




http://flyingunderground.deviantart.com ... -126857021

So don't let anyone tell you you're not worth the earth,

These streets are your streets, this turf is your turf,

Don't let anyone tell you that you've got to give in,

Cos you can make a difference, you can change everything,

Just let your dreams be your pilot, your imagination your fuel,

Tear up the book and write your own damn rules,

Use all that heart, hope and soul that you've got,

And the love and the rage that you feel in your gut,

And realise that the other world that you're always looking for,

Lies right here in front of us, just outside this door,

And it's up to you to go out there and paint the canvas,

After all, you were put on the earth to do this,

So shine your light so bright that all can see,

Take pride in being whoever the [bleep] you want to be.

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Hmmm. It might be better if it was something other than Vietcong, since they were largely fighting in defence of their homeland and for national elections :roll: .




The story itself is ok, though why he would not have killed the guy is beyond me... If the vines are easy enough to rip apart for a young boy then a rippling mass of muscle should be able to do it.


That, and the set up didn't fit with the story. You have people living in the jungle, which is crawling with Vietcong fighters since most have been forced out of their homes by carpet bombing, who all work to provide food, yet they also fish for food.


The mother being dead could be expanded on so that is ok, but the ending didn't quite work...You have a young boy, behind the wheel of an obvouisly high end boat(Again this was not something Vietcong forces had in great numbers, and certainly would not be entrusted to what appeared to be a sadist grunt, who is 'sailing' off into the sun set...He has a family at home which needs food and money and he is going to go galivanting off. Its not like he can sell the boat, and his character doesn't fit the type who would use the boat to become a hero.




So maybe it needs to be thought out a little bit more carefully, in terms of historic accuracy and plot. But I will say again, it was a solid effort. :thumbsup:

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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