“Are you sure this is the right way?” Dina asked for the tenth time. The old man‘s directions seemed easy, follow the salt water lake until it ended in a forked river, turn south and follow the big fork for two days then turn east for one more day. The problem was, the guide’s idea of a day of travel might not agree with the directions given by the wrinkled old native in town. And the distance Dina and her guide could travel in one day, might not be the same as that traveled by the old man.
“How the hell should I know? I didn’t know there would be so much water. I don’t know what he meant by a “big” fork.”
“Maybe you should have asked, you conceited asshole.”
“Keep on talking, woman. See who’s ass I save in a bind, mine or yours.”
“I’ll probably have to save yours, you stupid bastard. I suggest we turn around and go back. We can get better directions, if we ever find our boat again. I doubt that you can.”
“To hell with that, I’m not wasting a week of travel. We’ll find them if they’re around here. Hell, it’s your husband working out here, didn’t he tell you how to find him?”
“No, he didn’t want me to come. The second Seminole war only ended 10 years ago, it could be dangerous.”
“Wow, I wonder why,” the guide with no neck said as he continued to cut his way through the swamp. Dina gave him a deadly glare, then plodded along behind him. She put her hand on her pistol, wondering if she could find her way back alone. Then she wondered if she should. She didn’t know that a pair of eyes were watching, less that fifteen feet away on the lower branches of a tree. If she had, she would have been surprised to find it was a woman.
Jack Pine was her guide. It was an assumed name of course, Herbert Bailer had change his name to Jack Pine because he thought it sounded more woodsy. It didn’t help him land more jobs. Hell, most of his clients didn’t even know his name. This included Miss asshole with big tits. He had glimpsed those tits occasionally, once while she was changing, and twice when the rain turned her blouse transparent. They were perfect. With that cute little ass, a little duct tape could make her a perfect woman.
Jack had gone out into the swamp three times, since meeting her, just to jack off. With a picture of those huge firm tits in his mind he grabbed his meat and rubbed it until the white cream spurted from the end. He was unaware of the very young woman in the tree only a few feet away, watching him grab his meat, while she fingered her pussy under her black loincloth. The native woman liked watching the man beat his meat, most native men did it in private where the whole world couldn’t watch. But the white man didn’t seem to care. Or maybe he couldn’t see her. But how could he miss a pretty young native girl with her loincloth hiked up and her finger rotating in her juicy little pussy? Maybe white people where just blind. When the man was done and the girl finished her orgasm, she would slip out of the tree and run over to where the man jacked off, sniffing the ground where he left his seed.
Nighttime was the worst time for Dina. She hated nights huddled in her small, one man tent which was nothing more than a tarp stretched between two sticks. It kept some of the rain out, but not the insects and larger pests. She slept badly, with her eyes flying open at the slightest sound. And the Everglades had many sounds at night, the primary feeding time for 80 percent of it’s inhabitants. Only birds and people slept at night.
She was not going to ask Mister No-neck for comfort. His idea of comfort was far different from hers. She would endure the night sounds, the stealthy movement in the bushes, and insects crawling across her face and up her nose.
At times she even imagined she could hear human footsteps not ten feet away in the bushes at her feet, but of course that was impossible. Only her husband’s party, and a few natives, dared tread the swamp at night. The Everglades was extremely dangerous for people who didn’t know it’s dangers. Her husband had worked in such jungles for most of his 43 years. Her guide, well he appeared to be new at this. He would probably not grow any older, or her with him. Why had she chosen the stupid no-necked bastard when she could have gone with a more reputable native guide? He had looked so eager, so… handsome in the hotel bar. Yup, she had fallen for the hurt puppy look and fantasized about a torrid love triangle of some sort. She had been so stupid!
Dina laid in her blanket and tried to visualize the swamp they had tread over the past two days, not to mention the river before that. There was no way she was going to find their boat, but it was possible that if she turned East and traveled for three day or less, she could find the big river again. Eventually somebody would come along, it was heavily traveled.
Dina screamed and grabbed for her pistol. After two failed attempts she realized that the loud voice had been her guide.
“What do you want?”
“I think I heard footsteps in the bushes back there. I’m going to check it out, I want you to keep that pistol handy while I’m gone,” he said, waving his pistol in her direction.
“You’re leaving me here alone?” Dina heard a desperate note climbing into her voice.
“Only for a minute. I’ll be right back.”
Before she could answer he and his lantern were gone. In growing terror, she watched the light bobbing down the side of her tent, and into the bushes at her feet. Clutching the gun she started to get up, then decided to pretend she was asleep so he wouldn’t get the idea that she was scared. It was obviously a ploy to scare her into his tent, he was not brave enough to go into the bushes if he really thought there was somebody there. He was probably taking a shit, or jacking off. She had that effect on most guys.
The light disappeared for several minutes then flashed in her direction. Just as she began to worry, the light flashed briefly again, farther away this time. She watched for several minutes, then began to worry. Crawling out of her tent, she looked up and the blinding stars in the cloudless sky. The swamp was so dark around her, and every sound seemed to be getting closer. There was no moon and daylight was 8 hours away. Brush cracked in one direction, and the rush of running feet in leaves scared her spitless. She turned the gun in that direction for several minutes. Finally she lowered the shaking barrel when it was obvious that the running footsteps had not been pursuing her. How long until they would?
She ran over to the remains of their fire and searched around in the darkness for wood. She found a few small sticks and threw them on the coals. Belatedly she remembered, their guide had the only lantern in camp. They had been traveling light so they could travel faster, he had packed the only lantern. Now the dead fire was her only source of light in camp.
She blew on the coals for what seemed to be hours, until the flames lapped weakly against the small sticks. She looked around in stark terror at the dark treetops encircling the little clearing. She needed to get wood, but without light…
“Oh Daniel, I think I’m dead,” Dina whispered to the night. Her eyes searched the swamp for some sign of light, but there was only blackness. Then her eyes lit when she saw a distant flash of bright light. It was much too bright to be her guide’s small light. Perhaps it was a search party sent by her husband. She started to cry out in joy, then it flashed again. It was lightening. Rain was coming and when it rained in the Everglades, there were no outdoor fires. But maybe, just maybe, the larger animals might hide until the rain passed. Her husband had mentioned something about that a year ago, just some passing flippant remark. What had he said? Oh yeah, you don’t have to worry about the big animals when it rained, only the snakes… Only the snakes hunted during an Everglades rain. But which snakes, the common little deadly snakes or the huge snakes that could eat a horse? She didn’t want to know. Maybe she could snakeproof her tent before it rained. If so, she might survive until morning.
Dina stumbled around in the dim light of the flames, gathering what equipment she could find. Using the blanket from her guide’s tent and his canvas, she tried to make her own tent snakeproof and watertight. She knew beyond a doubt that her guide would never find his way back in time to use it and if he did… well he could share her tent, but she would keep the pistol handy. Actually, she would be so glad to see him she might even let him feel her up or lick her pussy, which was probably his motive for pulling such a stunt. She could use a good eating, Daniel had been gone for several months. In fact, almost a year of abstinence. No job was worth that. That’s why she disregarded his warning and decided to come down to the Everglades. She needed sex.
Lightning crashed. Thunder echoed endlessly. Dina shivered in the cold.
“Daniel, come and get me,” she whispered as she watched the tent around her. She had never been more afraid in her entire life. “I’ll never do something so stupid again,” she promised.
Dina sat up on her wadded blanket and listened to the little stream rushing through the middle of her tent. She tried not to touch the canvas with her back, because the canvas would soak her instantly. She had actually slept for almost an hour before the rains came. Now she just wanted to survive. Sleep was out of the question. She lowered her face into her knees and shook. She never thought she would ever get cold in the Everglades, but her wet clothing and the coolness of the storm had her cold clear through her body. The roar of wind was confined to the treetops around her. Luckily, it didn’t reach down into the clearing, otherwise it would have ripped her little tent to pieces. But that didn’t stop the trees from falling around her. If a tree fell on her tent… well she would never know what hit her. There were worse ways to die in the neighborhood.
Diana awoke with a start. Her heart raced joyously when she saw sunlight shining on the tent.
With bloodshot eyes Dina pulled the blanket off the front of her tent and looked at the steaming swamp around her. It was dawn and the rains had finally stopped leaving a wet, foggy mass of unrecognizable greenness in it’s wake. She saw two downed trees from where she sat. A fire was out of the question, there was nothing dry enough to burn in the area, including her small pack. She would wait for the sun to dry the swamp before she went in search of wood. She needed to cook food, then decide how to face the day alone. She knew beyond a doubt that her guide would never return. He had either been eaten by a large animal, or he found his way out. After leaving her stranded and alone, she hoped he had been eaten.
Dina opened her one book, “Fauna Of The American Jungles” and waited for the sun to dry it’s pages so she could use it to start a fire later. She felt absolutely helpless.