The sun painted streaks of pale blue and yellow through the morning sky. Birds were awake, singing to anyone appreciative enough to listen. The moon was full and bright as it still sat high in the western sky.
John listened intently. He was used to the sounds of the jungle, something he would actually miss. Gone were the distractions of machines. However, he prayed that they would soon be getting back to the plane that would take them back to their world–civilization.
Suddenly he was aware of something new–silence. The singing had abruptly stopped, but why? Birds go silent as a survival instinct, he thought. He listened more intently, as the ground would be soft, muffling any footsteps.
There! In the brush – a slight movement. He focused his eyes to one side of the dark, heavily vegetated area hoping to catch something in his peripherals. Behind about fifty yards, vines and branches moved in one direction as a few stealthy figures filed through. John estimated six people moving in the direction of the clearing. With any concentrated effort, the group would discover them. He nudged Steve, who had suffered with a fever since midnight.
“Wake up,” John whispered, placing his hand over his buddy’s mouth. He waited a moment for Steve to recover from the surprise. “There are people heading our way. You’ll have to keep quiet.”
All Steve could do was nod his head in agreement.
Jeffrey W. Bennett, is the author of Commitment-A Novel and other non-fiction books, novels and periodicals.