Aldebaran Over the Amazon (A Short Story)

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((In the deep Amazon Jungles of Peru, 2000 AD) (Partly based on actual events))

It was just after dinner, late dinner and they were sitting at one of the lodge’s tables, talking, fiddling on a guitar that was kept in one of the corners of the recreational room and lounge, for those who wished to play, drinking as if everything was, and had been hunky-dory all day. An orange giant star was overhead-Aldebaran, it was twilight, and it was as if the star had waited for evening to come. The moon looked drowsy, but enchanting, shadows crossed the moon as if they were eagles; in the Amazon, it seems twilight hesitates, the sunset waits reluctantly, silently, and tonight, this very night was no different in that respect.

“Will you have a soda, beer or bottled water?” the kitchen boy asked.

“I’ll have a beer,” Christopher Wright told the mess boy.

“I’ll have a beer also,” Wright’s wife Delilah told him.

“Nothing else to do at nights around here but talk, look at the stars, listen to the sounds, drink,” Wright agreed.

“Go ahead; get one for all of us, including you,” Wright commented.

The kitchen boy, who was called Juan, grabbed four beers out of the small bar refrigerator.

“How much is it?” Wright asked Avelino, his guide.

“One dollar is plenty, “he remarked, “You get the beer free, that’s for a tip.”

Christopher Wright had been carried into the lodge area just an hour earlier by Avelino, and the mess boy, and his wife stuck to his side like white on rice, they had brought him straight to his room-he was hyperventilating, completely exhausted, and it would have appeared to an onlooker as if he was passing down some great corridors in his mind to some strange doom, he was trying to get his senses back-he didn’t look as if he was completely there.

He sat up on his bed, his wife had pulled back the mosquito net, and she thanked Avelino, she was happy with Avelino, her eyes appeared to have seen monoliths, when she looked at him, he who had stood like a monument and shot the puma dead with one shot, no armor, no council, just a lonely Titan. She then turned silent about the whole matter, she left for a moment to wash her face, the breeze from the Amazon River made her feel more comfortable.

“The puma almost got you,” Avelion said to Christopher Wright, “and he is a damn big one too!”

Mrs. Wright had come back, looked at Avileno, she was a cute and petite and smart woman, attractive, an accountant that had worked for the National Telephone Company of Peru, in Lima, she had a high position. She had been married to Christopher Wright for less than one year now (1999-2000).

“He is a big puma, isn’t he?” Wright said. His wife looking at him, then looked at both Avileno and Juan, as if they were responsible for her husband’s near death experience, although she knew different.

At first, Avelino, the Peruvian guide and hunter she had never truly trusted him, until now. He was too careless, to assured of himself, had told her: “I know this part of the jungle boys strains like the palms of my hands.” And he did.

He was a strange looking native, who spoke English as well as he did Spanish, and some other native tongues. He was of average height for his people. Short dark hair, clean shaven, a dark bronze face with a set of extremely dark pitted eyes; perhaps in his middle thirties, and seldom, if ever did he smile. The closest thing was a grin, or half-smile. Avelino, also was very fit, and very good at what he did, and had somewhat showed off today; he could be smug, and he liked being the hero.

He grinned at her now, and she pulled away from his side view of her. His big hands were clean but his fingernails were dirty, as was his slacks, and boots, he hadn’t had time to change, only wash his sweat-less face, and hands. She was some five years his senior and her husband, twelve years older than she.

For Christopher Wright’s age, he was well built, strong looking, medium bone structure, a Doctorate in Education, a licensed psychologist. A man who had been in a war, survived two heart attacks, one stroke, and now had a neurological disease. Hence, his wife watched him as nurse at a General Hospital would watch a patient in intensive care.

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