Monday, November 2, 2009

The River Princess... Part 1

Melanie wasn't the jealous type. Why would she be. She had it all. A father that owned half the town and a mother that owned the other half. She had hair that was perfectly colored... Auburn and full enough to make Rupunzzel jealous. Her emerald eyes dance when she was happy and turned a dark green when she was not. Not to ever forget legs and a butt that filled out a pair of Levi's like a sweet fitting glove. "Hell," she said out loud to no one but herself, "Mirrors follow You around lady, just so they can be the one to have your reflection." She laughed at herself and then frowned again. "Jealous...hardly?! So why am I so upset that Shaun took that bimbo to the movies? IS he blind!?" She waved her hand in front of her eyes.
Shaun Turner... the boy every girl wanted. He was 6'4", cold black hair, baby blues that looked right through you and that ohhh so adorable Elvis smile. The only thing he did not have that Melanie had was the knowing that he WAS gorgeous. He thought himself just an average guy. there was one other thing he did not have. He didn't have Melanie, though that sure wasn't her fault. Her father had disapproved of him from the time they were kids. Why? Simple. She was rich and elegant and he was... the son of a beach bum. Johnathon Kendall built business's and men like Bobby Turner worked in them. It was just a fact, Melanie's father had taught her.
But still, Melanie pursued him for 15 years, all through school and beyond. She didn't even know if she wanted to keep him. But she definately wanted the chance to toss him when she was finished with him. She would make her move completely when the company his father worked for went over seas to start another factory. The company her father owned.
"For the last time, Melanie, please tell me why you would want to go to a place that is sub-standard!? I do not understand it at all!?"
"Daddy, I told you already. It will look good on my application for Miss U.S.A., remember?"
"Sweetheart," her father said in that tone she hated. The one that sounded like begging but was really demand. "You don't need anything but your mothers looks and my money to win that thing. Stay here and help some shelter or homeless person. That will work as well. I will even set it up for you."
"No Daddy, I want to go on This trip! If I can't I will be stressed and then I'll break out and then your daughter will have zit's from one side of her face to..."
"Oh, oh, good God... you don't have to be so nasty and graphic all the time!" He waved his arms at her. "Do what you want because you will anyways! But by God, Girl, this IS the last time! Do you understand me!?!?"
"Yes Daddy" she said in her best "daddy's girl" voice. She was packed and ready to go in less than an hour. The chauffer drove her to her daddy's private jet where Shaun and his father were taking off from. She walked to them and smiled at Shaun.
"What are you doing here, Princess?" That was the name Shaun had called her since grade school. She was never sure if it was a mock or term of endearment. She chose the latter one, of course.
"Oh, daddy insisted I go along this time, you know, to get to know the business and over-see things. I can't fight City Hall," she said with a million dollar smile. "You don't mind, do you Shaun?" She pouted her lip out and swayed from side to side.
"I don't care, Mel, just don't get in the way." Mel was the name he used when he reallly didn't want to talkk to her.
Melanies eyes turned dark green as she looked at him. She turned with a huff and walked away, murmerig under her breath. "By the end of this trip, Shaun Turner, you will be begging for me to "be in your way!"
The flight was uneventful for the first few hours. Melanie sat as close to Shaun as she could and moved in every way she could to catch his eye. She saw him looking her way a few times when she was polishing her toe-nails. This wouldn't take long at all and he would be begging to be with her. Four hours into the flight, Melanie was shook from her sleep when the plane lunged to one side and then to the other side. She thought maybe they had landed. Looking out the window, all she could see was darkness. Darkness mixed with bright flashes of lightening. She screamed out and moved next to Shaun.
"Are we going to crash!? What is going on out there!?"
Shaun was gentle when he spoke. "I don't know Princess. We are in the middle of a bad storm. Hopefully, your daddy didn't under-bid for the pilots like he did everything else in life."
It was cruel and harsh, but sadly, Melanie knew he was right. The plane took one more lunge to the right and then began falling. The nose went face down and they all fell forward into the tiny aisle. Melanie could hear the pilots yelling back to them.
"Try and get into your seats and buckle. We are going to try to land this jet as softly as we can. Our instruments are out. We have no clue where we are going to land. Just hold on tight!"
Melanie saw the tree-tops before she felt the impact. There was no time to do anything but pray and she realized she didn't even know how to do that.
"You make your own way in this world, Melanie! Remember that! Don't give thanks to someone up in the sky when your hard work and smart thinking made it happen!" She could hear her father's words yelling to her over and over, embedding it into her brain. Now, she didn't even have prayer. The last thing she remembered was a man covering her body as they hit the ground with full impact. She looked up into the face of Shaun's father, protecting her body from the crash with his own. And then... everything went dark.

The River Princess... Part 2

Melanie felt the weight of something or someone on her body. She tried to focus on where she was. Her eyes opened and she wondered why the world looked tinted red. As she pulled herself up a little, a flash of light blinded her for a moment. The flash was long enough to bring it all back to her. The plane was falling from the sky. The storm that had come out of no-where. And now... she remembered and knew what was on top of her. She looked down and screamed. She was looking into the open, dead eyes of Bobby Turner. Shaun's father, the man that her daddy said was little more than an Oliver, asking for more soup and that would never be more than a peasant, had protected her with his body. He had died to save the life of the daughter of a man that saw him as nothing more than a worker.
"You were wrong Daddy, very wrong. What else were you wrong about?"
There was a stirring in front of her. She saw Shaun waking and her heart sped at the thought of him seeing his father laying dead on her. She tried to push his body off of her but the man was too heavy.
"He won't hurt you! He never would have hurt you!" Shaun leaned over and slowly lifted his fathers body from Melanie's. He carried him to the open cockpit where the pilots had been before the crash. Melanie watched him as he stepped out into the Jungle that surrounded them. "Are you coming Princess or do you want to be carried out too? I think my family has done enough for you today."
His words pierced her heart and she saw the tears that flowed from his eyes. If he only knew how she wanted to make it all go away. She wanted to bring his father back and run to tell her father what a mistake he had made in judgement. She instead said nothing. She stood up and followed Shaun out of the plane. She watched as he laid his father down gently on the ground. He stood and stared down at him. She remembered a blanket on the floor of the plane. The plane smelled of fuel and sparks jumped all around her. She didn't care.As she entered the front she heard Shaun call out.
"Melanie, don't!!! That thing is going to explode! Get out of there!!!"
She didn't look back nor did she stop. She ran inside and grabbed the blanket. She could hear the snapping and buzzing of the electrical units in the plane. She got out and went to Shaun. She opened the blanket and slowly draped it over Bobby's body. She stopped to place her hand on his chest and then stood. As she turned towards Shaun, the plane exploded into flames. The blast tossed them both to the ground. Shaun wrapped his arms around Melanie until the debris stopped falling around them. Slowly they stood up.
"What are we going to do now?"
"Well Princess, it looks like we wait to see if this thing had an SOS signal or we walk to try and find help. There is nothing here for us to find refuge in so we might as well walk."
"Well Brianiac, in case you haven't noticed, I am not exactly un-scathed! I have cuts and bruises and my legs hurt. We can stay here and wait for daddy to come save us."
Shaun stared at her in amazement. "None of this fazed you, did it Mel? You walk away like you were privileged and just should have lived! Well you might not have been here right now if not for my father!!! You are really a piece of work! And to think I could fall in love with you!! Amazing!"
Shaun's last words grabbed her inside. She was sure she had heard them correctly. She wanted to hug him and tell him she loved him too, but that would show weakness. She just could not do it. instead, she turned the opposite as she always did.
"Go soft, go broke, Melanie!" Her fathers words of wisdom again.
"What makes you think you would ever have someone like me, Shaun Turner? I am a little out of your league, don't you think!?"
Her heart hurt just saying those words. She wished she had just said nothing. His words hurt even more.
"Hell, Mel... you are even out of your own self's league. Stay or follow, I don't care anymore. I am going to look for some help." As he walked into the jungle, she waited for only long enough for some unknown creature to scream from the tree-tops. She followed quickly behind him.
They had walked for an eternity, it seemed when they spotted a tiny shack in a clearing. There was a fire going outside the shack. A large kettle hung over the flames and something boiled inside of it. The odor was like the smell of a bar-b-que at home, Melanie thought. She was starved and hoped who-ever was inside was friendly enough to feed them. As she stepped into the clearing, Shaun grabbed her arm. Pulling away she turned to him with a scowl. "What do you think you are doing, Mister!? Let go of me!!"
"Use your head Mel! We don't know who is in there! They could be unfriendly!"
"Unfriendly? You watch to much "survivor" or something. I will tell them who i am and they can contact my father. You can be Mister scared if you like." She pulled away from Shaun's hand and walked forward. A man stepped out of the shack. He seemed as surprised to see her as Melanie was to see him. he was dressed in worn out clothing and wore no shoes. His face was painted with red and blue and he appeared to be very old. He stared at her and then smiled, empty places in his mouth where teeth should have been. Shaun watched from the trees for a moment.
"Do you speak English? E-e-e-en-n-nglis-s-s-h," Melanie repeated slowly. The man smiled again at her.
"We have known your words for a long time. You are welcome at our home." He motioned for her to sit on a cut tree stump. "We have been waiting to see you come to us. Everything has gone dark and we prayed for a Princess to come to us. Now, you are here."
Melanie smiled at him as Shaun watched from the trees. He was uncertain what this man was talking about and wanted to know more before he revealed himself.
"Well you have your Princess. All I need is to contact my father and let him know where to pick me up. Do you have a phone nearby?"
Suddenly the trees moved all around the shack. One by one, men looking like the first one emerged from the jungle, some younger than the others but none that looked older then what had to be their leader. Melanie stepped back away from the approaching men. Fear now filled her face. She turned to run back towards where Shaun had been. The men surrounded her as she tried to run.
"You must not go away from us. You have been sent to us from our Fathers. We saw you fall in a fireball from the sky and knew we had been heard. We shall replenish our people and take back what was always ours again. No one will take you away, Princess."
Melanie screamed and called out to Shaun. She had wasted her scream though. She looked up and saw Shaun being pulled from the trees by some of the men. He was struggling to free himself when more of them shoved him to the ground and held him.
"Oh God, Shaun! I am so sorry I didn't listen to you. I swear I didn't know!"
"It's o.k. Mel. We will get out of this. Just stay calm and don't upset them."
Shaun felt a hard object hit his head. He went down to the ground again. The man that was their leader stood in front of him.
"So, the darkness sent it's own to take her back from us! We shall show them we are stronger than them. Our magic will make us strong and our princess will make us new, younger men to win back our land. This dark seed will go before the people tomorrow night and then we will decorate our Princess. Call the women to make her beautiful. And the dark seed... tie him to the jungle tree to await his return to the bad place.
"We do have a fix on their last known contact, Sir. But shortly after the signal was sent, we lost it all. As best we can tell, they went down in a hostile area of the jungle."
"Hostile!!!??? What the hell does that mean!? My daughter is out there and someone better find her. Get their people to look for her until we get there!"
"It won't be easy, Sir. They are afraid of the jungle people."
"Afraid!? You tell them they don't know afraid until they have messed with Johnathon Kendall! Tell them that!!!!"

The River Princess... Part 3

"Sir, I have their security commander on the phone. He wants to talk with you."
"Give me that phone, Mark! I have a few things to say to him!"
"Please Mr. Kendall, remember... they are friendly to us. We need their industry as well as their purchases from the U.S."
"I am aware of what they are to us! Just give me that phone." Mark, who was Johnathon's front man, handed the phone to Johnathon. He knew all to well not to cross this man, if, that is you liked your job.
"This is John Kendall. Who am I speaking too?"
"This is Commander Cortes. I understand your daughter is in our jungle somewhere. I wish to offer my help in any way."
"I want her found now! That jungles of yours is no place for the heir of my estate! How hard can it be to find a girl and 4 other people!?"
"Four you say? Who are the others?"
"Well, the plane did not fly itself so there are 2 pilots and a worker of mine and his son out there also.I am in flight to your country now! I expect to be picked up and then taken to my daughter when I arrive!"
"And what of the others? If we find your daughter, what would you ask us to do with them!?"
"I don't care! Put them some place and I will send another jet to pick them up. My daughter is first priority! Do i make myself clear!?"
"Yes you do but I will say that the people of the jungle are a fierce people. We do not engage in combat with them unless they come to our area of the jungle. I am reluctant to stir a fire up where there is already smoke. It is a saying we have that means..."
"I know what it means, just get my daughter!"
Johnathon searched the approaching jungle with his eyes, trying desperately to see Melanie. All he could see was Jungle, as far as the naked eye could see. He wondered if maybe had he been a little less demanding with his daughter, maybe she would never have gone on this trip. He had not thought long enough when he had spoken to Melanie last time. He knew he was hard on her sometimes but he wanted her to be able to survive in the world as best she could. His plane began to ascend and he prepared to meet the Commander. Johnathon Kendall would be a force to be reckoned with!
Melanie struggled to fend off the touching of her skin by these people. Who were these men that they could touch her at will!? The ladies of the tribe clothed and readied her for whatever it was that they were getting her ready for. She worried about Shaun and what she could do to save him from certain death in the morning. She wanted to know if the native girls could talk English.
"I" she said, pointing to her self... "am Melanie Kendall. I am worth a lot of money of you can help me and my friend to get away. I really need your help, please?"
"We speak your language and we understand your words but we can not help you. We need you to bring good things to our land. I would wish to free you but then, they would kill all of us."
"Please-e-e-e-e-e-ee, just let me slip away. It is the only way for me to live."
"You will live forever when our medicine works on you. It is a gift we all have cherished here."
"A gift? What sort of gift?"
"We live forever because of our medicine."
"How old are you?"
"I have lived for seven generations. I have many children and great children and their children's children. It is eternal if something does not take our lives. A tiger or the outside man's guns. You will also bring many children to our people and they will blend in with the outside colors so that we can take back all that is ours."
"You people are nuts! You need to get out of the jungle more often. I am not going to make anything for your people and certainly Not babies!"
The curtain to the hut opened and the old man stood in the door-way. Melanie stepped back to the back wall of the hut.
"You are prepared now. I shall present you to the men of our people and they shall take you as their princess. You will be placed on the river in a large boat and they shall make new with you."
"I will not make new with anyone and if you try to touch me, I will kill you!!!"
The women in the hut gasped. They ran past her, shouting things that Melanie had no clue of what they meant.
"You are sent to us to be our River Princess. The water shall rise and the Crocodile will accept you as ours. It is the way it is meant to be."
"Look Doc, I am NOT your princess and I am Not going to meet some Croc God! I am Melanie Kendall and my father is going to kill you!"
The old man walked out with the curtain still opened. Melanie walked out behind him. She watched him motion for the men to do something. She watched as they brought Shaun out of a hut. She screamed and cried aloud when she saw him. Naked except for a loin cloth, his chest had been pierced with needles. His hands had shoots of wood in the palms and his face was bruised everywhere. He looked up at Melanie through blood shot eyes. She ran to him without anyone trying to stop her.
"Oh God, Shaun... I am so sorry for this. God i love you so much and I have been so cruel and wrong. Please forgive me for everything. I will be a new girl if we get out of this. Please stay with me."
"Melanie," he spoke with a weak voice. "I won't leave you. I love you, nasty girl and all. We have to get out of here somehow. As you can see, I am a little "strapped" right now." Shaun smiled a weak smile and touched her cheek.
"We will find a way, Shaun... I promise you."
Melanie was pulled away from Shaun by two men. She was stood in front of the old man.
"Are you ready to go to the river?"
She looked back at Shaun and then stood up straight. "I will go to the river and bring great things to you. I have watched to see that you are true to your people. Now you will do for me as I do for you. I Am your Princess and the river is my home!"
Shaun watched as Melanie spoke and moved around the people. "You all saw me come from the sky! You know I am your River Princess! I will bring more fire from the sky if you do not heed my words!"
The people suddenly turned to her and bowed down. "We are your people, River Princess. What do you wish for us to do?"
"Free this ignorant creature that the skies sent to take me. He has no strength and no will left. He is no danger to us anymore. Free him and let the jungle take him away. The Tiger will not feed on our own for that."
One of the people spoke out. "See, she knows of the tigers and their fierceness. We must do as she asked."
"No!" The response was from the old man. "She is our River Princess but I am still King. The man is needed to appease the river or it will swallow our Princess. Take him to the edge and kill him. His blood will tell the Crocodile that we have a princess! This Will be done!"
Melanie heard a sound from the tree-tops. It was a plane. No doubt, her fathers plane and he would be here soon. The plane drew nearer and she thought to use the sounds of it engine.
"I will then bring another God down to you and he will be bigger than me. You will hear his roar in a moment." She stood silent and prayed the plane would go over them soon. The trees blew and the ground shook from the vibrations of the planes roar. The men of the tribe stopped walking and set Shaun down. They tried to hide their eyes from an unseen enemy. The old man was angered. He walked to where Shaun was and raised a knife to the sky. He began thrusting it downward towards Shaun's bare chest. The knife touched Shaun's chest and then the old man stopped and smiled.

The River Princess... Part 4

The humming sound got louder as the tribe listened. They had heard this same sound only a day ago when the sky had brought their River Princess to them. Now, she had told them she would bring down new fire if they did not release the man. The old man looked around at his people. The women were clutching their babies to their breasts in fear. The men were crouched near the ground, like children in hiding. He could feel his power beginning to slip away from his grasp. Once lost, he would never regain it. Gliding the knife over Shaun's chest, a trickle of blood escaped. Shaun made no outcry at all.
"This is no dark seed sent to take our Princess! He is a mere man that followed her! Listen as he cries out. Then you will know that he is nothing! No dark seed would cry out!"
The old man pressed the knife deeper into Shaun's skin. More blood flowed but there again was no outcry. Instead, Shaun spoke out.
"He will cut me through to my soul and I will not cry out for him. I am not a dark seed. I am sent to protect the Princess from harm. Should he kill me, she will then kill all of you. This is the way of the Gods. They will just start over with new people that Will obey their Princess."
"No! He is a liar! I will show you what you have forgotten! See with your eyes the others that called themselves a Princess!"
With a wave of his hand, the old man made a fire start. Melanie's eyes widened as the flames rose into the air. Then he began to chant words that made no sense to Melanie or Shaun. Secrets of the jungle came alive in front of them. From out of the jungle came 5 women. Each one of them had been beautiful at one time. That was plain to see. Each appeared to be older than the one beside them. Cuts to their faces along with time itself had taken away the beauty that was theirs once. Scars layed where beauty once held it's own. Melanie wondered how long ago these poor ladies had somehow found themselves lost here in the jungle as she had.
"These women claimed great powers too! They called themselves our Queen and tried to control us with their beauty! But when they screamed out and bled, you knew I was your King and I was the one the God's gave insight too so that I would see through them. Perhaps this woman is not a Princess either! We will cut her and see if she too screams out!"
Melanie felt her heart pounding in her chest as the old man spoke. From where she was standing, she was the first to see the huge flood light from landing gear shine from the tree tops. She was quick to use it to try and save her and Shaun.
"Stop! I am calling to the Gods now! I will tell them of your disobedience now and they will hear me." Raising her hands to the sky she spoke out. "Hear me Father! This man is the only non-believer! Do not kill them all for his sins! Shine on me so they know you are with me!"
As if the heavens had heard her plea, the light from the landing gear shone directly on her face. It lit her body up and she glowed in the smoke from the flames the old man had created. The people all scrambled to be as far from her as they could get. The roar of the engines being back-thrusted to slow down frightened them even more. The women of the tribe disappeared into the jungle. The old man knew this was his last chance to hold their fears. Grabbing Shaun, he pulled him to the river. He pushed him as close as he could to the water. Melanie ran to where he was and shoved the old man aside. Grabbing the knife he had dropped, she cut through Shaun's ropes as quickly as she could. The knife fell from her hand but she had cut through enough that Shaun was able to break through the ropes. All the men of the tribe saw was him breaking free. To them, he had broken the ropes by his own strength. This caused them to move back into the jungle.
"Get up Shaun! Get up and run with me!"
Shaun stood and reached for Melanie. The snapping of jaws from huge Crocodiles on the river banks resounded through out the jungle. Hissing and growls could be heard over the rivers flow. Suddenly, the old man rose up again. He ran as hard as he could into Shaun, knocking his hand from Melanie's. He sliced out with the knife he had found and cut her across her face. The knife cut deep twice above and below her eyes. She stumbled backwards into the river and was swept down away from Shaun.
"No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o," Shaun screamed out. His fist crashed into the old man, sending him sprawling across the ground. The old man laughed through a blood stained mouth.
"There goes your River Princess! See if your God's save her now!"
"I will finish with you when I get back! You better hope your God's protect You!"
Shaun turned and jumped into the river and let the flow take him towards the only woman he ever loved.
"There," shouted the roaring voice of Johnathon Kendall. "In the river below us! I saw a body in the water. God have mercy... I think it was my Melanie! Come around and kill those Crocs in the water! Kill them before they get my daughter! God, please don't take her from me! Please!"

The River Princess... Part 5

The pilot flew as low as he could without putting them all in danger. The people that Johnathon Kendall had dealings with over the years were not always of good "manners." He had equipped his planes with defensive artillery in case he would ever encounter an "unhappy" customer. The side windows slid open near the front and rear of the plane. Machine guns slid out of the windows and two of the crew sat behind them.
"Shoot those beasts before they get my daughter!" The crocodiles had already spotted their prey and were moving downstream to claim it. Loud shouting from behind them made a few turn and try to swim upstream. Food seemed as if it were going to be plentiful this day.
"Sir, there is someone else in the water, behind your daughter. If we fire at the Crocs we might him him."
"I don't care who else or what else you shoot! Just make sure my daughter isn't harmed!"
The men looked at each other and then down at the river. They pulled the levers on the machine guns and began to fire. The first shots struck the two crocs that were closest to Melanie. The gunfire was antiquate enough to sink both crocs almost exactly where they were struck in the water. The next round hit in between the man in the water and the next two crocs. A few rounds struck a crocodile on it's tail, causing it to pull it's self half from the river and snap viciously at the air. The sound of it's jaws coming together could be heard inside the plane. Johnathon looked down into the river and saw Melanie struggling to stay above water. He looked upstream and saw the man behind her fighting off one of the crocodiles with his bare hands. As the man rolled to his back to fend off what was nearly a fatal clamping of the croc's jaws on him, Johnathon recognized the man in the water.
"My God... that is Shaun Turner. He is trying to save my daughter. He is risking his life for my daughter! Could I have been that wrong about him!? God, what have I become!?!?!"
Shaun fought his way past the croc that had just tried to kill him. He reached out and grabbed Melanie's shoulder and pulled her to him. He held on to her tight as four more of the behemoth's swam towards them.
"Oh God Shaun, don't let me go, please! I love you. Don't you let me go!"
"I have you now Princess. I am never letting you go. Not ever! We need to make it to that shore and get out of this river! We can decide what to do from there once we are safe."
"Shaun, I am sorry about your father. I am sorry about my father. I truly..."
"We can talk about this when we get to shore. Right now, I just don't want to be on the Croc's menu anymore."
The plane had circled one more time. The machine guns opened fired again and with Shaun and Melanie at a safe distance, they opened fired on the Crocs. Killing two more of the front Crocodiles the pilot told Johnathon he needed to land the plane.
"We will land as close to here as we can, Sir. We can back track in the jungle to where we last saw your daughter. Hopefully the commander isn't far from finding them. I am sorry Sir... we really have no choice."
Johnathon looked out of his window, staring at Shaun as he wrapped his arms around Melanie. Shaun looked up to the plane and saw Johnathon hanging out of the window.
"I have her Sir! I won't let anything happen to her. I promise you!"
Johnathon waved at him and then began to do something he was sure his father and time had beat or filtered out of him. Johnathon Kendall cried. The last sound he heard from the water was his daughters voice.
"I love you Daddy! I love yo-u-u-u-u-u-u-u..."
"Get this plane on the ground and lets' go save my daughter and that brave young man. I have a lot of sorries and changes to make after this trip."
Shaun managed to pull them to the side of the river. He lifted Melanie up onto the bank and pushed her away. He pulled himself from the water just as another Croc was coming in to attack him. Shaun heard the jaws snap shut and then... they were both onshore. Shaun turned Melanie over on to her back. He noticed for the first time the two cuts on her face. The cuts were deep and he had no doubts they would leave scars. he touched them with his fingertips and then leaned down to kiss them. He felt Melanie's hand on top of his.
"It's ok, My hero. They are the very least of what i almost lost. I could have missed a chance of a life-time, Mr. Turner."
"We still aren't safe yet, Princess. We have to stay alive long enough for your father to get here."
"That may be more difficult than you think!"
Shaun and Melanie turned to see who had spoken. There, in front of them, holding a knife and surrounded by his entire tribe, was the old man. Four of the men grabbed Shaun and held him. The old man walked over to where Melanie was laying. He reached down and took her face in his bent old fingers. Turning to his tribe, he smiled.
"Does this look like the face of a River Princess!!?? Does a Princess bleed!? For those of you unsure still, we will wait one night. When the Sun rises, if the God';s have not removed the cuts from her face, they will both die. They will be sacrificed to the River Gods and we shall know abundance and strength again!"
Shaun and Melanie just looked at one another.
"WE won't die, Melanie. This isn't over!"
"I know Shaun. I will spend forever with you."
The Commander stood in front of Johnathon. He was shaking his head as Johnathon spoke.
"They are JUST men, damn you! I watched their "River Crocs" die as we shot them. Those men will die just as easily as the Crocs did! My daughter and possibly four more men are out there right now! I saw them alive and they better stay that way! I can close your borders and make sure you never see another American industry in here again! Ever!"
"I wish you understood the strange powers these jungle people possess, Sir. They can bring terrible destruction to our land and our people."
"If they are so powerful, why do they hide in the jungles instead of coming out here and destroying you!? Either you go with us, or we go alone! If it is alone, you had better not interfere with what we do. We are wasting time. Time my daughter may not have. We are going Commander! Follow... or don't. It matters none to me.
"We are coming, Sir. I will not have your deaths on my dreams for the rest of my life. But... I am in charge! You follow me! IS this understood?"
"Clearly, Commander. Let's go."

The River Princess... Final Chapter

The jungle was thicker from the ground then it looked from the sky. Johnathon was glad to have the Commander to guide them. He wasn't certain that he and his men could have navigated the way to Melanie. Dark took on a whole new meaning in these trees. Sounds came from seemingly no-where and at the same time... right beside you. They traveled along the river and the sounds of Crocodiles fighting and hissing was enough to un-nerve even the bravest soul.
"How far did you fly before landing after you had seen your daughter?"
"We went maybe two or three miles, Commander. It didn't seem long before we saw the landing strip."
"The natives home is four miles in. They must have been near that area when you saw them. Mr.Kendall, I must tell you something. Moments before we left I received a call from one of my patrols. They had located your daughters plane many miles to the north of where we are now. They found the "remnants" of three men. Though the animals of the jungle had torn the apart, it appeared they died in the crash. It is grace that your daughter and this man with her have lived so long."
Johnathon walked on in silence. He thought of all the things he had taught his daughter... no, drilled into her young mind about not giving credit to anything or anyone for something you had done yourself. He knew that he had been wrong so many times and now, after all of those years, he hoped his daughter had not listened well to him. He would be giving thanks to heaven for his daughters life every day for the rest of his life. They walked on without speaking a word.
Melanie sat in the little hut she had been put in alone. She wondered how she and Shaun could get out of this situation. She thought of her father and where he might be.
"I didn't always obey you Daddy," she said aloud as if he were listening. "Whenever you went away, I prayed to God. I asked him to take care of you and bring you home safe. I prayed he would let momma sleep without crying and that you would be good to her. I am praying now, Daddy. Praying that we get out of here alive. I will pray always now. Please Daddy, come and get us. Please." She cried into her hands, wishing morning would never come.
Shaun had been taken to another hut. He had started a fight and let them beat him down. When they moved him, he feigned being weak and unable to walk. Men were set outside his hut to watch him. He watched closely to see how often they looked in on him. He took the time to count the minutes between. he found a window of five minutes was all that was between the checks.He would have to be fast and quiet. He waited once more for them to look inside. As soon as he heard them leave he crawled to the backside of the hut. He pushed himself under the bottom of the wall. The shoots cut into his hands and back as he crawled to the outside. When he reached the outside, he looked around. Seeing men sitting in front of another hut, he knew it had to have Melanie inside. Still crawling on his belly, he slipped into the jungle. He figured it was either the creatures in the trees or the old man in the morning. Slipping behind Melanie's hut, he again crawled under the wall. Melanie, hearing a sound behind her, saw Shaun. He put his fingers to his lips to silence her. Holding the bottom of the wall as high as he could, Melanie slipped under it and out of the hut.
"Oh God, Shaun... We have to..."
"Sh-h-h-h-h-h-h-h, we have to be quiet. Can you run?"
"Yes, I think so."
"When we get into the trees, run! Run as hard and fast as you can! Don't stop, Princess!"
"I won't, but please, call me Melanie. I don't want to be a Princess any more."
In seconds, they were in the Jungle. They both stood and Shaun took Melanie's hand tight in his. As they began to run, they could hear yelling coming from the tribe. They knew they had been discovered.
"Don't look back, Mel. Just keeping running!"
They could hear the trees breaking behind them as the tribe grew closer. They had no idea where they were running to nor did they care. The tribe was gaining on them. They knew the Jungle much better and probably could see better at night. Shaun suddenly felt his arm tighten. He turned and saw Melanie dragging on her knees. She had tripped and was struggling to stand. Shaun tried to pull her up as quickly as he could. Before they could both run again, the tribe broke through the trees behind them. They were on top of Shaun and Melanie within seconds. Dragging them both back through the jungle, they heard the old man's voice.
"Bring them to me! We will not wait for the Sun. We will sacrifice them to the night. We will still be pleasured for their deaths! This is why I am King!"
Tied to poles that stood together, Shaun and Melanie were sure they had run their last run. A huge fire was lit. The old man brought out a huge knife.
"We will give their bodies to the River Gods in pieces so that many can enjoy. This will bring more gifts to us." He raised the knife above his head. Chanting loudly, he began to thrust it towards Shaun's heart. Melanie screamed out as she closed her eyes. She could not watch the man she loved die.
"I love you Shaun!"
Suddenly, a crack rose from the jungle. It echoed through the trees like a huge tree splitting and falling. Another shot rang out. Melanie opened her eyes in time to see the old man falling forward. Blood was coming from his chest and face. The tribes-men stood silent now as they watched their King fall to the ground, dead. Out of the jungle, they saw Soldiers with guns surrounding the tribe. Surrendering, hands in the air, they laid down on the ground. Melanie heard her fathers voice calling her name.
"Daddy! Daddy, I knew you would come!"
Johnathon untied her and hugged her tight. He then walked over to Shaun. He untied him and took his hand. "I know what you did for my daughter. I have no words to thank you. Please forgive this greedy fool. My daughter could not do better than to have you."
As they walked back to the Commanders office, Melanie and Shaun told them all that had happened. "Daddy, Mr. Turner is the reason I didn't die in the crash. He gave his life for mine."
"I will find some way to give back to you all I can, Shaun. It won't bring him back but it is all I have to give."
"If you will allow me to love your daughter for the rest of her life, I will be a happy man, Sir."
"I wouldn't want her with anyone else." Johnathon touched his daughters face.
"It's alright Daddy. Somehow, beauty has a whole new meaning to it for me."
"I have a lot of wrongs to right, Melanie."
"Not as many as you think, Daddy. I didn't Always listen to you."
Johnathon smiled at her and Shaun. "I am thankful for that, Mel. Very thankful to heaven."
Melanie smiled at her father and winked.
"Me too, Daddy."

Not All Imps Are Demons... Part 1

It only moved once, she was sure. Like a snake through leaves, the rug had moved itself across the floor by an inch. Ian observed her from his chair. Though she was not his most "neurotic" patient, she was definitely in the running for first place. Alisa had come to him less than a year ago. A beautiful young lady, she appeared the very well dressed, well minded business lady she had introduced herself as. It was months later that he discovered she was none of those things.
"You must have seen that, Doctor Lansing. It was so obvious. Tell me you did!"
"I am sorry Alisa, I really didn't see anything. What is it I was supposed to see?"
"The rug!? The freaking rug moved across the floor! You must have been looking away!"
"Perhaps. Or it could be what we have talked about so many times. This could be..."
"Another illusion!? Another trick of my mind. Doctor!?!? Can't you come up with something a little more original?"
"You seem especially agitated today, Alisa. Did something happen that you would like to talk about?"
"You mean like the rug Not moving!?"
Ian stared at Alisa. She was truly a beautiful woman. Her long cold black hair flowed over her shoulders like a cascading waterfall. It fell on the beginnings of perfectly full breasts that accentuated her body. Her long slender legs, crossed at the knees, never stopped swinging from side to side. She had huge doe like eyes that stared through a person as if she could see their soul. And when she spoke, it was like saying "come to my place" every time. Ian reminded himself every visit that he was her therapist and she... was his patient. How he wished it could be different.
"When you came to me a year ago, you told me that there were... things, that followed you. They moved things in your home while you slept and destroyed your house when you would go out. For this reason, you stopped leaving your home. That seemed to help a little, although you said that they began to do damage while you slept. Is this still on-going?"
"They seem to be getting worse now. Last night,which is why I called you, they took every candle I had and placed them in my bathtub. They lit them all and almost burned my house down. I don't know what to do."
"The house seems fine to me now. Are you sure that..."
"Of course it looks fine Now! I cleaned up when you said you were coming over."
Alisa's head jerked to the side. She stared down at the rug that was near her feet. "There! I told you! They are trying to get the rug under me so they can pull it out. They are mean, Doctor... except for Lily."
"Lily? You have never mentioned her, or that any of them have names."
"Of course they have names. Everyone has a name, Doctor."
As Ian thought, suddenly a shade in the bathroom fell to the floor. He turned and swore he had caught a glimpse of something moving under the sink. It was gone as quick as it was there. He turned back to see Alisa smiling. It was a smile that sent chills down his spine. She looked almost evil herself.
"Get a grip, Ian. You are letting this stuff freak you out, and Doctors don't freak. Patients do," he thought silently. "Your cat, I assume?"
"I don't own a cat, Doctor. Want to try again?"
Her stare was extreme and Ian shifted in his chair. "Maybe the wind then."
"With the window closed? Why are you so adamant about Not believing me?"
"Alisa" he stammered, "tiny people that move things around in the night do not exist."
"They do exist, Doctor!"
"Only in your mind and yes, yes, I believe that You believe they are real but they are not! That is what we are working on here. I thought we were making some progress."
"We cant make any progress unless you accept that the Atlantians are real!"
"Atlatians?" Well, we will talk more about them but first, you need to show me your pills. I need to make sure you are taking them."
"I am taking them."
"Alisa, you know the rules. If I don't See the pills, you will have to go into the hospital for a while. You don't want that, do you?"
Alisa reached behind her, never taking her eyes off of Ian. She handed him the bottle. Ian counted the remaining pills and then gave her the bottle back.
"Good, it appears you have been taking them as prescribed. Please continue to do so. As for the issues of last night, perhaps you need to get out of the house and get some Sunlight. It might help to clear your mind."
"I don't need sunlight, Doctor. I need my house to be mine again!"
Ian stood to leave. As he walked towards the door, he heard a sound behind him. It was more of a whisper and he turned to look at Alisa. The voice he heard could have been Alisa. What frightened him a bit was that it also, could not have been.
"Did you say something, Alisa?"
She stared at him for a moment and then smiled. This smile was as sweet as an angels smile. Her eyes spoke silently to him and he again, reminded himself of his profession.
"No Doctor," she answered in a sultry voice. "You must be hearing things."
Ian felt a sting on his ankle and instinctively slapped at it. He raised his pant leg a little and saw the red mark. It hurt terribly.
"Are you alright Doctor?"
Ian looked at Alisa. Again, his body went cold. "Yes, yes, I am fine, thank you. Just a mosquito I suspect. Have a good day and call me if you need me." Ian could not get the door open fast enough. He was outside and heard the door close behind him. He listened carefully. Was that laughter he heard coming from Alisa's house?