It rained hard through the thick jungle. Ten days and six hours had passed since he’d been stranded. Hungry, Minseok slowly got up. His wet white shirt was streaked with mud, and his soaked pants weighed him down like he was carrying a ton of stones. Every hard step made deep footprint holes. Minseok desperately recalled the moment right before losing consciousness. Which way did the plane go?
At first it was just a lighthearted journey to China. He set off for a course that no one else took due to his boredom, and it was the harbinger of disasters to come. When they entered the vicinity of south China, the brakes of the old car that carried Minseok broke down. As the main guide and the local guide started to troubleshoot by hand, they were able to go sightseeing. The expansive forest and the river flowing through were so beautiful they were almost otherworldly.
This was a weird way to enjoy a trip, but Minseok didn’t complain, instead took some pictures on his cellphone. It was at that moment. From a large distance away, so far away that they couldn't possibly see its source, came a strange and chilling noise. In the shape of a long parabola, a cannonball zoomed in and destroyed all traces of the Jeep and the two guides. Boom, the explosion went in the distance, at the same time Minseok was whacked in the back of the head, knocking him out.
When he came to open his eyes, he was beneath a huge tree. Because he couldn't see the sky due to the canopy, he could only deduce that it was night. Minseok thought that it might be a dream, so he closed his eyes again, only to be jolted by the sharp pain in the back of his head.
It wasn’t a dream. Someone had knocked him out and placed him in the forest. Although he couldn't believe it, he regained hope and stood up. If someone had moved him, he couldn’t be too far from the road. Thinking there would be people as soon as he left the forest, Minseok started walking with determination. It didn’t take long for him to have his hopes dashed.
The forest felt almost alive, the way it was changing the paths. He tried to find even the slightest evidence of a car, but he had no luck. The same green leaves greeted Minseok despite the hours he spent wandering, as if they didn't want to let him go. This was doomed from the beginning –a city person like Minseok trying to find his way around the forest was like a blind boy trying to navigate through the heart of Seoul. Though he had carefully placed marks on the giant, dense tree trunks while walking around, Minseok eventually gave up on escaping. It had been three days since he had finished off the two bags of crackers in his backpack.
Could it be that he was adapting already to this situation?
Minseok turned the matter over in his mind. It had been three days since he gave up trying the puddle that he didn't even look at, and didn't even try to drink. He fell asleep on a big tree trunk wishing no savages come around him.
When night came, deadly silence covers up the whole jungle. When sounds of scary animals or uncertified noises are heard, he couldn't get sleep caught by a deadly fear. But Minseok didn't make a move from where he fell down, and he never lost hope that his parents would send a rescue team after declaring him lost. Two days ago, just before the rain.
The rain in the jungle was violent. Great sheets of rain, pieces of rain drops from leaves make haze as a heavy fog. The rain fog, as if containing poison, made Minseok feel dizzy and tired. Minseok who didn’t prepared anything for it, got sweat without any protection, and his body had been wet and shaking for a whole day. He made an awkward thing to cover his body on leaves, however it didn’t work. Minseok moved his shaking body to the gap between broken wood bushes to avoid the heavy rain. And the next day, and two days after that, the rain didn’t stop. He realized that he can be dead with high fever before being saved. His sight was going fade out by the fever, the last thing what he saw was an airplane dropping small parachutes that seemed like support packages and then flying away.
He felt too exhausted to even take a step. Minseok looked around, weakly shuffling his feet. His shoes had been new at some point, but now he felt the damp and mud getting through his toes in every steps. “What was supposed to be the right way...?” he tried to remember it from his blurred memory. The heat coming from his inner body makes bad to his eyesight, but it seemed he had found the right direction. A parachute with a red cross came into view. He realized he’s where the 'Red Cross' distributed relief goods, relief goods for countries ravaged by war. But he was too happy just of think he could use the parachute as a makeshift blanket, and there might be something to eat in those boxes too. He stretches his hand to reach the box and stops it. He recognizes a silhouette of a boy on his sight. Coming out of the forest on the opposite side, the boy takes the box and checks out what is inside. He acted as if he didn’t even realize Minseok was present. And he realized in that moment, if he lost the box, he would truly starve to death.
Minseok began before his voice cracked painfully in his throat. Fool of him doing a talk in Korean with the head up, for an instant Minseok couldn´t believe what he was seeing. The pale boy was staring at him with an expressionless face. “It was okay say that?” Minseok recalled a few English words, but his brain was confused. Without hesitation the boy came forward to linger a couple steps of Minseok. His movements in accordance with the greenery lush. Disproportionately all places were covered in mud and wet leaves that didn´t match with the beautiful boy. Maybe this figure is like an angel sent from heaven to save him, Minseok stand upright in front of the boy trying to not hesitate.
"Ah ..., excuse me ... can you help ... me?"
Awkwardly he speaks in English, but the boy didn´t remove the expressionless. Big fine eyes overshadowed in an elegant white feature faced Minseok. It looks weird. Tenderly, his nervousness rises bright. The boy's hand gestures pointing the box scared Minseok, but at the same moment pretending to eat, Minseok gathered both hands repeatig the word please. Nonetheless, the boy didn´t move for a while. Momentarily Minseok noticed the rifle on the boy´s shoulders. The probability of escape or even take away the box is close to zero. Minseok seriously consider if he cannot take the box he should rather die in there, that cold feeling struck him back. A new boy raises a rifle, aiming at Minseok´s back.
A sharp pain in his whole body shattered Minseok, like a twisting sensation. The boy bends down to pick up him of the floor. Minseok seemed to go out of his mind by the fever and pain, not even put his mind in alert. If things go wrong, he became unconscious about the situation; even the fears couldn´t send a warning right now.
The guy circled the jungle bringing Minseok to a building he even knew was abandoned. A few decades ago it was used as a model of the small old cement bunkers. Along the way he was several times stabbed by guns and the throbbing pain rushed throughout him. Without saying a word the boy notified the route by poking him in the back. If he stick to the left had to turn left or right turn after turn. Walk if you don´t want to die, that cold and unspoken warning pressured him as he walked.
On the floor away from him was a bended guy who complained aloud of the side edge, Minseok gave some steps and sat leaning on the knee. But then in a rough manner the buckle of his pants was unlatched. Thin and white fingers with no hurry moved leisurely. The soaked shirt and pants didn´t come off easily, what comes out in an unknown language didn´t break the hand movements. Minseok couldn´t even think of be disobedient, as soon his pants went down to his knees he felt a terrifying feeling in the back. It was clearly a rape. No way could he imagine a guy doing that to him. Minseok was seriously aware of the situation. He used all his strength to push back the boy's shoulder, but the boy didn't move a muscle. Minseok met the boy´s eyes and pleaded.
“Hey. He-help me. Don't do it. "
"D-don't do this ...... please…”
The last thing he tried was cry. In a moment a knock in silence upset the pallid face boy who was watching Minseok. The underwear went down quickly, the guy got on top of Minseok. He hurts his knee sweeping in a cold cement floor, without be violent the boy came in. The pain penetrates Minseok´s weakened body, taking breaths he relaxed the convulsions. Everything happened in an instant. The frequency of Minseok´s spasms grew and while the boy took a break Minseok came. Not even think about the pain Minseok screamed.
"Ugh, ah! D-don't d-do......! "
“Don’t... do it, crazy motherfucker, agh, s-stop....... "
He didn´t even remember what he said. At that moment misery and embarrassment were crossed. When the boy didn´t answer, he holds Minseok´s neck and fast press him down. Minseok´s will was shaking with the repeatability of the boy´s movements on his body. His cheeks wet with tears swept the cold cement floor. It seemed to blind him the sudden pain in his head, on his thighs Minseok felt be struck by the boy´s buckle pants that sounded it on the bizarre situation. Minseok wanted to stop there wishing to be dead already.
Burning bright. The sound of rain hit his ears. One large drop of water soon drew little circles -and by the time Minseok heard the refreshing rain sound coming, he painfully pushed his eyelids open. The unfamiliar wet gray floor and the cold ceiling came into his dimly sight. Where was he? Minseok close his eyes slowly trying to open them again. The cold on his cheek and the severe back pain of the previous night slowly revitalized his memory. Minseok bite his lower lip trying to not see his dampened pants below. He was overwhelmed and sore by the strong grip and nails that suppressed around his neck. Suddenly his heart was filled with tears when he saw two silver aluminium bags in front of him. There were relief supplies in the box. Minseok grasped the package with trembling hands. That was like an envelope with money for sex, the realization makes him push out his bottled tears.
His beaten body ached with every move. Even the bag in his arms rustled of the dirty standing. Somehow he did that.
"Ugh, son of a bitch…."
Motherfucker, crazy bastard, prick, Minseok spat all sort of curses. But who knows, he is like a real prostitute now, a fucking motherfucker, Minseok took the envelope with fluent tears. For few days suffering fever and extreme tension he knew he was on his top when his trembling fingers were cold and couldn´t remain the strength anymore. But he forced himself to live. Eat and somehow, stay alive to the idea to go back to Korea jammed on Minseok´s head. A suddenly noise made him lose the strength in the package on his hands. Crunch dry cereals were poured on the floor in a mess. On the dirty floor Minseok bounced down to rake the cereal onto his trembling mouth. That was when; at the back a helping hand grab his wrist.
That boy again. Despite his thin body Minseok resisted the grip but the boy´s force was superior. The guy looked down at him but Minseok couldn´t read emotions on his clear eyes, with his arms twisted behind his back and without any notice he got kicked on the hamstrings. Contradictory to his expectations Minseok cried out loud when his knees folded, twisting even more his arm.
“Ah…! Get off me! Ah, you're hurting me. "
The boy knelt and pressed Minseok face down. Minseok trembled with pain caught in the boy´s arms. He was shuddering smudged with tears. Why´d he come again? Why he wouldn´t come again. Minseok tried to pull the boy but he grasped with strength his hands and arms. Wondering if it would be like the day before, Minseok tried to not think in the deliberate fear becoming almost in panic. He could felt a slightly pain growing in the elbow. When it seemed that nothing happened Minseok looked up to the boy stepping back of his body. On his right hand the boy was holding a needle of two fingers thickness. Minseok looked at him with confusion and dismay.
"What is... What the hell is this..."
For a moment the boy´s eyes fall when he began to fumble his trousers pocket. Minseok didn´t know if he was right but he intuited that it might be something fishy going on. Just like a placebo effect, his whole body´s nerves began to relax. Ironically through the slow heart beats his blood pression seemed run rapidly. Rounds and rounds, feeling his muscles relaxing his senses became viscous. The image of the boy in front of him faded away quickly. That must be a real drug, a rape drug, “that crazy bastard..... “
Minseok stared menacing at the boy before fell into coma. The guy wrapped the syringe in a handkerchief while looked down to the unconscious Minseok. He started to collect some materials in his pack when the shadow of another boy appeared on the back.
"Who are you?"
The boy who was holding Minseok in the floor turned his head to looking at him. A smile flashed on the pale boy´s lips.
“…this is unworthy, Luhan.”
It was not sarcasm. To Luhan it was difficult identify any subtle gesture in Lay´s calm tone of voice. Too blank, with an awkward expression, it wasn´t a smiley face but a contemplation one that recites taunts.
“Eat a poured cereal in this unclean place would make he got sick and be one more dead corpse.”
“Want to take him?”
The advantage of Lay was being straightforward about talking. For a moment Luhan was silent. Lay didn´t wait an answer, quietly lit a cigarette and began to smoke near the wall. Both didn´t say anything. But the insatiable rain sound filled the silence.
June 23, 2018, midnight
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