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The Jaguar

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I lay in the folds of my blankets, my eyes drooping. The fan on the ceiling humming quietly. The dark night sky was clear as I glanced at the window. The darkness of the hallway outside my open door casting hundreds of frightening thoughts in my head. I was afraid of the unknown. Scenes of the day flashing through my head. To get my mind off the darkness I thought about the day that would come tomorrow, and about what I might be doing....

There I was, standing barefoot on a rocky ledge at the rim of a massive jungle that stretched to the horizon. All fear of the unknown gone, I leapt off the rocks into the black void below, “wwwwooooooossshhhhh!!!!” The soil crunched as I met the forest floor. A deep green of vines and all sort of exotic plants stood before me. I bolted through the jungle. A blur of green around me. After noticing an unusual gnarled tree that I had almost expected to be there for me, I dashed up the trunk. Ricashaing of the twisted wood I grabbed hold of a hanging vine. “Ssshhhhhoooooowwwww.” I swung to another vine, and another before dropping to the rooted and plant covered ground. “WHAM!” I looked up, crouched before me was a jaguar. Its yellow and black coat shimmering in the few rays of sun that shown through the tall jungle trees. A knife seemed to materialize in my hand as the jaguar leapt at me. I dived aside. Sliding to my feet, I lifted the knife. The small blade twirled in my fingers at we circled. “Ssshhhaaawwww.” My hand flashed. The jaguar curled back. We hit each other, blade against claw. “BBBBAAAAMMMM!” I flung back as a powerful paw came whirling into my head. Eyes still whirling, I got to my feet. “RRAAWWWRRRR!” The great cat growled at me. The jaguar was merciless as it swiped as whipped with its razor like claws and teeth. “AAHHHHH!” I screamed as the jaguars teeth sunk into my right shoulder. As I was taken to the ground my knife fell from my grip. I lay there for a moment as the jaguar stepped away from its fallen enemy. Its yellow eyes moved from my hand to the knife as my hand twitched toward the blade. Grasping it, I made a desperate lung. “RRRAAAAARRR!” The cat crumpled to the soil with my knife deep in its throat. I rose to my feet, my shoulder still bleeding all over my arm. I was victorious!

“Fool!” I spun around to see who had called out. A thin man stood there holding a single piece of paper.

“What?” I asked confused.

“Fool!” he said again. “You haven’t passed your math test! You fail!”

The piece of paper suddenly grew into an elaborate graph. I fell to my knees in horror.

“NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!”

The thin man cackled. All the fears I ever had returned like a brutal wind. The forest closed around me. The trees falling in. There roots grabbing on to my ankles and pulling me to the ground. My screams became muffled as the roots strangled me and reached my head. Writhing on the ground, I got one last glimpse of the man laughing at me....

Everything was quiet. There were no roots trying to kill me. My shoulder was no longer in pain. Where was I? I peeked my eyes open and saw the sun shinning through the windows of my room. I was in my soft blankets again.





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